We do not like to be called anti-Vaxxers because that is your word.
We have our own words.
We prefer complimentary words or lateral approaches, an unseen garden path obscured by the nasty shrubbery you planted all those years ago, thank you.
We rise early at dawn to collect milk from our breasts and cut avocado into cubes. We take our blessed young down to a specific Pacific patch. We walk down the cement slab steps spackled with shells and anemones, one-two in file with children in tow, down to slouching neighbors and Popsicle stands.
We hold hands with our grimy blessed young, keeping heads close to our chests like peasants. We then let our little germ factories run with naked feet through wet sand to build up the chain mail of their immune system.
We prefer violent metaphors because we are at war (and do not tell us otherwise).
We take this morning walk like clockwork and maybe a Starbucks chocolate swirl upon our sweet gums, heading inside before the good San Diego sun rises high.
We have Bible lessons in the late morning.
We sip pregnant bowls of sugar and barley.
We do not allow quarrels.
We are not as judgmental as everybody else out there, especially you.
We feel sorry for you. We have a golden positivity that will consume you. We play music for our souls and it heals, my friend. We wouldn’t trade a guitar string for a kingdom of pharmacies in God’s country, even if our limbs were twisted into pretzels and our stomach hot with ulcers.
We will all sing together on a big blue hill and everything will be fine, thank you.
We will sing Woody Guthrie songs and Hank Williams songs and other songs that we know to be true. We know secular music has just as much a place in our community as the stirring strings of religious harmonies; we play Fleetwood Mac on Saturdays and have our own kind of special fun.
We do not stop thinking about tomorrow.
We study scripture up until lunch, then sweep through history and arithmetic.
We anoint the eyes of our young with afternoon cartoons
We do not need the recommendation of a reasonably priced pediatrician, thank you, and we do not need to get anything “checked out.”
We have our crystal quartz certainty, our amethyst certainty, our rose quartz certainty, and our jade certainty. We have pebbles placed down Caleb’s body, warding away malicious energy sent from the likes of you. We know the flows of energy here.
We are not in any rush and laugh at those who are because we appreciate the mysteries of life.
We know a Midwestern smile is a snowflake next to an avalanche of Californian kindness, their cocktail of outward warmth and private hostility swooping into an infinite bell-curve. We know all about you and have come to the conclusion that you are not our sort of people, and we are doing just fine, thank you.
We wait for our husbands or wives in the evening and when they arrive, we eat a sumptuous feast. We allow ourselves wine and never sigh, everyone talking about his or her day with great verve and winsomeness. We sometimes sit in silence basking in each other’s company.
We do not like you looking at us through our window in the evening, cars slowing down because they know where we live. We do not like your gossip. We will not hold truck with those that call us names. We still subscribe to the paper and read what you say about us. We have recently bought better curtains and another lock.
We know about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We know what goes on there, the money siphoning and the cover-ups. We know better.
We do not want your pamphlets.
We do not want your pie charts.
We do not want your pies.
Well we might want your pies but only if they are made with mangos grown in the garden of the Lord, or Santa Barbara.
We are not responsible for your child catching measles.
We are not responsible for your fear.
We think back to times when a more barbaric society would have left autistic children at the edge of the woods. We are not barbarians, but we will survive. We will not be to blame when you are crippled from clinical weakness in this earthly trial.
We will live off the earth while you plead with crows for your prescription.
We will humbly clean our plates and put away the tools of the day together, singing songs of shining love. We have thought long and hard about this, and want to tell you that we are doing just fine.
We know our bones will be crushed by time, mixed into future slab steppes for unknown, superior giants to walk upon. We will be joyous for them.
We will turn off the lights and tuck our children in, creaking open the door to Caleb’s room to see his progress under the Lord’s tutelage. We will firmly still his shaking legs with weight and sing him sweet songs of certitude. We will mop his tiny forehead and hunch over his body. We will listen, between straining breaths and the coughs booming around his ribs, for a divine clang. Indeed, there are angels whispering.
Written by Alex Vlahov with artwork by Nicole Monk
Inspired by: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/opinion/how-the-anti-vaxxers-are-winning.html