I Got Pfizer Shot #2 And It Was Pretty Interesting
I got my second shot spur of the moment. I was supposed to get it Thursday, but I had plans to interview someone on Friday. So I went in Monday to see if I could do it Wednesday and the woman at the vaccine place, a former pub, actually, was like, how about now? I said sure. It was 2:30 p.m.
I went home and made a big salad and cleaned up. I put new sheets on the bed and got into it about 7 p.m.because I felt I had a good excuse. Physically I was tired. Mentally, I was wide awake, maybe even mentally aggressive. A friend sent me an edit they’d gotten. She said she felt overwhelmed. I am not overwhelmed, I said. I am here to serve! I felt good and alive but also a little fuzzy — I had a vision but it was hard to put it into words. I wrote a lot of stuff like “tk tk here talk about your brother tk stuff about school, etc. now go back to the trip and be like OMG WHAT A COOL TRIP WOW SO FUN and then get mad again about everything again but also resigned— you get it right?”
At around 10:30 p.m. I started to get chills. I took a Xanax and had weird dreams about department stores and mountains. When I woke up in the morning I felt chilly and semi-feverish and had a headache but also still possessed this strange sense of energy.
I drank black coffee in bed and decided I was going to report and write an entire short magazine story. I went full speed for about two hours and then at around noon suddenly realized I felt awful. I let my computer slip to the floor and began to groan.
I called T. “I feel awful,” I said. He asked if I needed him to come home. I said I was Ok, I just wanted someone to feel sorry for me. He said that he did feel sorry for me and I was able to move on ahead into just feeling sick.
I took Tylenol…useless. I lay there for two hours. My body just hurt. I can’t really explain it other than to say I just felt bad and my body hurt and I couldn’t think and I couldn’t sleep either. I kept trying to find something good to watch. I tried that horrible French Netflix show Madame Claude, the clothes were good, the rest, c’était ridicule. I tried watching Trigonometry, but the script had too much exposition. “SHOW DON’T TELL,” I shouted and then shut it off.
I was suddenly starving. I needed gingerale and braised tofu, nothing else sounded appetizing in the least, but that, I could eat piles of braised tofu, yes sir. But Asian Garden didn’t have ginger ale, so I couldn’t DoorDash it. Luckily a friend of mine was willing to get me Asian Garden and go somewhere else for gingerale. While I was waiting for her I remembered I had some Alka- Seltzer Plus Cold & Flu. Why had I not thought of this? I had bought it months ago in case I got real COVID — surely it would work for fake mini COVID on purpose.
It seemed an eternity waiting for the water to boil to make my exciting medicine beverage. Even as I was drinking it I felt my body relax and let go of much of its discomfort. I had forgotten how much love Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Flu. It is magic. I love the addition of the word “SEVERE” on the box, blue on a yellow banner.
My food arrived. I ate like a beast and started to watch The Victim, because Kelly Macdonald is in it. I am obsessed with Kelly Macdonald. She is perfect. The Victim is pretty silly but it does have some narrative tension, which is important to me.
By 10 p.m. I felt sick again, worse than ever. T. was in the other room watching videos about how to choose a computer with a quiet fan because who wants a loud fan, and also, I have a fan noise issue. Every half hour I summoned him in for the sole purpose of telling him how bad I felt. T. told me maybe I should take more Alka Seltzer but I said I had only taken it five hours ago and this is when he did this brillant thing where he READ THE INSTRUCTIONS that said you can take Tylenol every four hours. So I washed a Xanax down with more and felt reasonably less than awful again. And I just lay there and watched my show feeling like just a pair of eyes and ears and 1/10 of a mind. “Kelly Macdonald,” I whispered to my computer, “Tell me how you are still so beautiful. Tell me why your hair still matches your eyes.”
When I woke up I was some approximation of fine. “It kind of feels like you time traveled and came back from the future with a superpower that you are not sure what to do with,” is how my friend Erika described it, and I think this is correct. With my superpower I would love to do something to get the rest of the world this vaccine. What the fuck? I heard on NPR today — I only listen to it once a week, on the way back from the shrink, for a good laugh — that the United States is “lucky” to have so many vaccines. Lucky! That’s an interesting way of describing why the United States has more vaccines than other countries. It reminds me of Kelly Macdonald talking to Javier Bardem at the end of No Country For Old Men:
Carla Jean Moss: You don’t have to do this.
Anton Chigurh: People always say the same thing.
Carla Jean Moss: What do they say?
Anton Chigurh: They say, “You don’t have to do this”.
Carla Jean Moss: You don’t.