It starts off slow enough.
Wake up, one eye slowly peeling open followed by the other. I fumble, anxiously, for the phone, willing Mariah Carey to shut up as your finger pudges and pokes until it hits snooze. All I want for Christmas is sleep, Mariah. (Which reminds me, must change ringtone to a more seasonally appropriate one now that the holidays are done. Kenny Chesney, anyone?)
The headache starts in fragments. First, over the eyes, with that slow squeeze. Then it begins to press down on the corners of your eyelids, forcing them closed even if you’ve got so many things to do/say/be that day. It doesn’t care. It shows no mercy. It is relentless, sickening, and it will not stop until you kill it.
I try to tame the beast by pleading with it. Making bargains. “Just give me a few more minutes.” But it just laughs.
Stumbling downstairs, not exactly sure what the morning will bring. And then I see it.
She is fat and glorious, a glass goddess, teasing me from her perch by the stove, womb swollen with glorious black juice. I want to make love to it. She’ll smack me around but it’ll feel good, she promises.
Today, I refuse to bow to her advances. She will not defeat me this time. She can latch on to my pores with all of the strength of a Greco-Roman wrestler soaked with sweat and oil; I will find a loophole and worm my way out. Anything to get out of the cycle of stress and anxiety and feeling thirsty all the time and just give me some fucking coffee before I kill you mentality I’ve adopted since starting grad school.
It’s been several hours, and I kind of want to die. Or rob a Starbucks at gunpoint. My skull seems to be pressing in on itself like gnarled Russian peasant hands are giving me a Swedish stone massage with granite boulders. And I won’t even get borscht at the end for my trouble.
In two weeks I start school again and will probably be back to 3 cups a day.
But for now, I sip my decaf, knowing full well it’s like Nicorette gum for the caffienated, and wonder if it was a good thing to give up coffee on New Year’s Day.