The day I got my kindergarten shots I remember sitting in a room with dim, humming fluorescent lights and orange berber carpet waiting.
Finally there was a nurse in a smaller, dimmer room. I think she told me to count to ten and it would be all done. It must have been true because my memory doesn’t mark her a liar.
I seem to recall some talk of my bravery. Most likely I was just too paralyzed with shyness to cry or show any kind of emotion.
I was very tired on the way home. I slipped and slipped until my cheek rested on the brown vinyl (or was it itch blue woven?) seat of the car.
I slept a long time. When I woke up it was nearly dinner time.
My search for playmates led me to the neighbor’s house.
There was a vacant lot between our house and the house next door. At the edge of our driveway was a two or so foot drop off to the brambly dirt expanse of the lot. There was an old wooden piece of crate that made a steep and splintery ramp. A very big kid could make the jump from the driveway to the ground below, but I wasn’t feeling much like a very big kid just then.
The splinters on the ramp and the barbed weeds that grew abundantly in that lot meant that the way next door was either long or perilous. I wanted to go play with my sister and the neighbor girls, and I had a choice ahead. There were three ways to get there:I could head to the back yard where the transition next door was smooth and grassy, go in the house find shoes and brave the stickery lot, or walk to the end of our driveway and cross the cattle guard so I could walk along the road and up the neighbor’s drive way.
This day I chose to walk over by way of the road.
We played “Ring Around the Rosie” there in the neighbor’s drive. My arm was so heavy, it was hard to lift it high enough to hold hands. When we let go to “all fall down” it flopped back to my side like heavy, soaked rag.
That’s where my memory of the day ends.
Zizza got her shots today. I wonder what she’ll remember.