17 July 2009

When the Bullet Hits the Bone

What is this mania WhereIlive has for "Twilight Zone," by Golden Earring?  I forgot about this until the day before yesterday, when I switched on the radio and there it was.  Then I suddenly remembered:  they play it about three times a day on various radio stations.  It wasn't that interesting or good a song to start with, and age has not improved it.  They were Dutch, for God's sake!  But apparently radio listeners in WhereIlive embrace it with zeal.  Go figure.

Yesterday I had a migraine headache, the first I've had for nearly a year.  I didn't get it all the way, because I took two ibuprofen, had a cup of tea (my father's cure for headaches, and it actually does work), and turned off all sound sources (no chance of hearing "Twilight Zone" for me).  I thus avoided the worst of the headache, but I did not avoid the very strange accompaniment. Many migraine sufferers get an aura, which is why people ask "do you see flashing lights?" - this is the aura, although they can also be somal (numbness) or verbal (language issues).  I don't get these.  What I do get, though, is a strange kind of...well, withdrawal from the world.  My migraines come with a strange sense that I am observing the world at one remove, not as if I were outside it but rather as if I were within it, but behind a thick layer of cotton wool or muffling insulation.  I am keenly sensorily aware of myself, and I can feel myself moving through my flat, lying on my bed, etc. , but it is as if the air I'm moving through is a thick material object rather than air or space, and as if I am slightly numbed to it. Thinking about it, I suspect that this is because if I have a migraine I am intensely focused on myself, because I'm intensely focused on being functional despite enormous pain (if you've never had a migraine, and you're wondering what one feels like, imagine someone shoving a red hot wire up one of your nostrils [in my case, usually the left], while simultaneously placing another red hot wire against the pain sensors in your brain).  

This morning I woke up without a headache (although the nagging hint of it was there all day, which I suspect means I'll have a full-blown one in the next few days.  My migraines often do this:  they don't like to be thwarted, so they lurk around until they can become full-blown).  I also, however, woke up exhausted.  I was exhausted anyway - I'm just not meant to get up at 7 in the morning - but the added exhaustion that migraine always brings means I feel as if I'm a towel that someone has literally wrung out.

Before the migraine, there was the eye doctor.  Oooooo, I hate the eye doctor.  It's never good news.  I have terrible eyesight and a family history of glaucoma: you can't see (ho ho) that heading anywhere positive.  This time, though, it wasn't too bad.  I requested not to be dilated, so I didn't have to drive home in fear of my life.  Also, I found, and bought, an incredibly cute pair of glasses frames.  I have reading glasses I don't really need yet - I got them years ago to make print big, because reading small print close up was destroying my distance vision - and chronically forget to wear, and I decided to get new glasses lenses placed in those frames.  This left me, of course, without a pair of reading glasses even to ignore, so I got the ICF (incredibly cute frames) as my reading glasses.  Perhaps I will thus remember to wear them more often. Whether it does or no, I can honestly say, for only the second time in my life (the first being when I was ten and first got glasses), that I'm looking forward to picking up my pairs of glasses next week.

Today was Byron day in both my classes, which means I got to teach "Darkness" (my favourite of Byron's short poems) twice.  That, my friends, is hard to beat. God, I love that poem. 

And here is today's photo:  

This is a house I pass on my way home.  I only noticed the gate yesterday, and it made me laugh.  First of all, because the stone portion so closely resembles a painting by John Atksinson Grimshaw that I almost believe the builder made it so on purpose:

But it also makes me laugh because, although it didn't really come out in the photo (I need to stop taking these pictures with my phone), the actual gate looks like a reduced version of one of those huge creaky old gates that always lead to ominous gothic houses.  I love big things made small, but my pleasure here was because when you look at the gate in front of the house it looks as if someone built a gothic portal for a miniature house, then got it to this house, realised their mistake, but put it up anyway.  The disjunction is very amusing.

Someone is on the home shopping network on my TV even as I write squashing hamburgers to demonstrate how juicy they are, and also to draw viewers' attention to the fact that they have "built-in cheese."  Neither of these, trust me, is appetising.

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