The Unremarkable Head Rush


Tomorrow should be important to me, but it’s not. I should’ve planned a thematic celebration, but I didn’t. I couldn’t decide on what that would be. I wasn’t inspired to do anything about it.

It will mark twenty years since my head was cut open by the trusted hands of an old man with diplomas on the walls of his office. So carefully, he drilled into my head and gently cut out tissue that wasn’t supposed to be there, trying his hardest not to touch anything else.

He was successful, mostly. He didn’t get everything, but I didn’t lose any part of my brain. He put my skull back together and stapled the incised skin shut, which was shaven around by a certain radius. It eventually healed over. The hair grew back.

I was an unremarkable case of a health problem nobody wants to have, but also brings no genuine sympathy from other people without a heart wrenching story that tags along. I’m not a very good story teller. I’m not photogenic either. There wasn’t a sob story, because I was too old to be helpless, too young to be promising, and not cute.

So how can I celebrate something that wasn’t an issue at the time?

I didn’t have a formal celebration of this ten years ago, fifteen years ago, or nineteen years ago as conventional anniversaries. Two years ago I took a dive into a major hair transformation that was…a net gain of fun while it lasted, but it didn’t last very long for a reason.

I can’t think of anything that I want to do to mark this occasion but close my eyes and hope I don’t have a headache. I saw my neurologist today and spoke of increased frequency and diversity of headaches, that come from different sources with different symptoms in different spots with different textures. (Headaches have textures. If you didn’t know that, you aren’t very widely experienced in headaches.) I have no idea if this has anything to do with the reasons that 20 years ago I had to walk underground, commando in a hospital gown, from the Children’s Hospital ward to the operation room. (Since my legs worked at the time, they wouldn’t take me there in a wheelchair.) I laid myself on a table in a very sterile grey room, had an anesthetic mask put on, and then spent a few days below the surface of functional reality.

I want to drink, but not as any nostalgic marker because I didn’t drink at the time. I want to drink because I’m frustrated about not having anything planned. I’ll probably walk for an hour to the biggest mall in the city and do shopping I really don’t care to do. I might play video games. I might opt to sleep the whole duration instead, which would actually be the most appropriate option of all. Not just because I spent most of October 25th, 1994 lying down unconscious, but because there’s nothing worth celebrating when the story wasn’t a marketable victory against all odds.