Sunday, January 17, 2016

In the middle of the night I awoke from a dream about football that had turned into a dream about soccer; a pleasant dream, about a ball lofted through the air into a net, and felt so sick, so miserable. I figured it was because I’d had too much to drink. But I hadn’t been out—couldn’t have been that much, could it? Just a whiskey or two, or maybe three, on top of the wine of course, as the quiet night wore on. Still I felt that pang of guilt that readily accompanies the pain.

I got up to take two naproxens. Just that effort accentuated my misery. Waking up Sara, inevitably, reassuring her I was OK. Feeling a little unsteady on my feet, in the dark. And of course there’s no immediate payoff to the drugs. Just doubt on top of the agony.

I thrashed about, unable to find a tolerable position. I flipped the pillow to the cool side and noted dismally that the cool sensation, normally blissful, universally recognized as such in fact, was now a taunt, a reproach. I was in desperate need of relief and it gave me none. It mocked me with cold, awful truth. I thought I could vomit. I thought maybe I should.

And then after some fitful sleep, as I lay in a reverie, I felt the painkillers kick in. The very moment they kicked in. It was like my head opened up—it felt good, almost too good. All the wretchedness flowed away. I felt a kind of wonderful void, exhilarating and a little scary. And then I slept a few more hours.