Maybe it was the cigar I had earlier in the day. It was strong, I will admit. Plus just coming off a road trip was taxing. A trip I had looked forward to as much as a rattlesnake giving me a French kiss.
I was in my front office. Now everyone was sleeping, except me. It was 1:32 AM.
Earlier I had a blazing headache toward the end of the day, right around supper time or dinner if you prefer. The pain was so searing that a tear welled up in my right eye and quickly ran down my cheek. I stood by the sink and E asked if there was anything she could do. No words passed my lips. I stared at the corner of the multi-colored granite slab. Just at the corner. I could feel the pain striking into my head. It would not go away.
I opened the right kitchen cabinet where we keep the Tylenol and without any supper in my stomach, I opened the cap and let three caplets fall into my hand. Immediately I opened the refrigerator and opened a bottle of Ice Mountain water – the only water I will drink – unscrewed the flimsy cap and downed the cold liquid until I felt the pain killers sink into the pit of my stomach. Crunching them allows them to take effect quicker. But often the resultant bitterness is too nasty for my tolerance.
I just walked away from the slab of swirled stone and headed into the bedroom. No words. It was dark. Daylight saving’s time you know. I lied down on the bed. I never took my shoes off. Never told anyone where I was going. Supper (sout’side) was almost ready, but the piercing pain in my head began to mimic the rhythm of the beating of my heart. Annoying. A machine.
The edge was not smoothed out by the pills. My impatience didn’t help. Even as I tried to force my eyes to close it was just making the pain worse. My body could not chill. It took several minutes for the rest of my muscles, my nerves, my electronic impulses to become relaxed. The chaotic cacophony of different directions was beginning to slow, leading my body to stillness. Yet, the pain was still that of a two-inch needle being forced into my skin and the loose metal thread scratching through my skull with the full feeling of fingernails on a blackboard that was ten thousand miles long.
Slowly, as a lollipop melts on a hot sidewalk from the heat of the sun, I began to feel the stick being removed from the gooey mess by no one in particular. It just levitated out leaving a warmness and it was then I think I fell into a moment of deep REM sleep. I never moved again for three hours.
The sharp pain in my chest woke me out of that deep sleep. What was once the pain in my head seemed to slither into my esophagus activating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. But I’m used to that. At least the headache was gone.
A pasty, soft banana and a few slices of cinnamon toast allowed my body to begin to right itself. I had been unconscious and had slept into the normal hours of sleep. I was not tired. I was anxious. Wanting something. I tried to read and flipped through the pages of Art in America. It was my moody emotional state. Flip. Flip. Flip. I was still drained? What to do?
Finish watching “Unbreakable.” A wise choice. Satisfying my curiosity how it would end from the other night when I first let the disc silently slide into its slit and began to view the DVD. Oddly, only after the ending credits did I read the detailed description of the machinations of the surreal plot and its sick twist at the end that would make anyone cringe in terror at what Elijah did to find himself in a world seemingly gone crazy allowing his obsession to attach meaning to his existence – even at the expense of the destruction of the lives of hundreds of others.
What we do to feel alive. Brrrrrrr.