Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hunter moon

Moon #10

The month since the last moon has been turbulent, at least for me. I sit down to write about one thing only to have another hundred topics start screaming for attention. I've started uncounted times, deleting the text each time because I'd start drifting over to something else, which left me thinking that maybe what I ought to do is just write that stream of consciousness, but I'm not going to do that to you, even if the editor will blanch over this somewhat long sentence that I've used to tell you about my pathetic trials and tribulations, none of which interest anyone and all of which put me in this spot.

So to break me loose, the news is droning about the current crop of presidential candidates. Laundry is in the washer that will need to get to the dryer long before I finish here. Recycling is ready to go. The trash is stinking, and also needs to go out. Dishes are stacked in the sink, soaking in hot water. Potato soup simmers on the stove. That should be enough ammunition to kill off each encroaching distraction. If not, you'll be in trouble in a page or two.

Let's jump in.

Some 15 years ago, Danger needed his vaccinations, three or four, I don't recall. You need to know I'm firm in my conviction regarding the importance of vaccinations. These are not negotiable. Suppose there is a small likelihood of some problem following a vaccination. Now, contrast that problem with whooping cough or polio. I see no reasoning that would cause me to withhold the vaccinations.

The spousal unit had taken the children for most, if not all, of the previous vaccinations, and it was with Danger that she decided I needed to experience this event myself. Such the blessing.

Danger and I rode in my little Ranger truck to the county clinic for the shots. We had an appointment for about 10 A.M. On the drive over, I reminded him that after we finished in the clinic, we would go to the grocery store where he could select whatever he wanted for a snack, and I assured him that I did mean whatever he wanted, at least to the limit of my ability to pay. He nodded that he understood this with a matter-of-fact look on his face.

I parked at the far end of the parking lot. That's a habit from years ago. It's not to promote additional walking, though it does. The idea is to have an easier time parking. We walked over to the covered sidewalk and into the building. I was wearing worn nylon running shorts, rundown ASICS with rolled athletic socks, a raggedy t-shirt, and a faded bandana. Danger was dressed for safari. Creased shorts with many pockets, webbed belt with a shining brass buckle, contrasting knit shirt tucked in at the waist, hiking boots with wool socks, and a fedora.

Yep. One old hippie. One young flyboy.

We waited on a couch until we were called. I completed the paperwork, and the nurse signed her part. The maternal unit had told me all the formalities would be completed before the shots were given. Danger stood quietly by my side while this happened. With the last of the papers in the folder, the nurse pointed to the side of the table, to a straight-back chair with vinyl covering on cold steel tubing.

Danger sat on my lap, turned to the side, his legs perpendicular to mine, his back to the table. Behind him, the nurse lined up the shots. I curled my left arm up his back, putting my hand around his shoulder and upper arm, pulling him lightly to encourage his head to move to my left shoulder. His head resisted a little because he was curious, but he didn't object. He didn't fight. My right arm dropped low to cover his legs below his knees, which were bent over my right thigh. I held his left leg in my right hand.

I didn't squeeze. I just held tight. I'm not sure if that was for me or for him. The nurse popped him in the thighs with those shots in seconds. I do not know how she did it. The Kmart PharmD who gave me a flu shot last year could use some of that technique, not that she will ever have the opportunity to give me another.

In the time it took to administer the shots, Danger inhaled most of the room's air, and let forth with a wail that likely broke every heart within the ten-mile radius it covered. The nurse nodded the finish, and I broke for the door, Danger in my arms, his head three feet deep into my shoulder sobbing as though all he knew to be right and holy had been revealed as lies and deception.

He wasn't the only one in this dyad sobbing, and the procession of moms arriving with more children scurried past us lest they catch it too.

We had walked back and forth. No one paid any attention to us. They knew without asking. In some 15 minutes, we were calm again, and finally, we were back in the truck. We put on some Jimmy Buffett. We cranked up the volume and rolled down the windows. Vaccinations be damned; we had candy to find.

We stopped at the Harris Teeter that was about halfway home. He did not answer my questions regarding what he might want. I was thinking I could get us in and out of the store a little quicker, but he was intent on exploring. I started on the candy aisle. We walked down it, and then back up. He didn't see what he wanted, but at the top of the aisle, he took another direction, and I followed. We wound up in baking. Icing, I thought. Nope, not icing. He stopped at the sugar section, pointed, and I subsequently paid for a box of generic Harris Teeter brand sugar cubes.

He worked on that box for well over a week. The maternal unit didn't say a word, but I'm pretty sure she thought one or two.


  1. How well I remember vaccinations, my own, my daughter's and grandson's. Wil the trauma never end?

    You're a good Dad, Jim. What I wouldn't have given for a box of sugar cubes after all those needles!

    Wonderful piece of art - the hunter moon is a blood moon, which this piece represents beautifully.

  2. I dread every shot day in Izzy's future. A necessary evil, I suppose.