Today, I was walking with what we call a scrum – a group of escorts circled up around the client and her companion – moving along the sidewalk.
I’m talking to the client, a young woman; she keeps her head down. It’s a loose scrum, there’s space between the escorts, we aren’t holding hands. I see M2, a tall, fairly aggressive woman, coming up fast on my right – she’s talking, “Don’t do this – don’t do this – don’t go in there, it’s murder, it’s a baby, you’re killing your baby” and –
– I try to move closer to the client. But M2’s been a chaser for years, she’s too quick for me. She shoves her body between me and the client, a little in front of me, which pushes me back.
Faster than I can say it, the client looks up, back toward me – a little panicky – so I move forward more quickly, my shoulder pushes M2 out of the way. Just as quickly, M2 turns, throws her arm out, between me and the client, open-handed, she thrusts a plastic fetus in the client’s face. I move forward again, knocking M2’s arm with my shoulder, moving it out of the way – she shoves back. I stumble —
–and step on the client’s shoe. Cute little flip-flops with sparkly things on the straps. She stumbles, I apologize, we keep moving. But I’ve broken the side thong. She’s half-limping, trying to keep the shoe on – chasers swarm around us – and I apologize again – and again.
I wish we got do-overs. That’s really all I can say. Sure, we made it to the door. No one got hurt. It wasn’t completely my fault. I’m not even sure I could do it better if I had another chance. But somehow – the shoe lingers with me. A little black flop with sparkly things, broken. I’d just like a do-over on that one.