Sick

It was one of those sicks — one where the head didn’t just throb, it felt as if it were being pummeled, as if it were being brutally, sadistically pounded upon, as if it were the floor for a step dancing competition and all the teams, maybe two hundred of them, were passionately, madly, dancing at once for the grand finale showcase where the winners had already been picked and now the dancing was just for showing off in the last-ditch aspiration that they could interest some unseen reality dancing show talent scout who just may be hiding in the crowd. It was one where the eyes gave up all hope of focus; one where the covers meant nothing to the chills. The slightest movement became a revolt of hurt; an aching anarchic rebellion of agony. He was so sick and had been for so long that his bed had become a form-fitting, tempurpedically molded permanent place of residence, of restlessness. The distance between the bed and the toilet a Sahara Desert of certain atrophied exhaustion.

But as sick as he was, it meant nothing really, at least nothing new. He was always sick. Just as the racking of one infection waned, the racking of a new one waxed. He was sick and sick was he. Sick was his no longer new norm; his way of living (so to speak). For him to not be sick was, well…sick.

And there was no hope that his sick would ever tire of making him sick. He went to bed each night sick, knowing without no longer ever thinking that he would wake up in the morning sick, if not sicker.

Sick was both his is and his mortal will be.

Death would be his healing.

But some days were better than others. Some days the pounding would subside enough to where he could hear over the blood erupting in his ears. On those days he liked to reflect and mentally compose verse.

Haiku, mostly.

He liked haiku because he got to work out his brain both philosophically (at least his haiku were deep in his pained yet hopelessly pretentious mind) and mathematically with the whole 5/7/5 thing.

During his last Day of Haiku — a moon or two ago maybe…he couldn’t remember exactly when — he came up with a good one; at least it was one that he has since used to dwell upon during his brief moments of lucidity, when the pain ebbs just enough for reflection, but not enough for composition…

leaves obscure the path
pilgrims lost along the way
Buddha seems to smile

But today wasn’t one of those days, one of those haiku days, that is; today was one of those days, one of those sicker than sick days. One of those days of constant hurt. A day of pure, unadulterated and relentless pain.

They say that pain is God’s way of reminding us of all the good reasons for living.

Whenever he thought of that, whenever he could think through the pain, he had to laugh.

And even if it did set off a new revolt of hurt and ache, at least there was that.

Laughter.

Pained laughter.

Which is always better than pained crying.

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