I left work at 5:00, driving straight to QuikTrip for gas. A gold Honda Pilot sat unoccupied at a gas pump. An empty plum PT Cruiser was at the next. “What the fuck,” I muttered, circling the fuel bay in search of free pumps. When my tank was finally full, I idled behind a massive white Silverado that had the gall to have its left turn signal on. “What kind of fucking asshole turns left at rush hour?” I yelled to myself. When my turn finally came, I made a right and then U-turned, only to find myself behind a silver Protege trying to make a left into the same QT. “You ass! you can’t fucking do that!” I yelled.

A mile down Briarcliff, passing the old but well-kept apartment complexes, Dr. Tiller was still in the back of my mind. Starbucks was on my left when the tears started coming. I drove on, squinting through my tears, into the Emory neighborhoods. I was pounding my steering wheel, sobbing, moaning, gasping for air, and searching my pocketbook for that damn travel pack of tissues. Parking my car on a side street, I called my mom and ineffectually tried not to concern her as I announced, through my sobs, that I was driving home and overcome with grief, sadness, and anger. When I spoke at the vigil earlier in the week, I was composed and together. This time, it was a nonsensical and heartfelt monologue: “I’m so angry! And I’m so sad! I hate the world for being like this! I hate that a wonderful man was killed for doing something completely legal and needed! I hate that no one gets it! I hate that people are already moving on! I hate that abortion is a controversy at all! I hate that med students aren’t automatically trained to perform abortions! I could perform an abortion, but I only have a stupid B.A. in English, but I know I could do it! What if my clinic’s doctors are next? Why do I have to worry about things like that? Dr. Tiller was a good man! Why didn’t anyone appreciate him properly when he was here? I want to comfort eat right now but I can’t taste anything and I want to go to my favorite coffee shop but I don’t want to see anyone I know!” My mom got it and she reminded me of how many people showed they care and she reminded me of what good work I do.

Later, Kathryn and I both skipped yoga and we hugged and we listened to Don Henley, U2, and Smashing Pumpkins in her car. We ate at Top Spice, then sifted through their bowl of Dum Dums for dessert. We ran into Target between the raindrops, and then played with her cat Tess. We talked about Dr. Tiller, and when we couldn’t, we talked about anything else. We call ourselves brain twins because we think alike. This week, it seemed that our brains arranged themselves so that one of us could be strong when the other was less so.

On Friday at work, we all wore purple ribbons (feminism and choice) with a black stripe (grief) pinned to our clothes. Clients asked about them and expressed sympathy. They asked for ribbons of their own and they got angry about a world that didn’t want them to have a simple procedure of their choosing. They hugged us in appreciation of our work.

Today, I wanted to change my Facebook status to say, “If my boyfriend keeps ordering things form the internet, I will be forced to wear pants on my day off so that the mail woman doesn’t get to see my polka dot underpants again,” but I can’t erase my status that honors Dr. Tiller. I selfishly don’t understand how other people can. His funeral was only on Saturday, while I was at work wrapping instruments and handing Betadine balls and tubing to our doctor. I haven’t read his obituary yet because I’m not ready to cry again. But I still can’t and won’t let go of him. I don’t care about the economy (To me, it only means that more women need abortions and fewer women can afford them.) and I don’t care about David Carradine’s death (He only acted. Dr. Tiller saved lives.). I can’t even read my usual websites like Feministing because even they don’t get it like they should. A lot of people don’t get it like they should. I want them to see that if they know me, they know Dr. Tiller. I am Dr. Tiller.

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