If we were sick we stayed at home in bed, drinking tea and eating toast. But then there were these shots we had to get, so there was no avoiding visiting Dr. G.'s office, which was on Lewis Street. Ground Floor of the building my parents had lived in when they began making a family, up the street from PS 110 where we went to school, across the street from Kozy Corner where I coveted the too expensive comic books.
The unbearableness of being stuck with thick heavy needles was only mitigated by a small bowl on his desk of Bazooka Bubble Gum.
Oh for two little girls whose parents had refused them sweets and candies and sodas and cakes except once a week at Gramma's house, that bowl was the holy grail we could claim by journeying through the hell of vaccinations.
The grasp around that small rectangle, the smell of something precious when pulling back the paper, the literary merits of the cartoon, the repeating of the joke on the bottom, the many methods of the first bite, either breaking it along the middle line, or popping all of it into the mouth or nibbling the edges or...
Doctor visits only happened once or twice a year and that gum had to last just a little bit longer than one day. So for as long as we could stand it my sister and I were allowed to stick our gum on the side of our bureaus and each day after school we would get to have that piece of bubble gum once again.
Within days or maybe even a week, the gum would become untenable. And so the wait for the next shot would begin.