The pain in my head is not real. You can't see it, after all.
Much like the Electric Slide, it must be felt to be fully appreiciated. Only I believe duplicating the feeling in another person is a felony in this state.
When I was six years old, I sat behind a chair in the living room crying on my cat's shoulder about how my head hurt. I used to throw up a lot after getting off the bus that would take me home.
When I was nine I watched High Road To China in my room while the wood stain on the cabinets dried. By the time the credits were rolling and the plane behind them was dipping and spinning, so was my head.
I remember my worst migraines more clearly than happiness. Fortunately sometimes they overlap. I traveled cross country once. It was something to see. Only the scenery whizzing by--flickering by--triggered a migraine. This spawned the hilarious tale of the white bag of powder I pulled out of my bag to deal with the nausea. It was only baking soda, and luckily it was only during Desert Storm, when people weren't encouraged to be vigilant in there alertness, so I went on to my destination and made it home again without being arrested. Unlike poor Pee Wee Herman, whose mugshot in a paper I remember fixating on instead of the sun filtered through trees outside the window of the train.
A year before I'd ridden an hour in a car and videotaped most of the ride. Watching it back later triggered a migraine. I didn't know about the baking soda yet and spent most of the next day throwing up. I heard the movie my grandfather was watching in the other room, that Keanu Reeves movie about the school production of the HMS Pinafore getting hijacked by a student's death. Permanent Record, it was called. Later that night Nan and I watched Leviathan. I thought it was hilarious that the first symptom of mutating into a deep sea creature of DOOM was vomiting and itching. I didn't recall drinking any deep sea vodka, however.
I can't drink, I've never done any drug stronger than a half dose of an over-the-counter allergy pill, and yet when I have to walk after driving somewhere on a sunny day, I stagger around like the most wasted freak on the planet.
I wouldn't say my life has been wasted. Hijacked, derailed, kicked off course, sure. But it's me. Maybe it's what I was meant to know this time around. Maybe my lesson is to accept that I'm mortal, and weak.
I keep it to myself most of the time. What I feel can't be seen. What I want is to fit in with everyone else, watch the shaky movies with the lights out, play the spinning games without having to look away, go somewhere and not end up crying in some dark souvenir shop, smell meat cooking and not need to run outside. None of that will never happen. People who notice tell me to feel better. I thank them, even though I know it will never happen.
This past weekend another one hit me. It was one of the bad ones. I knew it was coming, and ignored the signs until they would not be ignored any longer, like Glenn Close with a frikkin' carving knife, just with less nookie beforehand. It was hot, mind you, in the house anyway, and I had watched The Clone Wars the night before and the Golden Globes that night, maybe spending four hours in one sitting in front of a flickering computer screen. What did I expect to happen? It's almost like I long for the times when I sit in my dark room with my earplugs in, sometimes listening to music, sometimes listening to British comedy, never forgetting those flickers of my life when I could have been creating something lasting.
The pain lets me know I'm alive.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009