Second Vaccine Shot

I park in the bowels of the Oregon Convention Center. I am here for my second shot of Pfizer. It’s noon on a weekday.

I am wearing blue corduroys, a plaid Western shirt and black suede converse tennis shoes.

This is my third time here and it’s always been smooth sailing.

I approach the entrance carrying a pen and spiral notebook and behold a line a hundred people long! What the hell? There was no such line in previous visits. I strolled through with Dad twice and my first shot.

It occurs to me that the last line of this length I waited in was for Bruce Springsteen concert tickets in the Born in the USA days.

I’m in line, moving, taking notes. No one is talking to one another. All phone action. Will we ever speak to one another in lines again?

After the shot, I’m going to celebrate with pizza and a Fort George Ale.

The line is moving much faster than Springsteen.

Some thoughts: do celebrities wait in lines such as this one?; it smells like is medicinal alcohol in the stairwell; I still can’t believe that 45% of evangelical Christians refuse to get vaccinated.

I’m inside the Center. The set-up has completely changed from a week ago. Why?

They keep making announcements about no photography inside the Center unless taken at the designated Selfie Center. There is signage everywhere saying the same thing. Naturally it is willfully violated and that about sums up some people’s understanding of citizenship.

I notice people wearing concert t-shirts…Pink Floyd. White Stripes. I have never worn a concert t-shirt. I do have a concert t-shirt story, however, a pink Cheap Trick one.

Ahead of me, a large, tattooed, pink-haired woman scantily clad in black wears a t-shirt with large glittered white letters that reads: Fancy as Fuck.

What the fuck does that mean? Maybe I misread it. Maybe it reads Fancy a Fuck? Who the fuck knows?

I find myself growing weary of American culture. But I can’t drop out yet. One day, though, and a return to driftwood ford building.

I keep zigging and zagging and I find myself directly behind the Fancy as Fuck woman and her friend, who is similarly scantily clad in black and sports black lipstick as well. I’m social distancing as I move and catch snippets of their conversation. They are some employed in some branch of the sex trade. Or were.

I am not making this up. Portland, you know?

I get the shot from a pleasant nurse named Jane. Yes, Lou Reed comes to mind when she tells me her name. No pain at all.

She informs me they have 8400 shots scheduled for today.

I am sitting in a chair for 15 minutes to see if there are any side effects. Around me, people watch movies and sports highlights. I can hear their programs.

I write.

Eight minutes to go. I am feeling nothing strange so far.

Will all this make a difference?

I might not know for years, if ever.

It’s about time to go. I feel immense pride at getting vaccinated. I feel like I completed a profound duty.

I wonder if people who reject the vaccine feel the same.