Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Day 22: The Octopus of Pain

Today I had to make the decision to gather my things, switch off my computer and leave work early.
I was attempting that age-old trick of simply powering through and pretending that there wasn't in fact intense pressure building up somewhere behind my cheekbones, and that it wasn't pushing inwards, upwards and emanating outwards, with increasing intensity, like some kind of octopus of pain.
No sir, no octopus here.
Needless to say, I was fooling no-one, and by the time my vision started wavering, it had become abundantly clear both to me and to the colleagues who, like Weeping Angels in reverse, seemed to be edging further and further away from me with every lethargic blink and sniff, that I should just. go. home.
There's still something tellingly child-like in any response to that situation, having to decide to take that time off, being trusted to know yourself and do the right thing. When we're young, figures of authority ascertain how ill we are, decide to keep us off school, or send us home, and at some point we stop asking, or they just stop telling, and the onus is on us. It's a very vulnerable state to find yourself in when your own body seems to conspire against you, so the regression to childhood and the desire to be taken care of seems a fairly human response. (She says hopefully, wrapped up in bed, shivering pathetically, and snapchatting sickness selfies in search of sympathy like a true millennial) Also, to be fair, far from conspiring against you, your body is actively trying to fight whatever nastiness is on the attack inside you and in actual fact would be massively helped if you just stopped and took heed of what it was making you feel and stopped trying to be a hero. Just another knee-jerk childish reaction from a fallible human, I suppose.
So yes, I'm ill, and staring at a screen isn't exactly helping matters, so in anticipation of the wave of absent parental worry and sympathy coming my way from my two biggest fans I will retire to a more horizontal position to continue my own elaborate game of pass the parcel, where the prize is a slightly sickly 25 year old and the layers keep being gathered up and torn off at seemingly split-second intervals depending on body temperature.
Oh I do know how to have fun.
Just me, and this octopus of pain.


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