I Have a Current

When I was fourteen I got a headache and it never went away.

It started when I was thirteen. I would get it periodically. I could say it was I was having more stress about my education and what I wanted to do with my life, but I could never really make any correlation between the headache and what was happening that minute, day or week. I changed a lot that year. I started losing the excess physical weight I had carried around since I was six, when the spiritual weight of the world had descended onto my shoulders. By fourteen I was dangerously thin. I started running in earnest. My personality changed.

I remember with crystal clarity the last day that I didn’t have that pain in my head. It was late fall. I had just woken up and realized the pain was gone. Nothing else hurt either. I had a moment of real joy. That was the last day. I learned to live with the pain. It became irrelevant because it had no relation to my life or choices. There was nothing I could do to abate it or make it stop. We saw many doctors, but eventually I stopped talking about it to the point my parents forgot it was there.

It was a strange headache. A dull, static-like, cloud-like pain that drifted over the surface of my head, never resting too long or waiting too long to return. It felt like warm, colorless smoke trying to push its way into my head.

I mix the present and the past tense because it serves my purpose. The headache never went away, but I don’t feel it as I used to. All I feel now is energy. Intense and difficult and transforming. The plates of my skull move, bunching and shifting and opening. The feelings extend out beyond my physical body. It doesn’t hurt if I keep my heart open. So I lied. I don’t have a headache all the time anymore. I have a current that flows through me, always.

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