Monday, September 14, 2009

Sit On Your Hands On a Bus Of Survivors

Here is the back of a boat house.

I thought I'd do another quaint writing exercise this week on the nature of pain. What was last week's again? Oh yeah. I talked about touching a dead body when I was kid. One of these days, I'll surprise the hell out of all y'all and write about rainbows and unicorns. Of course, rainbows are just illusions and unicorns creep me out, so I doubt my take will be very sweet. If you only know me from my blog, I swear to god that in real life I'm fun and happy and hopeful.. It just seems like writing brings up the dark sludge in me. Here it is:

You are quite familiar with physical pain. It used to be part of your job. When you would assess patients with pain complaints, you knew just what to ask them. Was it sharp and stabbing, radiating or crushing? On a scale of one to ten where 10 is the worst pain imaginable and one is normal, how would you rank your pain? (just another reason to hate math and numbers)

You've felt it yourself. Mostly through your migraines. That sharp stabbing pain in your sinus cavity so intense it makes you throw up and pass-out, getting dragged underneath a buggy and losing layers of skin on your left leg, and 36 hours of labor. On a scale from one to ten where ten is the worst pain imaginable, you'd give those a 20.

The crazy thing about physical pain, is that once it's gone, it's hard to remember what it felt like exactly. Which is probably the only reason women have more than one child. You know it hurt, you know it was unpleasant, but you can't make yourself really feel it again even minutes after it's gone.

Emotional pain is a different beast altogether. Years and years after you've experienced it, you feel it exactly like you did the first time - sharp and stabbing in your stomach, crushing your chest and radiating throughout your body.

And now for something completely different...I'm going to take a weekly count for training purposes: This week I ran 41 miles, rode only 10 miles on my bike and sacrificed my lap swim to a Stinky girl's stomach flu. My iPod played a few songs I hadn't heard in a while tonight too:

1. "Mirror in the Bathroom" - The English Beat.

2. "Jump in the Line" - Harry Belafonte.

3. "Love and Destroy" - Franz Ferdinand.

4. "Bombs Over Baghdad" - Outkast.

5. "Somewhere Only We Know" - Keane.


Ananda girl said...

You are so right about both kinds of pain.

Gee... I thought I was the only one left who still liked Harry Belafonte. What an odd assortment, but fun.

jeci said...

At the risk of repeating myself: I love when you write like this. :)

Remiman said...

And then there is that satisfying pain after a grueling training sesson and our muscles are infused with satisfying soreness.

AlienCG said...

Excellent work and very true. I don't remember much in the way of my physical pain. You have skills.

Pamela said...

But rainbows have nothing to hide.

Pain is indeed an interesting creature.

Tara said...

Can't take aspirin for emotional pain, that's for sure.

I love that song by Harry Bellafonte.

Brando said...

What about the pain of having your heart ripped out when your team loses it's opener on a long pass AND it's best defensive player for the year? That feels physical yet lingers like the emotional.

laura b. said...

The mind is kind when it comes to physical pain. But yeah, emotional pain...where's the break?
And those songs! I love them all. Bombs Over Bahgdad is one of my all time favorites.

Churlita said...


Thanks. I like Harry Belafonte - even before Beetlejuice.


Thank you so much, even if, or especially if you repeated yourself.


I don't even think of that as pain. It's more like a sweet reminder of the endorphins gained.


It is weird about physical pain, isn't it?


Oh, those rainbows are always hiding that damn pot of gold, aren't they?


Wouldn't it be great if there was an aspirin for emotional pain...Or is that called Percocet?


Um, I think people who decide to support Chicago teams, need to learn how to deal with both kinds of pain...And fast.


They were all great songs to run to. I got lucky.