You feel it first, a freight train so distant you can only sense the vibrations. It’s a quiver in the pit of your stomach, like standing on a floor your eyes tell you is level but your balance says is all out of whack. You ignore it, thinking it’s only gas from that frozen burrito the night before.
The fluorescent light above your workspace flicks off and hums. The annoying sound makes you think of trapped flies between sheets of glass. You write a note to the office manager asking if she could get the office handyman to check on it. As the light flickers back to life, you squint hoping that they fix the darn thing soon, it’s too bright.
You snarl as the girl in the next cubicle gets up and walks to the water cooler. Her footsteps on the carpet seems to echo in the room, even though her feet are bare. You pulled out the earbuds from your mp3 hours ago, dismayed at the music it tried to torture you with.
Tension builds, your shoulders and neck stiff with dreaded anticipation. Your office chair seems uncomfortable as though someone had been sitting in it the night before. Nothing seems to be where it should be as you look for the pen you keep next to the phone. You find it a moment later, on the other side of the receiver wondering why you didn’t see it before.
Only a moment later you realize the reason. Your vision flutters at the edges as though trying to look at at TV set on a dead station and it spreads like some virulent ooze across a slide. You open your desk drawer and find your pill bottle empty. Moaning you take a drink of coffee to wash down the last two ibuprofen hoping that is enough to stave off the pain.
A faint pulse in your temple. A throbbing through the side of your head. Hammers pound rusty, bent nails into your skull. If you had a saw you’d use it, the pain is that bad.
You go home, somehow, the ride a blur from tear-filled eyes. Striping your confining office clothes off, you crawl into bed, curl into a ball, and curse every breath you have to take.