• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 03
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The Morning After

Yesterday’s wine still trickles through my veins. Its warm stickiness, resting dangerously in my gut, threatens the forced serenity of today’s breakfast. Its fogginess consumes my brain, slowing my feet and my fingers, prickling behind my right temple and sending occasional arrows to stab at my skull and my eyes. No sharp turning of the head today.

All my conscious movements are slow and deliberate, punctuated with long, slow breaths and small sips of cold, sweet water to cool and quench. My body is its own life-support system, It knows how to protect itself. It knows the dos and don’ts, the cans and can’ts. My hands, steady now, cradle my head and gently, so gently, rock it from side to side. My fingers softly knead the doughy skin of my forehead, bringing a temporary easing of the throbbing pain.

My feet move me. My legs say “No!” My whole body says “No!” But my feet carry me outside. I breathe, slowly, deeply. The cold air soothes and chills in equal measure. I can do this. I can face the world and none will see my struggle. None will know my pain.

It’s all about control. I can do this.