I got the first Pfizer vaccination shot yesterday, and these were the side effects. They began before I got the actual jab. I was all signed up and sitting in a chair outside the little pharmacy kiosk at Walgreens. Something momentous was about to happen to me, I knew. Science. But it was more than that. Some phase was about to end and some new one about to begin. Bubbly, fruity music was playing, and every now and then a voice that reminded me of airports came over the intercom, announcing a special on hair conditioner or greeting cards. In the back of my mind I could hear the piercing howl of Roy Batty at the end of Bladerunner, when he was capering through Sebastian’s rotting building. That probably meant something, that my subconscious produced that, but maybe not. A small woman emerged from behind a screen and called my name. I was the only one waiting. I followed her back.
“Left or right arm?” she asked after some brief chit chat.
“Left.” The scene would grow strange from here, I knew. She would be giving me an injection directly into either the snarling wolf head tattoo on my left arm (it also has no eyes) or into the ancient witchy tribal tattoo with an unfortunate tomahawk scar through it on my right. I selected the wolf head for her. Conversation dropped off as expected. Done, I walked back through the Walgreens, still listening to myself, straining to hear that larger thought that is sometimes the byproduct of moments like this. Dozens came and went in a rapid flurry as I stepped outside. I had a peaceful quarantine period. I want that part to continue. But this rings true- The world just endured the downside of connectivity. A virus spread across the globe. We all had to stay home. The upside of connectivity is now at hand. Its time to see the world again. Time to see more of it this time. This virus beat ever traveler I’ve ever met. We’re all connected, we knew that already, but now, more than ever, it seems clear that the only thing separating any of us from a distant place with a different kind of sunrise is the will to go. The road to everywhere is right there.