Vaccine Day

It may have been divine timing or just my perception, but I’m sure it became instantly sunnier the morning I received my Covid-19 vaccine.

As I started the fifty minute drive home afterwards I could have sworn that the sun was warmer on my skin, the music louder, the roads wider and the air cleaner. It was a chilly English February day but I put the windows down to enjoy the rush of fresh air against my skin and took big gulping breaths. I hadn’t really breathed deeply for nearly twelve months.

Twelve months ago, on 12th February 2020, I had driven to work as usual, sat in my clients house for a few hours, unrestricted and unaware of what was to come, and drove home thinking about the local gig I had been to the night before. This day, twelve months later, after my vaccine I hightail it directly to our local GP to hand deliver the forms for my boyfriend’s registration, determined more than ever to get everyone in line for the jab.

The vaccine had made me feel different. I didn’t cry with relief, I didn’t whoop with joy, I didn’t crack open a bottle of bubbly or hug every person I saw in the supermarket on the way home… although I felt like it. But I did feel different.

It all softens:

The distance

The disconnection

The monotony

Four walls and

A video link: be gone!

It all softens

The relief comes to me quickly

One by one we will get there

Safety and sanity are nearby;

I can hear them whispering

I exhale and it all falls away:

The fear

The dodging

The flinching

The ‘you’re too close’

The tight chest

The friends who test positive

The friends of others’ who passed away

The stats quickly mounting

The worry

The waiting for our turn

It all softens

I exhale

One by one we will get there

Safety and sanity are nearby;

They are made of science

It all softens

Now I allow myself to dream into the future again; just the simple things. Maybe there will be that time again when I will perch on the arm of a sofa in a pub, wedged between my friends and a table of strangers and a friend will arrive unexpectantly, tap my shoulder and I’ll squeal with surprise and delight at her face, all glittered and glossy and glam. I’ll fall into her embrace, one glass of bubbly leaning me into a tight wonky hug and the strangers will glance over, not in judging suspicion but in warm recognition. Then we will sit two of us on the same arm of the sofa where moments ago was just me already squeezed and we will share our simple stories of why we were out that night – me: a friend’s birthday at the yummy new Greek restaurant and I’ll rave about the dolmades, you: leaving drinks for a colleague you barely knew. We will gossip of unimportant treasures of our lives; the moments which matter least and count for the most. We will keep it light because the heaviest days are past and because the bubbly sparkles in our eyes, and well, because we’re giddy just to be there. When they ring the bell for last drinks there will be a communal groan across the whole pub yet secretly we will all be happy to return home to bed as we’re still re-adjusting to the new-familiar-normal. As I leave the pub I will see a friend leaving with a new bae, met that very night, and I see her skin electric with expectancy; touch, finally! I will share a taxi with strangers going in the same direction, fall asleep in my man’s arms, content with all the tiny unimportant memories of the night. I will sleep deeply, dreaming of open borders and seeing my family again.

So, yes, maybe there will be that time again; that time when it’s all soft again.

It all softens and I exhale.

One thought on “Vaccine Day

  1. What an inspiring and insightful piece of writing kid. My vaccination can’t come quickly enough now. Looking forward with great anticipation for all those borders to be open and the chance to experience again more of that serene English countryside, the fascination of new and foreign places that we can share together and to meet the new people that now provide a loving and important role in your life. Let’s hope it is soon!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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