This Screaming Skull

I focus on her eyes. I always remembered that much – kind eyes. Blue eyes. Red hair. Of which I have neither. These are recessive genes. As I dig deeper, I learn that redheads feel pain more acutely. Is she one of them? Will higher doses of anesthetic be needed to feel the effect?

Do doctors know this and practice it? I’ll have to ask the next time I’m in the Emergency Room. They’ll think I’m weird. Weirder and weirder every time I go back. Inevitably, I go back. The aura comes, and the countdown begins.

Sometimes, it’s like a thunderclap that deafens the ears and the mind. I have no time to brace. I’m on the floor, tense, convulsing, seizing.

Sometimes, it’s the soft lights. Tiny specks that flutter in my vision. Is there a pattern, a message in their movement? The more I focus and try to understand, the more they cloud and obstruct my view, and then I seize. Is it a defence mechanism for when I get too close to deciphering their code?

Sometimes, it’s a shimmering line, a tether to some place, to someone — maybe to her? I follow it and it leads me further and further away. If I keep its pace, I can follow it until exhaustion and slumber. If I rush it and charge forward impatiently, I seize. Either way, I never get a glimpse of the end.

Sometimes, it’s the bright lights that start as tiny specs in the distance. I try to evade them, because they frighten me the most. But they rush me and overtake me. They hover above as one, like the lights of a spaceship, and then they swirl and embrace me and take me to darkness. Weightless, it feels like the void of death — non-existence. Fear overtakes. I seize again.

Sometimes, probably all of the time, there’s the nausea. I’m not sure if that’s an aura in itself, or my own nerves, my own anxiety over when and where the next seizure will come.

When I seize, I transmit. I don’t know why or how. I don’t always know the message. But I know it’s important. And it’s important that she be the receiver. But transmission means pain for both.

Do we bare the same scars? Slashed forehead and chin. Broken wrist and arm. Two or three concussions. I’ve fallen when there’s been no one to catch me. Does she have someone to hold her hand, to break her fall? I hope she’s safe and cared for. She shouldn’t suffer more pain than I’ve endured myself. I want her to hear me, but I don’t want her to hurt, not because of my uncontrollable screaming skull.


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