February 14, 2021:

Big middleschool gym. Very big — hard to imagine this many spectators for middleschool sports. Or school districts with money to pay for facilities like these. It's like an airplane hanger, down to the enormous sliding doors for its entrance.

The line begins outside. We're checked for proper masks. They'll give us them if need be. Inside our insurance cards are reviewed at reception tables and we're sorted randomly into four parallel lines.

When it's my turn I tell the nurse how happy I am to be there. It's a great relief to feel some sense of protection. Along with antidepressants, vaccines are a second reason to thank god for Big Pharma.

They require us to wait, afterwards. Fifteen minutes, in folding chairs in rows near the building's great towering doors. To demonstrate there'll be no reaction of catastrophic shock. I ask if anyone's experienced anaphylaxis at this location. The monitor declines to answer.

I'm fine. Everyone is fine. I feel a restrained sense of optimism, the first glimmer of positivity in over a year.