"There are five people you meet in heaven, each one of us was in your life for a reason. you may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
-the five people you meet in heaven
Sometimes I imagine that if heaven (if I really believed in one) included five people who affected your life (like in Mitch Albom’s novel), there might be five of the local “peaceful” protesters looking at me. There are things I’d want them to know. Things I’d want to tell them about how their protesting affected my life. This list is not exhaustive:
1. Your rosaries and hail marys don’t make you a nice person.
2. I see you and my blood pressure rises several points past boiling.
3. When I see you, my jaws clench, my fingers tense, my head pounds, my stomach turns in knots, and I get scared.
4. Despite your old age, I don’t trust you haven’t got a pistol behind your sign, ready to blow my doctor’s head off. Or mine.
5. When I have to walk past you or see you, I think of my child. Hope today isn’t the day someone decides to shoot me, leaving my child without a mother.
6. When you stare at my co-workers and write down their license plate numbers, I want to follow YOU home.
7. For years, you have hurt women, causing them pain and anguish. I see them. They cry. Are angry. Feel judged. Yet you have no place to judge her.
8. Because of you, when I leave the clinic, I look both ways exiting the door.
9. Because of you, when I leave or arrive at the clinic, I speedily get into the false safety of the building or my vehicle.
10. Because of you, when I drive home, I check my rear view window to see if I’m being followed.
11. Our doors are a little tighter. Our windows shut harder. Our curtains drawn darker.
12. Because of you, we can’t have normal glass. We have bullet proof glass.
13. Because of you, we have panic buttons.
14. Because of you, I may get a home security system. And I live in a very nice little neighborhood with no other need for a home security system.
15. I really think I hate you.
16. I want to spit on you when I see a woman weep (who was raped by her father; or found out her wanted pregnancy has anencephaly; or who just got her lights shut off because she can't pay any bills, let alone keep another baby; who can die for our country in battle, but is about to get court marshalled if her country finds out she's pregnant; or who slept with the wrong guy on the wrong day and realized she really wants to finish school and make something of herself; or who might even be your daughter or sister or niece or granddaughter) after listening to you scream at her, judge her, beg her not to have an abortion. FUCK you for hurting her.
17. I watch my colleagues and doctors and nurses get tense and nervous and scared because you exist outside our building.
18. You’ve stripped from us basic things: the ability to hire staff without questioning if they're anti spies; the ability to walk freely to and from our cars; the ability to do our jobs in safety free from fear.
19. You’re a terrorist.
20. I really think I hate you.
21. Your hail marys and rosaries don’t make you a nice person.
22. You are not a nice person.
23. You're quite awful, really.
24. Oh yeah. I hate you.