Sidewalk Shamanism

A beautiful thing happened on Saturday morning outside the clinic where I’ve been escorting.

A car with a young couple in it pulled up and parked at a meter, which is, of course, the cue for the protesters to flock. They started on the driver’s side, both because it was closest and because Saturday seemed to be a day for targeting companions over patients. (A lot of “You need to get your girlfriend out of there” and  “You are a defender of women and children.”)

They never got around to the passenger’s side, so the patient and I had a leisurely walk to the parking station. The machine gave her some trouble, taking longer than expected. Her companion and the protesters caught up to us while she was still working on paying.

As they came up, Guitar Guy–who actually made people wish he had his guitar that day, he was so obnoxious–said to the companion, “I have to ask you: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

At this point, the companion explained that no, he followed a shamanistic religion. Then he explained his religion and his religious principles to the protesters while I helped the patient get the machine sorted out. I don’t know whether he surprised the protesters, talked over them, or simply hit them with something for which they had no script, but he kept them mesmerized all the way up to the property line.

It was only when they had to stop and he kept walking that they remembered why they were talking to him. They shouted after him to bring his girlfriend out and stop the abortion, but guitar guy managed all of two sentences before the companion was in the door and gone. The patient was already well inside the building.

All this on a day when the protesters were more squirrely than normal, skirting the line of blocking people from getting out of their cars and into the building. It was a joy to watch.

Sidewalk Shamanism

4 thoughts on “Sidewalk Shamanism

  1. 2

    “hit them with something for which they had no script”

    This. they were prepared for a “No” or a “Yes” or “Get away from me” but something outside those parameters totally bushwhacks them.

    You can also smile and say, “Yes, he and I talked this over last night and he’s totally understanding about my situation. We must have talked for a couple of hours” and just keep babbling about what BFFs you and J are as you walk and what deep conversations you and he have.

  2. 4

    You have no idea. They taunt any male companion to “Be a man!” “Be a real man” “Real men don’t kill babies” and all that crap. Like, what are you expecting him to do? Rush in and drag the patient out, perhaps over his shoulder?


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