The worst thing about sustained agony is how it addles your thoughts.
Here are some things I’ve thought about today:
Why is my hip pinching? Why can’t the pinch stay downstairs? Like galoshes, it’s…pain and galoshes. They belong in the front hall. Why are there galoshes in my bed?
If you’d bring me a rat…. (That was the whole thought. It played on loop for a while. I couldn’t seem to finish it. Couldn’t get to what might happen if I had a rat. It would go up my sleeve, probably. Rats always go up there. They like sleeves, rats…oh, I’m doing it again.)
I want I want I want I want I want I want I want…. (Couldn’t decide what I wanted. I think it might be a shower, but then my hair would be wet, and my pillow would get wet, and there’d be nowhere to put my head….)
I don’t like that noise. (There wasn’t any noise, or maybe there was, but by the time I’d got done hating it, it had stopped. Maybe I dreamt it. I was sleeping, or sort of sleeping, or wanting to sleep. Something sleep-adjacent.)
Then, for a while, I was picturing this great silver needle, like a dentist’s spike, but bigger. I pictured that working into my hip, right in the joint, there, and my pain washing away on a glorious tide of Novocaine….
It’s still there. Motherfucker. It’s still there.
I think I’ve slept all I can sleep. Oh, if I’ve got myself all backwards, thanks to this, if I spend the next six months sleeping all day and working all night…man, I hate that. It’s so annoying, with my phone pinging all day, and I’m trying to sleep, and it’s my boss, so I have to get it.
Get out of my bedroom. Mother told me you haven’t once asked after me, not once in all these years. Get out of my bedroom. Get out. Don’t come in. (…and then there was this dog, and it had its nose in the door so I couldn’t shut it out, and that was almost…no, that was certainly a dream.)
…a bunch of airport noises….
…the sense of having forgotten something….
…a brief attempt to draw a circle round the pain, narrow the circle to a point, and make it disappear.
…and now I’m awake. All the way awake.
I don’t like this.
I’m having a shower.