It was an ordeal.
I entered the facility with foreboding. In the parking lot outside was a flatbed whose cargo was comprised of syringes the size of the Alaskan pipe line. It was every needle-phobiac’s worst nightmare. The anticipation filled me with dread and trembling.
I miss Dennis. He would take me to unpleasant procedures such as this and assure me I would neither puke nor projectile faint. He had the power of suggestion, and I always believed him. Consequently, I did neither. However, he often neglected to remind me not to swear, which I did prolifically, frequently inventing new sequences for old obscenities with each injection. For some reason, Dennis never appeared chagrined or humiliated. In fact, he seemed amused at my gift for articulating the profane. It pleased me to make him proud. In the whole anatomy of life, he made me feel buxom.
Prior to that long, lonesome drive to purgatory, I concentrated on hydrating myself. I don’t know why exactly. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. It was only as I was strapped into the procedure chair with no visible means of escape, that I realized what a really bad idea hydration was. So many prayers of late pivot around remaining continent.
Allison, the tech, detected my apprehension. Perhaps it was the bulging cartoon eyes protruding from a face contorted into an African war mask. Penetrating feloniously spasmodic muscle layers with her pitiless needle appeared doubtful under the circumstances. Her efforts to distract me from impending doom were counterintuitive and purely ornamental. I was sure we were at an impasse.
I’m a little embarrassed in hind sight. It’s strange how one’s perception of oneself is at odds with actuality. I was determined to approach this ordeal like a Tibetan Warrior Monk, a veritable cinder-block fortress of disembodied heroism, simmering with power and unlimited possibility, a welterweight werewolf under a full moon, with the talons of a bird of prey, lean, spare, and coiled…stupid with human endurance. I. AM. WOMAN.
Ah, despite the resolution, the flesh was weak.
But then Allison performed a brilliant tactical maneuver. It was simple really. She merely mentioned she’d read Brodi’s book, and could I tell her more about the characters and on whom they were based.
Well, it was a game-changer. I began to talk, confessing things I swore never to reveal in a shameless expose. I told every confidence except where they hid Jimmy Hoffa’s remains. As I rambled on, I could feel the tension go out of my neck. My entire torso morphed into post-Dennis flab, drooping and sagging down the side of the chair like pulsating glacial slag until it puddled in a shiny mound of pink gelatinous petroleum jelly at my feet…like Mick Jagger’s lips melted in a bunson burner.
Allison was then able to puncture my ceps (I was unable to determine if they were “bi” or “tri,”) and inject the magic fluid to my entire bodily regions. And it was done. Mission accomplished. I was inoculated!
At the conclusion, I wanted to celebrate with relief. I felt like I’d just been liberated from my emotional long winter woollies. I wanted to boing around like I was in a moon bounce.
In my euphoria, I suggested some sort of closing ceremony was warranted…perhaps with arm splints and the Purple Heart. Allison felt strongly that four Scooby Do boo-boo strips and an Angry Bird sticker was reasonable. I conceded.
Best of all, throughout the whole ordeal, I never uttered a single vulgarity – not even one. Boo Yah!
So bring on the planet, with its pertussises, polysaccharides and conjugations. I’m ready.
I think Dennis would be proud.