Saturday, 19 April 2008

"Another Battle Lost & Won..."

The pain was already, in the truest sense of the word, extraordinary.  Like a coiled serpent, cramped and waking from it's slumber, it slowly swelled and pushed, birthing to life inside his skull.  It always woke foul tempered and hot breathed, straining and complaining as it surfaced from it's sleep.


He knew the pattern; the play of the battle that lay ahead.  Where it would deploy it's first wave of pain, how it would first push forward from behind his right eye; the nearest opening.  When this failed, it would try and take him by surprise, sliding and sliming around the right side of his head; spreading it's advance over twenty to forty minutes, as it snaked, pushing and burrowing round and down, into the base of his skull.  His body's instinctive response was equally predictable.  Sensing it's enemy's moves, it stretched; pulling his head to the left and down, as if in a vain attempt to pacify the enemy within, by offering it more room in which to stretch... never enough; the pain always stomping back, louder and harder as his head inevitably returned right and up, creaking, relenting, throbbing.


Sensing no real opposition, the poisonous beast swelled and breathed, flexing and waving it's long, bruising muscle as it rained hard, blunt pain down on every receptor that was slow and trusting enough to receive the new faith.  It pushed again, surfing past the base of his thundering skull and gushing with cruel euphoria as it galloped into and through the unguarded valley of his neck and charging, screaming out into the abandoned expanse of his shoulders.  Staking their claims as the fired through, arrows and thunderbolts of agony now fired randomly, wreaking havoc, wailing in victorious ecstasy as they stampeded, like satanic stallions over every aching centimeter of pounding, pounded, conquered flesh...


By this point in the battle, word had reached the body's council where they hid in some small quarter of the brain.  They were yet to be discovered by enemy spies, but this seemed a wasted advantage, as no brilliant or simple plan of resistance had yet been devised.  Or had ever been devised.  It was as if once the enemy had sunk back, bored with victory, fat on euphoria, fully pleasured on the pain it wrought; all memories of it's attack simply melted away.  As if something so terrible, so painful, so giant, could never happen again.  There was nothing to forgive, so there was nothing to learn.  There was nothing to remember, so there was nothing to forget... And so, each time, a new terror returns...


Unsure how to hurt or slow the enemy advances, the council decides on what it thinks the next best course to survive the attack. Torch the land. Kill the kingdom. Spread the pain. Share the pain. If we can't defuse, then we shall dissolve the pain.  Word is sent and scouts are employed to distract and lead the enemy in various tactical directions.  One band will jeer from the crest of the right shoulder blade and lead the enemy down into the spine.  The spine will crack and bow in writhing frustration; unable to defuse the pain, but instead, distracting and disseminating it.  Dividing like suicidal squads of seraphim, they split, leading the enemy along the ridges of the ribs, tearing, burning fields of muscle with enemy fire as they go; diving, hiding, waiting in dark crevasses in the stomach's lining.  Wave after wave of enemy chemical signals pour and swell after them.  The walls start to quake and buckle...


Elsewhere in the painverse, similar battles are being fought.  The hands twist and wring, feet buckle and hurt, marrow tickles and aches, as the black syrup of slow, thick, dragging, knifing, clumsy pain drags and sucks it's way, lazy giant suckerpunch after lazy giant suckerpunch, pounding and screaming through the suffering fleshscape...


And every time, the battle ends the same inevitable way.  The council, aching with frustration, complacent under the boredom of total, constant bombardment, desperate for a shift - any shift - in the game, sends it's last remaining scouts out, with The Final Message.


Like whispers in any army, waves of nausea, rumours of rumblings, hints of hurling have circused the various battlefields for eons in advance.  We'll push the enemy out. With one, massive, Almighty (yep, we've checked & he's on board with the plan), violent effluence, we'll turn this battered world inside out, hurling all unsuspecting invaders into the void that is Exterior...


The unifying command is executed with swift and damning efficiency.  Stomach and ribs are strained, sacrificed and bruised in the final, decisive pushes of battle.  Eyes glaze over and water out the last hiding agents still lurking in the skull.  Finally, the serpent and all it's writhing agents are gone...


The fleshscape shudders and sighs, shaking, exhausted into a slumber; allowing vital repairs healing and soothing to be undertaken...

3 comments:

suttonhoo said...

oh OUCH.

I can't even imagine.

better? yes?

ouch ouch ouch.

kari said...

I have no words. Except: wow.

Brings to mind a newsletter that used to arrive at my former workplace (community television station), distributed by a nonprofit that provided resources, assistance, support and whatnot to migraine people. Among other amazingly helpful features was an arts section.. which presented work -- poems, letters, artwork -- from people who deal with migraines. I don't get migraines, but always read the newsletter because it was so well done. I'll dig one out, if I can find one.. and twitter info your way.. if you're interested.

bobcat rock said...

much better, thank you Lady 'Hoo. Although it's been an exhausting week - three migraines in 7 days - i think that's my all-time record. Scary stuff.

thank you kindly, Kari. the link you sent me was really interesting, and like i said, i've ordered the Oliver Sacks book!