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Miscellaneous writing

Big Sneeze

The man is at the head of the queue for the AstraZeneca jab. I’m number two. It’s for the second vaccine. He’s older than me – probably 70s – and sits squat in the plastic chair that’s too small for his bulky frame. He grips firm to a wooden walking stick placed squarely between his legs.

He’s called in. I follow soon after, go to a curtained area where a nurse will jab me [‘…which arm do you prefer?’]. Another nurse comes in and says: My gentleman only had his first dose three weeks ago.

‘Oh, that’s too soon. It has to be 12 weeks, 8 minimum. Unless it’s for work or something. Why does he want it early?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘You’d better ask the doctor then. It’s too soon.’

I’m jabbed and leave, to wait for the regulated 15 minutes under a pop-up awning in the car park. I’m reading [Augustus by John Williams] when I raise my head to see the bulky man with his wooden stick limping towards a silver Jeep Patriot. He drives away, jab-less I guess.

A sticker on the rear window – There’s only one Jeep.