14 years sober and a hypodermic still causes her toes to curl, remembering the visceral need, the anticipation. Holding breath before the puncturing of skin, the inhalation the moment before the rush that negated everything. An abandoned building might was well be as good as a penthouse, the back of an old jalopy a limousine. The state of things or places only mattered before and after, but never during.
So watching her daughter get a flu shot, she flattens her feet and lets those memories slip away, knowing that holding onto them or pushing them away only gives them their own inescapable gravity. Instead she smiles at her daughter and wonders if she’ll have to explain any of this to her some day as she politely refuses the doctor’s offer to vaccinate her as well.