Whatever you’re doing, stop. Stop because right now, there’s something more pressing, and there’s no way in fuck you’ll be able to keep doing whatever it is in the coming moments. Knitting? Shitting? Out to eat with friends? At school? Work? Fucking? Running? Gaming? Getting high?
Stop. There’s an itch in the very back of your eye that’s simply begging for your attention.
You’ve stopped. Excellent. Enjoy picking up whatever pieces you just left strewn about later. No time to worry about it now. Quick, just get somewhere quiet where you can be alone. Can’t have anyone see. If they care about you, it’ll wreck them. If they don’t, it’ll confuse them, worry them, make them want to ask questions you will be physically incapable of answering in a matter of minutes.
Quick, go. Seconds are passing, and that itch is getting hot.
Speaking of the itch, what is that? It was uncomfortable only seconds ago and now it’s…burning? Growing, glowing, pulsing, stinging. More seconds pass, have you even noticed? You’re alone now. Good job. You can be loud if you need to, but there’s no need for dramatics. Just sit and wait for it to pass. I know it hurts, it’s okay, it shouldn’t be long now. Are you sweating already? It’s only been four minutes, 27 seconds. 28….29…30. Buckle up, my friend, this is nothing.
The searing’s turning to cutting, turning to ripping. The pain is starting to grow. Not just in intensity, but in area. The pain is no longer restricted to your eye. It’s in your head, all over your face, in your neck, down your spine. Everything hurts. The pain is still growing. Not just in intensity, not just in area, but in element. The pain has shifted from something you feel, to something that impedes feeling.
Where are you again? Oh yeah, alone. Is anyone there? Why can’t you see? Oh right, crying. Why can’t you hear? Oh right, crying. You hold your breath, trying to find stillness, straining to interact with the world outside of this hell you’ve suddenly found yourself trapped in. “Suddenly.” How sudden was it? 12 minutes. Congratulations, you might be halfway there.
No sight, no sound, only pain that ripples through you, each wave less forgiving than the last. Gasping for breath, you wrap your arms around your torso, holding yourself together. Doesn’t help.
You wrap your arms over your head, trying to put a cap on the pain. Doesn’t help. You knot your hands around each other, trying to keep them busy so they don’t pull out your hair or gauge out your eye on accident. Yes, accident. You are biologically programmed to stay alive. Right now, every cell in your body is on fire, and they’re all being told the problem is easily within reach, not 2 inches inward from the outside of your iris. Better pay attention, or you’ll seriously hurt yourself.
Maybe you should. Maybe it’d actually feel better. It can’t hurt if it’s not there, right? That’s the 24 minute madness talking. Don’t let it get the best of you.
Finally, a sound! What is it? Where is it coming from? Oh, it’s you. Screaming–shrieking endlessly, because what else is there to do? At least you can still hear. Screaming helps a bit. Redirecting energy away from you. But oh, no. Look, you’ve gone and made it mad. Now it has to hurt more to make up for all the pain you tried to rid yourself of.
A fresh wave hits the moment your lungs run out of air. Now what? Can’t scream, can’t cry, can’t breathe. Just pain. Just sit in it. Just wallow in how much it hurts and how little you can do about it.
We’ll stop there, you get the idea. Now. If you tell me you still see the world the same after that, I’ll call you a liar or a god. Of COURSE I want to go out at night. I’ve been burning inside, all I want is cool night air on my face. I want to go out. I want to see people. Make sure they notice me, make sure I’m still here after all that.
I can’t help but keep my shoulders back. I can’t help but walk a little faster, with a little more strength in my step. I can’t help but look people in the eye. What? What do you want? What in the FUCK could you possibly have to say to me?
So you see, clusters fuck you up, but they leave you fearless and utterly apathetic. What could possibly happen to me that could be worse than what I just went through? It’s not a great thought to carry around, but carry it we do.