April 4: Science Fiction Double Feature

Just coming off a serious sugar crash – I made a giant chocolate cinnamon cake for one of the teams here as a reward for reaching a milestone.  Last week, one of the founders politely asked if I was baking again, and if so could I make a little something for the group who had worked so hard to reach their goal.  After about 10 seconds of intense decisiony thought processing, I said yes.  For you, dear, anything.

This is one of the founders that came to the visiting room the day of my surgery.  He came with appropriate recovery related gifts for someone about to have their melon muddled with:  graphic novels, a bizarre coloring book involving celebrities in varying surreal states, and a very expensive looking tin of colored pencils.  But that part of the story comes soon enough.  The sugar fog is finally lifting so let’s discuss a day that began like any other day – the usual way to set the scene before bad things happen.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

To-Do:   Costco for script, start mini cupcakes for event Thursday, Saturday mass with my mom followed by dinner somewhere near the church.  

I started driving to Costco at about 2 p.m. when I started feeling mighty strange in the head.  A kind of absinthe buzz, I think, but not really conducive to writing poetry or self-destructive bohemian behavior.  I felt incredibly fatigued, and just stood there with heavy eyelids and heavy everything as I decided to forego trolling for food samples and get my business done quickly.  Mentally I moved tasks that were planned that day to Sunday after Easter Brunch, as I dearly wanted to just go home and nap.  

I arrived at Costco and got out of my car, and found that I had to really concentrate to move myself along.  I wondered if my gait was any different.  Was I lumbering, zombie-like, as I made my way to the pharmacy and did the exchange of drugs and credit card swipe that I couldn’t quite remember?  A panicked moment followed, dulled by fatigue. My thoughts came like the slow train to Clarksville, chop-chooing along as if on quaaludes.  Did I actually pay for my stuff?  Huh.  Oh, yeah, it’s in my hand.  I must have. )  Then it was a mission to get to the car without incident.

Upon reaching my vehicle, I looked back at the Costco building.  From the left side of my vision, there was a fragmented line of refracted light making its way slowly across the side of the building, starting from the bottom and fading towards the top.  It crept slowly across like some science fiction movie effect, other-worldly, mysterious.  I’d never experienced anything like it before, and found it oddly beautiful in its alien elegance. I checked to see if the cement blocks were disappearing or morphing in some way as the zig-zaggy line passed over them but sadly, no such thing occurred.  I was mildly disappointed.   It seems that I should have reacted otherwise to all of this (like maybe a mental note that what I was seeing was far from normal) but common sense was feeling pretty tuckered out along with the rest of me. When I finally got home I went right to bed.

Before immersing myself in blissful slumber, I sat on the edge of my bed and looked down at my feet. My friend the refracted light line had returned to appear on my bedroom carpet, undulating towards me from the left.  Oh, that’s going to be gone after I wake up, I decided.  And sure enough, it did go away, never to return again.  Giving me yet another reason to not tell anyone about what was happening to me.  (Well, it was gone, wasn’t it?)

Later internet research revealed a few possible headache/migraine related causes – scintillating scotoma, migraine with aura, and someone later claimed I was having a mild seizure.  I didn’t have the pain or light sensitivity usually associated with migraines, so maybe it was a seizure after all.  But could I have driven home during one, even if it was mild?  None of the doctors mentioned the possibility. I guess I’ll never know exactly what caused it, only a mild yearning for the wild beauty that turned an ordinary day into something slightly more interesting.

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