It has been raining all day. My colleague’s office flooded and I spent the afternoon moving furniture and plugging in cables. I mopped a carpet. I’ve never mopped a carpet before.
Yesterday I was sick as a dog. Migraine thing. It was already too late to take painkillers by the time I got up at 7:00am, but still I sat on the kitchen floor whimpering and threw pills down my throat. It didn’t make any difference. So I dragged myself back to bed and spent long hours smelling sounds and hearing colours, shaking and sweating with the hurting. I wanted to cry, with pain, with frustration, but I knew that sobbing would make my head pound even more so just lay on my back as tears dripped slowly into my ears, hoping for death and cursing the fact that I wasn’t a snail.
I bet snails don’t get migraines. Trod on and squished yes, migraines no.
But I didn’t die. I’ve been dizzy and clumsy all day today, it’s actually pretty funny, and I didn’t die.
Because I didn’t die I went for a long walk in the rain through the woods this afternoon. The sky was furious but the raindrops were fat and slow and gentle. They felt lovely on my face, warm caresses, soft fingers on my cheeks, my eyelids. They found the angle of my jaw, crept down my neck. I caught them on my tongue. As I wandered along the path, dragging my feet through drifts of wet leaves, I surprised four black and white goats grazing next to the footpath. I shit you not. Goats. They come from the farm that borders the University land and sometimes get loose from their pen. I stopped to watch them but I must have squealed out loud in my delight because they took fright and bounced and skittered and slid up the muddy slope towards the safety of their field. One of them wore a bell. It made a sweet, deep sound. At the fence the goats stopped. They turned and looked at me. I told them that they should be ashamed of themselves, getting out like that, should get on back home and be quick about it. They ignored me. I guess I have something to learn about talking to goats. I said goodbye and they watched me until I was out of sight.
A long shower is good for when fireworks have been exploding in your brain and you’re finding it difficult to hold a pen or enunciate the word “shenanigans”. It’s good for emptying the mind. Which isn’t hard for me, there’s not much in there anyway. My skin felt happy listening to the water whisper against it. My hands felt happy with my wet hair snaking between my fingers. I felt happy with just that, the water and the warmth, the fact that I was alive. And that I am not, after all, a snail.