Hello, it was raining and cold on Tuesday morning.
Donna needed her hands to clutch her black umbrella, so at least the gruesome CHOICE sign wasn’t around. However, she kept using her body and the umbrella to block the sidewalk. There were only two safety escorts present: a man who has escorted for 11 years and myself.
A young black teenager came around the corner of 2nd and Market, alone, shivering in the cold, carrying her own umbrella. Donna, already blocking the clinic side of the sidewalk, angled in, walking beside the young woman, herding her toward the street side of the sidewalk, and ultimately cutting her off.
Now I ask you to picture this: From the edge of the sidewalk, we have one large tree, surrounded by deep puddles of water on the sidewalk, edged by a young black woman holding her umbrella, who is pinned there by a short and soft-spoken white woman so determined to make herself heard that her own umbrella is layered up underneath the client’s umbrella, while her face is up in the young woman’s face.
“Is she allowed to do that?”
I ask my fellow safety escort. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of weeks.
“She can say anything she wants on the sidewalk,” he replies.
I step closer, on the inside track of this sidewalk cowgirl hogtier roper brand ‘em and drag ‘em to the fake woman’s choice clinic person.
To Donna’s left, I am facing the young girl underneath the two umbrellas. Tears are rolling down her cheeks.
“You don’t have to talk to her if you don’t want to. Do you have an appointment at the clinic?” I ask, although I already know in my gut that she does.
She looks into my eyes, nods, wipes the salty pearls from her face, yet cannot move forward without wading through the puddle or somehow pushing past Donna.
I spread my arms, angling my hands toward the sidewalk, my right hand just between the client and the anticlient, and say, “You can go this way if you want to.”
The woman nods, turns to her right, walking past my arms. Donna calls out, loudly for her,
“Sweetheart, she doesn’t care about you. She just wants to kill your baby.”
Later, I warned Donna to not block the sidewalk. I even had to tell her that if, while walking behind me, she ever banged on my shoulders again with the prongs of her umbrella, I would break her umbrella in half. She said,
“Sweetheart, I would not hesitate to prosecute you.”
I only wish.