November 10, 2006

Another November 10

I woke up suddenly, with a banging in my head, as if something were inside and fighting to get out. It was about three in the morning: at that time I often suffered from insomnia, but this wasn't the sleeplessness of nagging thoughts, of trying to read with sleep just out of reach. This was pounding, crashing, an unreleaseable scream.

It was the screaming that you make when you need to know an answer and there is no answer you can bear to hear. You need to grasp, and cannot grasp: you need to know and do not want to know. So there is a banging in your head, you flail about, lash out in all directions for want of a target you can hit: until you are exhausted, when you stop, and wait until your energy is restored until you start again. And as you sleep, your energy and your thoughts return to you, until you wake, three o'clock in the morning, with a pounding head and the need to shout and scream.

I went into the bathroom and began to hit the walls. When the walls would not move for me, I picked up objects, plastic bathroom mugs, toothbrushes, small things, pitiful things, and threw them at the walls. When they would not break, I ran out of the room and ran downstairs, and walked in circles in the sitting-room, clenching my fingers, muttering like a madman, speaking in rhetoric. I shouted why? and all its variations, as if it were a curse, as if it were a condemnation: as if it were the kind of mantra with which one fills the head, as if in saying it I could avoid hearing the answer to the question that it asked. I say I shouted: I do not know, in truth, whether I shouted or whether the world outside my head were silenced by the pounding of the thoughts within.

I paced and circled: she came downstairs and saw my circling. She spoke, not having spoken until then, not truthfully, not everything. There's something I have to tell you, she began, and told me everything I already knew.


At November 13, 2006 2:27 pm, Blogger nmj said...

Hi EHJ, I like the way you write. Families can be a source of joy or a source of hell. I've had both.

At November 13, 2006 2:32 pm, Blogger nmj said...

Sorry, I mean EJH.

At November 20, 2006 6:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what did she say? don't leave us in suspense!


Post a Comment

<< Home