Tonight I have the kind of headache that makes me want to take an auger, find that perfect spot in my temple, and quietly drill a hole through my skull to help release the pressure. I get headaches often enough that, if they didn’t run through half my family, I’d be on Google right now, discovering that I have a brain tumor or an aneurysm silently counting down to my inevitable demise; so thanks for the reassurance, Mom, IT Guy. I don’t always know what triggers them, though I do have a general checklist of possibilities: not enough sleep, not enough water, caffeine dependence, hair too heavy, hair too tight, stress, hunched shoulders from typing all day, there’s a rolling storm front affecting the air pressure in my tires, or maybe I pretended to have a headache for enough hours that it actually became true. Which, yes, I did once when I was an elementary school (though that’s a story for another day).
However, I do know where this one came from: dehydration. I drink water about as frequently as a camel does, and while my body has adapted to the fact that these are arid lands, if I throw off the ecosystem by suddenly sweating more than usual — soccer, in this case — the desert handles that by politely forcing my brain to shrink and pull away from my skull. Ew. One of the lesser known benefits of having frequent headaches is the fact that getting one isn’t automatically debilitating (proving, once again, even though no one asked for the proof, that you can get used to anything), but dehydration headaches are always a drill-hole-in-head exception.
I was then going to use this absolutely riveting intro to segue into a rundown on why I like to injure characters by talking about how I cannot do it when I’m injured, sick, or hurt myself, even though it’s one of my favorite ways to force a protagonist to change/prove themselves/not prove themselves/find out how much people care about them. I can only wish pain on others when I can’t remember exactly how bad it feels, which is a surprisingly easy thing to forget. I’d call it empathy, but where exactly do I think these people exist in real life?
Ah, that’s right: in my head. And tonight my head hurts. So since my auger is in my other desk, I’m going to bed.
Pine&Meyer: 8 paragraphs
“Which, yes, I did once when I was an elementary school (though that’s a story for another day).”
You were an elementary school? Wow.