I am feeling Keatsian today. My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense. You might easily assume that like the poet I had run into a nightingale on my morning walk. But the truth is more prosaic.
The drowsy numbness comes from the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine. The drowsiness since I barely slept last night excited at what was to come today. And the numbness, brief and gone, following that jab.
And what of the aching heart you ask? Well, I put it in there for effect. Poetic licence, I believe it is called.
You had to be over 60 or over 45 and the proud possessor of a morbidity to get to the head of the queue. That’s when the phone calls started.
"I have two morbidities, but I need only one; can I interest you in the other?" a friend of a friend who thought I was 45 and needed help called with the offer. Another had a different proposition.
"Can I give you my diabetes and hypertension," he asked, claiming he qualified on age but was married to someone who – unfortunately, under the circumstances – was some years yet from the qualifying mark and didn’t have a morbidity to speak of. Love is all about sacrifice, after all.
I feel like a decathlete who has completed half his events as I wait for my second jab. Soon I will be allowed to drive into the neighbouring state, won’t have to work from home and keep away from weddings.
Not sure if that will change much, though. I don’t drive, I have been working from home for years now, and I keep away from weddings. It was all they could do to convince me to attend my own.
"What is the first thing you will do when this is all over and you won’t have to wear a mask any more?" someone asked.
I suspect I would have grown so used to the mask that I shall miss it and go back to wearing it again. Like Linus’s security blanket in the comic strip, I might need to keep on my security mask. It also means that I won’t have to shave regularly, or smile at people I don’t like.
There might be a problem, though, if I go to my bank wearing a mask. It is disconcerting to have the tellers put their hands in the air and give you the money.
But the future will take care of itself. Meanwhile, I ask like Keats: Was it a vision or a waking nightmare? Fled is that virus – Do I wake or sleep?