She works in a nursing home and she won’t get the vaccine. She’s done a lot of research. The resident in room 3 gets sick and then the resident in room 7 gets sick. There’s fertility, and there’s freedom. The resident in room 2 is carted off and vented. Not that she wants a fucking baby, but aren’t these people supposed to care about choice?
The company that owns the company that owns her nursing home and eight others gets sued by some of the families.
We’re talking about old people here. People who scream in pain at a loofa scrub of dead caked-on gross skin that goes down the drain in a gray slurry.
Families always think they can tell people what to do. Families are the laziest and the stupidest and actually in reality families are truly the worst.
There’s a hag here, with a little girl voice, who crumples up tissues and looks at them and says, Why won’t this bird fly?
Then the hag dies, too.
But then hag’s family also sues, OF COURSE.
And we’re supposed to listen to families? Why, exactly?
Eventually the company mandates the jab for all employees.
She’s not an anti-vaxxer, but no way.
Please, Mr. Scientist, tell me the long-term effects of basically rewriting your DNA?
Get your answers together. I’ll wait.
There’s a reason the FDA isn’t saying shit about shit, or even when they approve they’re couching their words in certain very interesting ways if you know how to read them right.
Do you even know what I’m talking about? Read some of the FDA shit, even ten pages, then we can talk.
I can’t talk to an uneducated person, I can’t talk until you’ve done some research.
In the end, it plays out just like she knew it would: the company’s deadline for getting vaxxed approaches, she sues the company, a judge rules against her, she lets herself get fired, she starts another lawsuit, there’s stuff winding its way through the courts all across the country, but it’s all off in the distance, there’s no money for her yet.
She keeps emailing and calling her colleagues—her former colleagues—so they can quit or get fired and join up, too. It’s on the side of good, it’s basic freedoms, this is important stuff.
But not one person signs up!
Her lawyer tells her to stay away from the nursing home. He’s pissed at her just because of that one video. He says he’ll handle recruiting other people to their case.
She says she came off just fine in the video, she was speaking truth to power, and no it is not racist to be a white lady screaming masklessly at the black receptionist to let her in, in fact if the woke people would actually listen for once they would notice that she told the black receptionist and her mostly black colleagues in this place who were in earshot that this was a civil liberties issue. And that if Martin Luther King could see what was happening now he would roll in his grave.
The lawyer stops returning her calls.
One day a care coordinator she used to fuck gets fired for something random (he was late most days but that’s only something they only fire you for if they want to) and they start fucking again and before you know it he basically moves in.
He tells her jokes from podcasts he listens to. He explains the podcast, and the person talking, and what they said, and when she doesn’t laugh he tells her why it’s funny.
One day when he’s out at the gym, she claws her eyes out.
When the care coordinator comes back he makes too many noises. But she gets him calmed down and has him help her post a video where she says what happened is she got the vaccine and her eyes popped out. She has gauze wrapped around her head like a headband over her eyes and blood seeping out where her eyes were. At the end she unwraps the gauze and shows them. She says she doesn’t want anything like that to ever happen to anyone else!
The video goes viral.
She and the care coordinator fuck and fuck.
She gets interviewed on lots of places with gauze wrapped around her head and the blood seeping.
Some people think it’s fake, her eyes are fine and it’s a trick, and some people think her eyes are legit fucked but not because of the vax, and some people think her eyes are fine but the vax could theoretically do that, and basically every mathematical permutation of these possibilities you can think of.
But then the interviews stop and the views are only trickling in and she tells the care coordinator to saw off her arms and legs.
He doesn’t want to.
She says not to be a widdle fucking baby.
He flunked out of med school so he sort of knows what he’s doing.
In the new video she warns people against the vaccine because their eyes will pop out and their arms and legs will pop off, too. The care coordinator uploads the video and leaves that night with what sound like two big blue Ikea bags full of clothes and he says Well OK so bye I guess in a way that seems final.
The new video goes so so viral.
Some gay guy make a series of parody videos where he’s doing random things like shopping or eating soup and his arms pop off and in a shrill voice he screams about vaccines and how YOUR ARMS WILL POP OFF!
The parody gets millions of views.
So think how many she has. Over a hundred million.
Over two hundred million!
She’s almost more proud of the parodies getting so many—is that weird?!
She’s part of the conversation.
But after a while people stop watching and there’s no more parodies except a parody of the parody video that’s about how bad the parodies were. It gets barely any hits.
New people move in and they put her out on the curb with the garbage. “I’m not garbage!” she shouts. “I’m a living person!”
At some point someone picks her up and takes her somewhere else.
What does she have to do to be part of the conversation again?
She’s not at the dump, she knows that. It doesn’t smell like the dump. It doesn’t smell like anything. She’s on clean sheets and she has a pillow and there are people who help her with her functions, and they talk to her while they do it. I’ve got your hamburger, I’ve got your pancakes, I’ve got your apple, I’ve cut it up into pieces for you, make sure to chew it up real good, is it time to go number two?
They say it’s a beautiful day, they say it looks like rain.
She doesn’t say anything. Who cares?
But she’s not doing so good.
She’s coughing and sneezing and her body hurts and food gives her diarrhea.
She’s so tired all the time. She sleeps so much.
They talk about it like she’s not even there. They talk about her breathing and her infections and her fever and her vomiting. They talk about the oxygen and the NG tube.
They need to give her something to help her sleep. Is there anyone she wants to talk to before she sleeps? She might be asleep for a while, it depends how long it takes her to get better, should they call someone for her?
She has them call the lawyer. She tells the receptionist to ask when the money’s coming.
The receptionist is a cunt.
Anyone else? they want to know. A friend? Any family? Anyone you want to say goodbye to, just in case?
Somewhere her mother might still be alive. Her sisters might be. She’d have heard if they weren’t, so: they are.
There’s the care coordinator, but fuck him.
She calls him anyway, or has them do it.
He says, I loved you, you know. I still do. Sending all my thoughts and love.
Then there’s a voice telling her to count backwards.
She counts, but not backwards.
She thinks of who else is in the room.
How many? Two, three, four.
Then she thinks of the whole building she’s in.
She’s counting up double, triple digits, thinking through the floors, through the whole building, and the building dissolves, and it’s the big wide world and it’s everyone.
She’s thinking of the word everyone, and all of a sudden she feels it, like she’s being sucked into it, into all the people everywhere, and she feels her brain go nuts.
Go brain, go!
She’s rushing through all these specks of light.
She is, she is!
It’s so much so fast and every flurried speck of light against the dark is the soul of someone, each opening onto itself and onto chains and networks of so many other souls, shifting nebulas of every soul ever rushing through and past her, dissolving way off at the edge of the universe into some new shock of light, and she’s lolling and lolling at how they can all just fucking die.