In the last three weeks, I’ve been through two doctor phone appointments, five live doctor appointments, one MRI, several blood tests, and even one full-fledged panic attack. To say it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster is an understatement—but the good news is, there’s nothing major wrong. Yay!
So what is going on? Well, according to the fabulous neurologist I saw last week, my migraines have morphed into something really goddamn special. I am fortunate in that I don’t generally get the nausea and hammer-pounding headaches of most traditional migraine sufferers; unfortunately, I get all sorts of weird sensory problems instead: depth perception issues, tingling and/or numbness in my arms, mental disconnect, vertigo, occasional vision problems, and sometimes, the headache. This time, however, I developed a bizarre numbness in my cheek—and later, the entire side of my face—paired with completely blurred vision in one eye, which led some doctors to believe I might be having a stroke. (That would be the day the panic attack struck, by the way.) I am thrilled to say that isn’t the case, but it does appear a chronic basilar/sensory migraine took residence in my head for over three weeks—complete with all these fun new symptoms!
I’m getting to a point here, I swear (migraine brain fog is real, people). When I mentioned to the neurologist that I’ve been okay writing in short spurts in the morning, but everything else is sending my head into a spin, he suggested I stop the cycle of migraine with a heavier duty NSAID and a few days off (and yes, I totally followed doctor’s orders there). However, when I asked him how migraines could literally change overnight and cling, desperately, in ways they never had before, his response was the most poetic and frustrating thing I could possibly have heard:
“The life of a migraine is a mysterious and beautiful thing.”
I totally laughed that off. But Saturday morning, as I lay tossing and turning under my covers in a groggy, migraine-clouded and dreamlike state, I was thinking about the bizarre tingles raining over my brain that didn’t hurt at all, but that were making things really fuzzy and weird.
And suddenly, I had this spark of an idea:
What if a person could embody the essence of a migraine? What would she be like, as a lover?
It took me a while to drag myself out of bed to type this one up, but the story below is what happened as I sat down to imagine the mysterious and beautiful life of a migraine.
I hope you enjoy it.
She comes into his life like a comet—a fiery bolt arcing across the skies, haloed and crashing down into the open meadow of his existence. She seems a quiet blip, at first, awakening beneath the sun on a lush bed of grass. She stretches herself out against it, her long, pale body blinding in its innocent beauty. Her fingers clutch the earth as she shimmers in the light, and she sighs at the caress of this world, this new place that surrounds her in warmth.
Instantly, he is drawn to her, knows her otherness and craves it. He takes her in as she begins to bloom, as she shows him that she is, in fact, no innocent at all. She is all curves and smiles, arms that encircle and hold, words of sweetness that tend to him just as he tends to her—but behind her glistening, loving eyes, there is something else. It is furious like the comet she rode in on, unbounded and wild, and it lures him forward in the heated swarm of his mind. It shushes away his fears when she kisses his cheeks, his forehead, his mouth, and when she tugs at his clothes and limbs, she draws him further into her sphere.
In the dark of night he invites her to his bed, for though she is unsurpassed in her beauty, it’s her mystery that has him tangled in her. He finds himself beneath her in the light of the moon, his breath stolen as she rocks above. Her hips grind in swirls of chaos, her hands possessing his skin, her kisses speeding his heart. The way she moves sinks into the chasm of his soul. She seeks all of him—not just his length buried within her, but the depths of every crevice of his being, every utterance of his heart, every glimmer of his mind as she writhes against him and his sheets. Her movements become glorious and pained, ripples on the surface of a once-placid lake when the cries spill out from her lips. He sees her then as what she is—nails sharp over him, and teeth cutting his skin in jagged lines. But her whimpers are all he hears, and they seize him in their rock together, taking him beyond every sensation he knew before.
When she collapses over his chest, they lie in silence.
His days are fraught with tension in his efforts to please her. He bathes her, feeds her, loves her through the pinch of her lips and the furrow of her brow. She will not speak, and she moves like a streak of lightning—stubborn and sharp, illuminating their path and yet setting him on edge, pasting goose bumps on his skin like stars against the deep black sky. He thinks, perhaps, the end approaches, that she is sparing them both the hurt to come, soothing the quiet that will fill his life until she falls to the surface of his earth once more.
They dance, this time, before bed. She swings him out in vibrant bursts, then yanks him close. She grasps him so tight his breath slips from inside and out into the vortex of the room. Her heat builds, scorching, suffocating. Blinding. He thinks as they spin, around and around, how much he loves and hates her. How he craves her, needs her. In her laugh he finds the answer to existence, a blurry question that leads to more questions but that, somehow, lets him settle beneath her in the way she commands.
He imagines curving his fingers around her throat, squeezing her away to nothingness—but she has coiled herself around him so tightly, he no longer knows where she ends and he begins.
When she fucks him again, her moans shatter mirrors and rattle pictures off the walls. Her gasps vibrate the room, the bed, the air trapped inside him, stifling in its icy slide against the innermost parts of his lungs. But he is enraptured with the thrust of her hips, with the sweat breaking over his chest when she sucks the tips of his fingers, with the shift of her body over him in the moonlight, even as he feels himself slipping away with her. He is losing his grasp on what is real, what is good, and when she comes, her cries and shudders render him frozen. She keeps arching until he erupts in her, and every last drop of him becomes hers.
He is still when she curls behind him, tucking herself close to his back. Her hands trace over his side, fingertips painting electric currents that circulate in his limbs, up into his face. She kisses his shoulder, then his neck. And though he cannot move, he feels her words when she breathes them into his ear, a shock of sound bursting inside his soul.
“I love you,” she whispers, “and I’ll see you again soon.”
In the morning, he wakes on damp, rumpled sheets. The evidence of their love has scented his skin, and the pillowcase beneath his cheek. He breathes in clean air, his air, and slowly lifts himself from the bed.
She is gone.