My right temple is the size of my body. It is biding its time. It will not make itself fully known, except as a kind of slithering, underhanded sneer. It is shimmering with unease, filling all of me with a weightless pain that is too slight to name but impossible to fully ignore.
I try anyway, try to assert myself, the mind and its semblance of self, but it keeps dissolving, slipping into a more fluid consciousness. Light and sounds are less stable, like they’re extending past their borders. Sunlight especially is menacing, like it might swallow everything in its path. The chair is flowing. The concepts of time and obligation seem equally mysterious. I cannot find them.
Sometimes, if the obligation is well-formed, it can overcome the shiftiness oozing from my right temple. My mind can hold it down long enough to the shape: write this, call this number, say these things, respond to questions with a semblance of answers. It is precarious but possible, like doing it all in a shimmering pool of water.
Other people can’t usually tell, which should be reassuring but is not. How can my entirety be in disarray, the prospect of language itself questionable, the border slipping between the thing I call myself and a sly enemy that is hardly physical, and yet before me, the person to whom I have discussed real estate finance is unaware of the drama?
It puts even the questioning in question. To what degree am I responsible for sinking into the muck? The pain slides from my temple to my eyeball and the top of my jaw, like I have a toothache extending deep into the bones of my skull.
I cannot in good faith call it a migraine. I am not after all in bed, I am barely in pain; I am merely in defeat.