My head is not exactly pounding. It's more like a dull roar of general hurt. It makes thinking difficult, but sleeping even more impossible.
I woke from a dream just now. I could rightly call it a nightmare. For the first time I have dreamt directly of the tumour. I could see straight into my own brain cavity. I don't want to describe what I saw.
Perhaps I am coming to grips with reality for the first time. It's hard to say, but it's a lonely experience. You don't want to go there. Me neither, but somehow I did.
I want to say things. They come clearly to mind but then swirl away like a sandbank crumbling into the sea. They'll come back, but only when I'm lying there drifting off to sleep again. A couple of nights ago I could retain no thoughts in my brain for more than a few seconds. That would have been a frightening thought had I been able to hold on to it.
A ray is caught in a bowl,
And the cat licks it, thinking that it's milk;
Another threads its way through tree branches,
And the elephant thinks he has found a Lotus-stalk
Half asleep, a girl reaches out
And tries to rearrange the moonbeams on the bed
To share the warmth.
It is the moon that is drunk with its own light,
But the world that is confused.*
Maybe not the entire world this time. It's just me.
The clamping seizures on the right arm return every time I move for the first time after waking. They're starting to come back now. Sometimes I'm wakened by one. It's best not to think of them, because it invites them into consciousness and before long, fingers and thumb start to burn and twitch.
I can hear the cock crowing across the railway line, up the hill to our south. It's often my signal to go to sleep. I guess it must be the alarm call for some, though it's surprising what you can get used to.
He leaves the nest;
And flaps his wings;
And stops, and struts;
And bit by bit;
He makes his way
To top of tree:
His neck up,
His tail up,
His foot up,
His comb up,
The cock lifts
His voice up,
C r o w s.*
But now it's very quiet for a few moments. I hear a neighbour's alarm go off. The world around me will turn on its engines, little by little.
The MRI-like images of the devastation in my brain fade as first light makes way for dawn.
I'm pretty sure I'll sleep now.
*G Brough [tr.] Poems from the Sanskrit (3rd Cent. CE)