As I dream of summer break, I think about how part of winter break was about getting business done: post-Christmas cleaning, pre-tax season and end of semester filing, and dreaded errands and appointments. The most dreaded of these tasks: flu shot and annual mammogram. I try to think strategically. Which one do I want to do least? Which one will hurt the most? The answer is the same, so I go to get the flu short first. I half-lie when the cheerful nurse asks if I am sick. I am at the tail end of a cold, but I am going to cross this visit off my to do list today.
Because this is my first flu shot, “Joy” walks me through the steps verbally: “First I am going to pinch your arm; now, you should feel the cold liquid under the skin. All done.”
I realize two things as she practically offers me a lollipop:
- I shouldn’t have made the easy stop first.
- That was fast. I have plenty of time; I don’t need to rush to radiology.
So even though I have been lost in my own neighborhood (once or twice), I decide to take a tour through the corridors, mostly to see if I can find color and story, families in the throes of something interesting that I don’t quite understand.
In one of the narrow connecting bridges between buildings, I suddenly enter the blue at almost the same altitude as a soaring lion kite and several sailing others. These kites all seem so much bigger here. I am a small swallow in a fantastic aviary.