Robot swimming summer jab: the Covid months pt. 15

I mean, what if we are nothing more than immensely sophisticated machines? Hear me out.

My programmed obsolescence appears to have kicked in. It’s a thing. Hi, face (and the rest of me), let me introduce you to gravity. Oh yeah, back, hips, you can’t bend now. Quick, deploy emergency pigeon and puppy pose. Hell, bring on the whole damn menagerie if it helps me to be as bendy as I was a mere four months ago. Ok, ok, a couple of years ago. Long gone are the days when you’d go out for the office Christmas do and, along with an equally flexible colleague, be photographed in each bar pulling a leg up past your ear, because you could. #GoodTimes. I dare not even think about doing the splits (my other party piece).

And I swear my eyes work differently. It’s like, before my birthday, they had a built in filter that rose tinted my reflection, and now the filter is fucked. I’m waiting for the upgrade. Is it coming? What button do I need to long press? And why are they so very small now? Who in the name of all the gods is that middle-aged woman in the mirror? So many questions.

I have more evidence of my theory. If you like your evidence like Trump supporters at a StoptheSteal rally. I went to the gym with a friend last Sunday, to spend time in the pool and use the spa facilities. We did an aqua class (fitting) with weird foam weight thingies. I enjoyed it, I thought I did ok, given I’d done sweet FA for the best part of 18 months, and I WAS IN LOVELY, GENTLE SUPPORTIVE WATER. The excruciating pain I experienced in my right shoulder and back during that Sunday night made me vow to always, from that moment forward, have drugs that could fell a horse in the house. I’m still suffering. What’s that all about? It was the bloody pool.

So, I guess I’m still waiting for those superpowers to kick in, eh Pfizer ^side eye^.

Last month my niece and nephew turned eighteen and I have informed them both that they must stop now, right where they are. Any more age is not possible for them. Stop it! When I spoke on the phone to my nephew on his birthday, a full grown bloke answered, and when my niece was explaining about her uni plans, I had a violent flashback to when they were both just bumps, which was like, a millisecond ago. Time, aahh time – I’d like to write something poetic about it. But I won’t, because it goes too fast and I am not at all happy about it.

It seems quite fitting to round off these Covid Months posts at number 15 (why?) and with the vaccine. The 25th of May was D-Day, or V-Day; and smooth as you like. An orderly queue – unheard of in any other situation – 10 minutes, in, registered, spaced, jabbed, out, breakfast at the cute little cafe behind the geography faculty vaccine centre during the 15 minutes we had to wait afterwards. Job done. I wasn’t sure, however, how reassuring the art was on the path where we were queuing. The staff were efficient, friendly and informative, and explained that I only need one dose as I had the virus last year. I don’t know why that should be good news, as I fear needles less now than I ever have in my life after this last year; but it was.

I felt like I did my little bit for the cause. Like, by allowing someone to stick a needle in my arm, I somehow contributed my tiny part in a monumental historical moment. Humour me.

We’ve been able to ditch the masks in the street since the 26th of June, so it does really feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is closer. I hope it’s not an oncoming train. Although, I have come to actually love the anonymity of masks, just as I enjoyed lockdown. Maybe a little too much. As with Zoom calls, everything in view is in order; good eyebrows and mascara – check, everything obscured – train wreck. So, it seems, my feral days are having to come to end. #SadTimes In preparation for the pool, I did a year’s worth of lady maintenance in twenty-four hours (it took that long), and now I’m re-learning how to apply makeup – with my aged misshapen claws. Le sigh.

Another month has passed, summer is here, teaching is winding down and socialising is cranking up. I’ve recently enjoyed the opening of a new art exhibition and a flamenco concert. Whoa there, Pank, steady on, you crazy hedonist.

Hey twenties me, you’ve changed.

Is it a good time to start feeling optimistic? *I think that, finally, it is.

*This statement, of course, inevitably spells disaster.

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