I had a migraine a few days ago.
Not the kind I used to get when I was young, a blinding, debillitating pain that wracked my cortex for a day and a half and made me throw up, or want to, and took me out of commission for days afterward. I don’t get those anymore, but I still get migraines.
At least I think that’s what they are. It’s in my head, so no one can see what I see, and no one can tell me what I have. But I had a swirling, shifting, writhing, silvery blind spot in the middle of my field of vision, which over the course of forty minutes moved out to the edges and eventually went away, leaving my eyes unwilling to look at anything bright, my ears unwilling to listen to anything loud and my head full of gravelly cement.
These vestiges are still with me three days later. Everything is difficult. I walk the halls with my eyelids drooping, almost closed. My job, which is child’s play, seems impossible. Driving on the freeway I find my car rushing up to the back of other cars who aren’t going the right speed. In the mirror, my face is haggard and colorless. I wonder who I am, who is this man who can’t do anything, who can’t stay awake and can’t sleep. There’s a piece missing from the middle, an empty place where my identity should be.
I’ve been through this before, once or twice a year, and each time I am grateful that it isn’t worse, like when I was twenty-five, and I had to go to bed and hope for sleep because no amount of aspirin would help. I always wondered what brought these things on, and I never found out. I’m just glad that I no longer wake up disoriented, dirty and disheveled, in an alley behind a cantina in Juarez.
Fellow sufferers, tell me of your pain, as misery loves company.