Ditties from the Info Desk: Seeking the Vaccine

A tall elderly man approaches the desk. Patrician in bearing, not a millimeter lost to the gravity of age.

“I’d like to find out how to get the vaccine.”

“Do you work at the hospital, sir?”

“No, but I’m seventy-five.”

“At this time, the hospital administers vaccines to health-care workers according to the governor’s priorities.”

“But I’d like to get one.”

“I suggest you review the guidelines to find your priority. Perhaps you can contact your physician.”

The gentleman gives me a look I’ve seen before, though usually from immigrants or non-English speakers, folks unfamiliar with American culture. A bafflement, an incomprehension of a world that mistreats him. He opens his mouth. I sense that he wants to protest, to argue, to have his way. But he can’t voice the injustice to me: another aging, albeit less distinguished looking, white guy. Besides, pubic displays of anger are likely not his style. The man turns and leaves. Withholding a polite, ‘thank you” is the extent of visible protest. But I feel his brain spin in disbelief. He is accustomed to being the first in line.


I staff the information desk at my local hospital a few days a week. The parade of people who enter a hospital provide fascinating glimpses into the vagaries of human experience. I occasionally share vignettes with my readers, stripped of identifying markers, which illustrate and sometimes delight.

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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