My arm has been engorged with the Pfizer vaccine. The process of getting vaccinated was remarkably similar to going to the polls. You get to follow arrows on the ground going from the ID verification clerk to the line-up before getting shown to a booth. You also get offered a sticker to declare yourself a good citizen!
Except, Elections Canada doesn’t expect their voters to wait fifteen minutes after voting before leaving the building in case of an allergy reaction. The mass jabbing was so deliciously fluid. Nobody had to wait long and all the vaccination booths seemed to always be occupied. The nurses had paddles that they held up when they were ready for the next victim: green for go, red for no, and yellow for brb potty break, probably.
Tragically, the two days that followed Saturday’s noble jab were sunshine-filled and fraught with nausea, with a side of a sore arm. Those were my two days off. Although, the twenty minutes of sun I didn’t miss out on, I got burnt.
Do you know the saying about how it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown? Well, I’ve figured out an even easier way to smile at people: squint. Squinting your eyes looks indistinguishable from smiling from behind a mask.
I feel like the increase in demand for instant gratification has stripped people of the patience to communicate with me.
I had a dream this morning about getting into an altercation with two unfamiliar old ladies who insisted on communicating with me verbally through their masks. I responded, on paper, reminding them that I, too, would love to communicate seamlessly with the public, but because I dared to get sick as a child, I don’t get to do this. Think about it, I continued scribbling, you can’t deal with what I have to do 99% of the time, for five minutes. One of the ladies started bleeding at the fingertip and scribbled her response in blood, accusing me of being disrespectful, thus summoning the manager.
What a sinister bitch!
But that was a dream. In reality, I’ve had many people simply walk away from me upon learning that I can’t understand them even if they start yelling at me from behind their masks. The correct response from me is: “Fuck them.” But when it starts happening regularly, there are some days where I go, “Fuck me, right?”
I don’t like that I’m a misanthropist, but it’s hard not to be when you’re confronted with rude, ignorant people routinely. On the contrary, when strangers do something as simple as sign “thank you,” it brings me joy. This is an everyday interaction most people are accustomed to, but for me, it’s like, “Wow, you’re treating me like everybody else. You’re practically the kindest stranger I’ve interacted with all day. If not all week.”
I’m still around. But, I wasn’t for a while. Yann and I–like everybody else–had to scale back our vacation plans for the year. We still wanted to leave town, so the obvious option was to spend a week on the mainland, where there are more people, and consequently, more infected people.
Our vacation included a few non-vacationy activities. I got my hair cut, skin pumped full of pigment, and made a trip to Ikea.