You have entered the realm of a writer.

Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Painful Day

Wake Up... Wake Up... Wake Up...

My body is moving slowly today. Eyes bleary with pain and head pounding just above my eyes, I reach over to turn off my alarm which begs me to Wake up. Don't be late. GET OUT OF BED! I turn and force my alarm clock to snooze and roll over, attempting to comfort the pulsing pain behind my forehead. Slowly, for a few minutes, darkness descends the white-hot prickling and pinching and protruding pain and I'm comfortable again.

Wake Up... Wake Up... Wake Up...

Fifteen minutes have gone by. Time to really get up. I have to be at work in thirty minutes.

After a quick shower and an even faster preparation, the cool early morning air rushes over my face as I walk towards the car. The humidity presses against my forehead and stimulates the headache once more. Looking down seems to help a bit so my vision is shifted to the ground. It's black, course, and broken by lines of black tar. Shadows appear between orange light spilling at odd angles across my path. It's still too early.

The sun hasn't come up yet and the silver light of the moon isn't mingling with the streetlights. Without looking I know it's cloudy. Perhaps the pressure is causing this congestion to be worse than normal, even with the news from the doctor, which came only yesterday. Ignoring the raucous thudding of my lightly treading shoes, I make it to my car. An echo resounds as I unlock the door and slide into the driver's seat. "This is going to be a long day..." I say to Phineas, my 2005 Kia. I turn the ignition and a volcano explodes somewhere in the engine. I close my eyes. Lean forward. The pressure stops.

Suddenly, I'm sitting in front of my store and shivering in my car. The clock says 4:25 and no-one else is hear yet. Well, there is my headache keeping me company, and perhaps that's why I can't remember driving to work. Sarah McLachlan is playing softly in the background, singing of an unattained love that made her famous. It's soothing... and loud... but I keep it on to remind me of something happy. A wind rocks my car like the giant waves of a hurricane sweeping down on the shore. "Oh, just stop..." I whisper while bringing my cold hand to my feverish forehead.

Headlights flash in the rear-view mirror and a large, gray Dodge is turning into the parking lot. 4:28 and right on time. I get out of my car, gingerly avoiding an earthquake. Humbly hanging my head in a mock attempt to simply look tired, I make it to the door and manage to walk inside without screaming in frustration. The headache is getting worse...

When we make it into the back room, I'm faced with a physical manifestation of my brain. Cluttered, with boxes filled with heavy liquids and powders able to fog the air. They're sitting there, ominously... tortuously making it harder to move around and relax and rest apart from the sales floor. My head pounds louder as my blood pressure rises a little. "Well then..."

Ellen seems to know something's wrong. "Oh don't worry about. It'll get done eventually."

My scratchy voice groans a little as I shuffle off to take care of the opening tasks. The three of us work well together: an all-star team it appears, even if it's short one player; but it won't be short one player. I'm at work. I have to work. I'm getting paid to work.

A hot iron poker lunges into my head and the lights grow brighter by the second. I sit down to count the money and start assigning tasks for my crew.

"Everything okay?" Mandy asks cautiously. "I don't like seeing you like this..."

"No, not really. I've got a splitting headache..." I look up at her. Mandy's eyes are tight in the corners, her mouth slightly open in a stressed way, head tilted just a little off balance inquisitively. "I'm sorry... I'm probably not going to be much use this morning."

She steps forward and places a hand on my shoulder. "We'll be alright. Don't want you dieing on us or anything."

The simple statement and touch soothes me a little, clearing away the immediate sting and washing it down to a mild numbing beat as constant as my heart. Moving off to continue the open, sidestepping boxes and squeezing through tight spaces, Mandy and Ellen rush to get things done. Molasses holds me to a different pace, coupled with fear of an unknown predator lurking in my mind. Somehow, we manage to open on time leaving two hours before a chance I'll be relieved of work.

And that two hours is hell.

Every step is like thunder berating my brow. Every bending and twisting movement is a tornado ripping my skin into shreds atop my swollen forehead. The noises of the coffee shop are cathedral bells ringing ten feet away. The lights from above are paparazzi flashes. Even the touch of my cold hands gently rubbing feels like an arctic breeze freezing my thoughts. Sitting and standing and walking put different pressures on my head and all I can hope is that working will pass this hell faster.

Two hours passes and I'm able to put away the boxes, mostly; and after allowing Ellen and Mandy to take their short breaks, I'm able to finally relax myself for a few minutes and pull myself together a bit.


They stream down my face as soon as I sit down in the back. The pain, which through time I've learned to suppress to a large degree, overwhelms me and I can't see. I can't think. I can't move. There's ten minutes available for me to surrender to these feelings. Ten minutes to let it all out and hope the resulting overload of chemicals in my brain will help me push myself to work. Ten minutes to allow myself to be weak.

Twenty go by, and suddenly I hear the family jingle of keys and a low voice talking on a cell phone enter the back room with me. Wiping my face clean and dabbing my nose, I keep my head down so she can't see my obviously red eyes.

She asks the wrong question!

"How are you doing Josh?"

The walls break again and my head pounds with renewed embarrassment. "Not well..."

"Oh God! Why didn't you call me?" She knows it's a migraine the size of Texas' ego. "Can you drive home?"

"No. But I was going to see if someone at home could come and get me." I'm blubbering. I've lost all control of my eyes, my nose, my mouth, my words, and my body. I'm standing, walking stumbling around looking for my things as Jenny tries to usher me out so she can take me home.

She talks to me, comforting me, I think... but I can't comprehend what she's saying. Stepping out to the floor I see our Pastor Karl looking concerned at my red face. I try to smile to reassure him that everything's really okay and not to worry. I yell something over to the girls as they work diligently to provide our customers with a wonderful experience... even with my waterworks rushing past them.

A gray world reveals itself outside, and the reverberating light stings my eyes. A gray mood overcomes me as I cry all the way to the car. A gray understanding of what to say and what to do decides my conversation as I apologize over and over again to Jenny as she drives me home.

Gray eyelids block out the world as I lay in bed. Sleep dissolves my awareness of the pain, and I'm gone for hours until the sun shines in my room around noon.

No comments:

Post a Comment