The Needle

A couple of weeks ago I got my second COVID shot. I rolled up my left sleeve and turned my head to the right. “Relax” said the young woman administering the vaccine. That’s usually the way it goes when I get a 
shot or get blood drawn.
As I sat in the car waiting the requisite 15 minutes, my mind flashed back to that day 55 years ago:

I was sitting with the rest of the high school band at the front of the stage with my piccolo in my lap. A senior anxious to move on to music school from Oceanside High on Long Island.
As is customary before an assembly, the band is required to play for the student body as they march in an  orderly fashion taking their seats in the auditorium.
A government issued film was shown that day; kind of a watered down version of ‘Reefer Madness’,bad acting and all.
The plot is straightforward: A young woman wanting to be accepted by the ‘in crowd’ is coaxed into smoking a joint. This first joint leads to more and more addictive drugs until finally the film’s not so surprising climax. Now we see the crowd is rowdier than ever.There is wild dancing and other seductive behavior.The peer pressure on our young protagonist is intense. Now the focus is on the young lady who  has the rubber tube  stretched tightly around her arm. One of her pals is aiming the needle full of heroine into her arm and...
The next thing I see is a thumb and forefinger circling around my face holding smelling salts. I realize that I’m flat on my back on the cold cement floor. The band is playing all around me and students are filing out of the auditorium. At this point, I’m too dazed and confused to feel embarrassed and humiliated.

Fortunately, most students avoided me anyway and I heard nothing about the incident from that point on..

Back at the healthcare center, my 15 minute wait time is  up. Another young lady checks in on me. No adverse side affects, so she  wipes off the time stamp from  my windshield and I’m on my way!

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