Friday, November 21, 2008

the flu shot


I got a flu shot for the first time this year. It was the day after my son's second surgery. It was an unplanned inspired spur-of-the-moment lapse in my belief that I am invincible. I was in the supermarket, overwhelmed and wondering what to fill my cart with, and there was a banner over the pharmacy shouting out Flu Shots Today! A force propelled me to the counter, to the woman pharmacist who looked on me kindly through her glasses, who gave me the shot and glass of water, who told me to come back and tell her if I had any problems at all, anything...




Sometimes I think I got that flu shot just to feel like someone was doting on me, or like I was doting on myself. Or maybe I got that shot for the same reason I opened this with, admitting that I am not, after all, invincible. When I was a young girl, I had this idea that life would reveal its meaning to me sometime around midlife (so right about now, I would say). Now that I am here, revelations seem absurd. I still like the idea of a pharmacist, a hairdresser, a client, a stranger looking kindly upon me.




I am trying not to listen to the news. Its funny how no one in the small circle of writers I read online regularly have written much about the mass hysteria that is gripping the news. Maybe they are all just trying to live their daily lives frugally and monotonously, as we are. Maybe they are ignoring the doom and dread, because in essence fretting changes nothing. As for me, I am listening to a novel on CD as I ride in my car, fetching teenagers and groceries. It is wonderfully descriptive, and takes a long time to describe the sound of icy tree branches snapping in the winter. I look around me and try to listen to the intense quiet outside of my new home.


I hope the flu shot will work. I hope admitting that I am not invincible will see me flying through winter, my favorite season, skiing because it's free (our passes are ours and paid for) and makes me feel even more free, maybe writing, maybe painting, maybe not taking so many trips to the hospital with my son, maybe taking the time and standing still enough to listen to the snapping branches and muffled sounds of the world around me becoming still and hunkered down for the winter.


7 comments:

ME said...

Your blog was excellent. Now its utterly boring, you are too young for this, come to life and think about where you are going or should be.

jennifer said...

ME, say what you will, but you surely lack the strength of your convictions. There's nothing more cowardly than sneaking around and making snide comments when you show nothing of yourself. Not even your name or face.

If you find me so utterly boring, please don't come back. I won't miss you.

anno said...

I was going to say that I'm just turning off the news, grateful that we have no television reception, and trying to live a life with as many close local connections as possible, because when everything else is breaking down, that's how (and where) I feel certain things will begin to rebuild again.

And then I saw ME's comment and thought, "what a maroon!"

Good for you on getting your flu shot. I'm thinking in those directions myself...

Been skiing yet?

Jennifer said...

I joke with my father about the world coming to an end, the way the newspapers read. I guess we could all blog about it, but I'd rather leave that to the experts, or people like you, who find a good metaphor for the feeling of helplessness that a spiraling economy instills in a flu shot.

ME said...

Just to say I am not a coward and do not make snide remarks I am just straightforward and to the point. My name is Diane, do you really need a photo of me to see my face.

jen said...

i read your post and thought, hey, there's my friend. and then the comments section confused me, because you are anything but boring.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I guess that many of us are not writing about the crises because, like you, we're trying not to get caught up in hysteria. I think underneath it all I'm an optimist, and feel something will work out, even if we all have to pare back.

Paring back can be a very good thing. I know when I have fewer "things" in my life, I'm happier.

We've had a great deal in this society, and can probably live with a lot less.

I wasn't aware of your son's problems - I'm sorry I've been absent. I've been caught up with my mother's issues and a challenging fall for my son. I hope your son is doing better.

 

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