On the weeks that I drove the 260 miles to Fargo, I would stop and call the clinic for a "protester of the day" report.
"They're stopping every car," Jane told me. I knew the scene only too well. Protesters jumping on cars, lying on the road while someone wormed underneath and locked onto the axle with a bicycle lock or chain...I'd put on a blond wig and a heavy coat of makeup. I wore a long black jumper, tennis shoes, and sunglasses. On my own, without protection, I walked toward the clinic. What would happen if these people actually got their hands on me? I could see the crowd gathered there, 100 of them, maybe more, all people who hated me.
"Who is that in that car?" someone would yell each time a vehicle approached the parking lot. The crowd surged toward the target and I moved right along with them. I heard myself shouting their awful words just to play the part. Slowly I moved closer and closer to the building.
Sweat ran down my face and my back. I had to stay calm and keep acting like I belonged. Surrounded by them, I felt claustrophobic, almost physically sick. They knew I was scheduled to arrive at the clinic soon. Any car could be mine.
Finally, I gained the sidewalk. I took off my sunglasses as I moved closer to the guard. He was looking right past me. I stood before him, silently shouting with my eyes, "It's me! It's me!" He kept searching the crowd. Then his eyes found mine, stopped. I nodded. He moved slightly to the side, opening up a path that I darted through.
I gulped in a huge breath, stumbled up the steps, and pounded on the door. It opened. Once inside I tore off the wig and collapsed. Great, whooping sobs racked my body.
A woman came down the stairs and sat next to me. She had no idea who I was, but she put her arm around me and rocked.
Two hours later that same woman was on the operating table, my patient, and it was my turn to help her through her ordeal.
Pub date: 12/29/08
Price: $13.95/16.50 Canada
5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Carton Quantity: 24
Selling Territory: W
Pub history: Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-58648-480-4