Staring through the window at the patterns of the branches in the trees across the road. I see an Egyptian king’s head and an auroch stood just behind him. When the wind blows, the auroch’s nose nuzzles the king’s neck. And this I watch hour upon hour, with an unrelenting tightness in my solar plexus. I feel like I’m endlessly falling.
Sleepless night turns to day, day turns to sleepless night, and the ghostly king and bovine continue their interplay long after heavy blood-red curtains are drawn. I turn to my screen glowing like a rectangular moon. Have to switch it off. There are people there. More pain. Love. Crisis. Pain.
The emotion is visceral, enveloping my whole being. Vulnerabilities. Large, terrifying memories and hollow hopelessness. Loss. My head like lead and my taught lungs sucking air as if through tiny straws. Everything takes effort. Lifting a mug to drink mint saps me to my core.
Fear. Here it comes again, building. Terror. Wide eyes. Adrenaline has me shaking, gripping the covers with a crooked hand, like my own grandmother. Tremors through my right side, rippling through my leg. The limbic residues have me retching. There’s a porcelain bowl nearby. A pure shiny white bowl. An old brown towel. Tissues. Lorazepam.
The tremors subside to a very low altitude. No movement. Stillness. Just weight. Tears without crying.
Next to my reading glasses, a clutch of rainbow pencils await my simple colouring. Half finished birds and geckos. A splendid unicorn.
My family sigh. They try to stay positive. My hand is held occasionally. Ben, my dog, pads in concerned and then retreats. Daisy cat wants to be close to my neck, all the time, like an auroch.
All things shall pass. But I’m a burden. Therein, anxiety rises again.