• KG1


“Junior Boyd, I’m a little surprised at you on this vaccine situation.” Semple paused as he thought the call was dropping, but the connection held. “You know I got my second dose this morning and you still saying you ain’t down.”

“That was not my precise messaging,” replied Junior Boyd. “I expressed that I was concerned. I wish I had more thorough analytical historically-informed information.”

“You might become history while you waiting on that info. They done analyzed this virus enough for me. I did the rest because I ain’t tryna be nobody’s grim statistic right now. You can wait on the research on the long-term effects of the drugs. I know the short-term effects of the virus. Folks bring up the Tuskegee thing. I get it. Medical racism. Still don’t trust the government. I get that, too. Me neither. Don’t trust corporations. I remember when folks was saying fast-food chicken and malt liquor was gon sterilize the brothas. I see some of those same dudes drinking 40s got babies. And they some of the same dudes, along with some that was using them needles, that’s worried about the ingredients in the vaccine. I’m, like, y’all joking, right? Y’all could trust dope off the street but not a vaccine? Then they worried about speed. Developed too fast. People dying fast but they want the technology and science to go slow or they don’t trust it. I can’t ride with those stories. House on fire but you worried about the water getting here too fast.”

“But you must admit, Semple, that healthy skepticism is valuable.”

“I admit that healthy is valuable. And I got skepticism. That’s why I did my appointments a certain way. I didn’t go on time. I went half an hour early. If they was trying to put aside something just for me, I wanted to be early and have a better chance of spotting something suspicious. They checked for my name and gave me the registration form. When I filled that out, they directed me to booth number 2. I went there then backed away and let a guy go in front of me. I figured if they was locking me in some sequence to get the black shot that I was disrupting it. That’s probably the best part about going to an integrated clinic. It’s harder to target just me. When I went in the room for the injection, they had a bunch of syringes on top of the cart. When the nurse went to pick one, I said, ‘Hey, can I pick it out? I got superstitions.’ The nurse looked at me like I was kind of weird, but she laughed, “Go on. Pick out a good one.’ So that’s what I did. I pointed to it, and she picked it up. I got me a good dose specially designed for anybody. Deep inside, I don’t believe that what I did was really necessary. But it was like combinating a number, gave me a chance a couple of different ways. Now I can’t give everybody they strategy. Lot smarter people out here than me. They can figure it out. They clever enough. Mix some more white folk into the ‘hood. They ain’t harming them just to get to you. I just don’t see how these anti-vaxxer tales get us anywhere good.”

“Well, Semple, I am forever an admirer of your guile. However, I am reading reports about possible changes in DNA as a result of vaccines. Should that not be a foremost consideration?”

“Junior Boyd, you know I don’t do all the reading you do because I ain’t been to all them schools you been to. But I do hear, and I hear there ain’t nothing to the DNA thing. Besides, I’d sign up for a DNA changer. Might get something better.”

“Or worse.”

“But that’s what we talking about, Junior Boyd. Gambling. Ain’t no guarantees out here. I’m just gon calculate everything up the way it make the most sense to Semple. That’s why I got these two doses. You better come on in. In fact, I’m gonna figure out a way to get a third dose in three weeks just to fuck around.”

#vaccine #Semple #TheLanguageLane #KeithGilyard