I am sitting in a meeting with my boss, my boss’s boss, my boss’s boss’s boss, and the head of our whole freaking organization.
I should be on my A-game.
Instead, I sit there and silently sweat. My right eye pulses with a deep, throbbing pain, complemented by an occasional sharp stab that makes me gasp out loud. It’s like the doozers from Fraggle Rock have taken up residence inside my head and are pounding nail after nail directly into my eye socket.
I take my sunglasses off to better see something on my computer screen—something that would normally be legible, but is now no better than scrambled fuzz. The light from the screen burns through my cornea, increasing the pain by a hundredfold.
I put my sunglasses back on.
My boss’s boss’s boss is saying something. Something I need to pay attention to. But the words scatter when they hit my brain. By the time I’ve made sense of them, the meeting has moved on to another topic.
If only I could take more medicine. The last dose is still roiling in my intestines, causing acid to reach up and choke me. My stomach lurches. Oh please God,don’t let me puke.
I take several deep breaths and it calms. The doozers increase the pace of their hammering. The world spins a bit.
I wonder what would happen if I passed out right now? Probably I’d crack my head open on the floor and earn myself another concussion. But at least I’d be unconscious.
I open my mouth to speak, but have no idea if the right words come out. “Does that make sense?” I ask. Everyone nods their heads, so I guess it did.
My neck hurts. My back hurts. My clothes hurt. I can feel the waistband of my jeans denting my stomach. My bra is digging into my boob.
I feel tears pricking at the back of my eyes. Did I just whimper out loud? No one’s looking at me, so I must not have.
Who the hell invented florescent lights anyway? Satan, probably.
Wait, is the meeting ending? Hallelujah, praise Jesus, it’s over!
I garble my excuses as soon as I can and head for my car. The smell of urine in the parking garage assaults my over-sensitive nose, making me retch. The elevator is too bright. The sound of the door slamming too loud.
The key turns and I put the car in drive and my body on auto pilot. Please let there be no traffic.
Somehow, I get home. The couch awaits. Pulling the curtains closed, I put a pillow over my head and wait for oblivion to quiet the hell in my skull.
Sleep can’t come soon enough.