I woke up with a dull pain in my head. I thought I could ignore it and fall back to sleep. But after several tosses and turns and worried I would wake my Love Interest and our daughter, I left the room. On the couch that’s too short for my body I figured I could find some sleep.

I don’t get headaches very often. Once, maybe twice a year they haunt me as I try to sleep. I have a system of getting rid of them. I concentrate on the pain in my head and I push it out. Laying in the dark living room I was on my way toward defeating another one but then… BEEP! Oh man, that stupid smoke alarm. For at least four months every so often it would beep to remind us that we need to change its battery. We had ignored it this long, why couldn’t I  ignore it now? BEEP!

It won’t beep for a while. Now I had time to focus and get to sleep. I could feel the dreams coming. They were tickling the front of my lobe. BEEP!

I grabbed a chair and stretched out to the ceiling. I tried to gently pull it out, but the smoke alarm demanded brute strength. I pulled it out and had it in my hand not caring about the exposed wiring from the ceiling.  BEEP! What the?!??! I knew there was no battery in it, would I have to throw it out the window? But then the green light turned to red and it let out one sad, faded Beeeeeepppp. I threw it in a drawer of knick-knacks and laid back on the couch seeking peace.

I could feel the throbbing in the back of my skull, I focused on it and pushed it forward but it wouldn’t leave. I blamed the concept of smoke alarms. How many fires have those things prevented and how many headaches have they caused? The trade off didn’t seem even, but isn’t that the case with all our technologies?

I cursed myself then for spending too much time in front of screens. I’m at my perch in front of the computer screen trying to write, but mostly fiddling around on the internet. I prayed to a God I never speak to when not in pain and promised I wouldn’t get in front of a computer again if he took away the pain.

Then I blamed this children’s magician/musician who I interviewed earlier that day. I had kept playing back and forth the recording as I transcribed it for an article. At that point I was convinced his voice was cursed with evil magics which caused this poltergeist in my head.

There would be no sleep this night. It was already 4 in the morning. I wasn’t at the point of banging my head into the wall like I’d seen in documentaries about migraines, but I wasn’t that far off.

I went back into the room to grab my clothes and hope I could walk out these demons. My Love Interest was awake, “What’s going on with you?”

“I got a headache.”

“Why don’t you take an aspirin?”

I didn’t get into my philosophy that if I give in and take a pill the headache would have won. I would not have solved the problem, I would have merely relieved the symptom. But it was late and I would need to be up soon and be functioning. I popped the cap and swallowed two of the tablets. I laid down and before I knew it was asleep. I don’t recollect my dreams, but when I woke up a couple hours later I felt fine except for the fact that somewhere my headache was mocking me relishing in its victory.


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