“You see this pen here,” I pick it up, twirl it between my fingers. My voice is thick with pain. I sound exhausted, and drunk from pain.

Christ, it’s…

I squint to see the clock across the room but it’s no use. I check the phone in my pocket for the time.

It’s a little after noon.

I still have a couple hours to go.

“Uh-huh,” my friend replies, looking up from her text book.

I am not coherent enough to figure chemistry out. She’s not smart enough.

I look at the pen. It’s a simple Bic pen, nothing fancy. Clear plastic barrel with the tube of ink in the middle, a metal tip. It’s not even a fancy clicky pen.

Her eyes flick from the pen to mine.

I mime stabbing myself in the neck with the pen and make a choked noise. I hold the tip of the pen a couple inches from my jugular.

“Right in the jugular,” I say, “blood all over my chem homework and book,” I mime with my fingers blood spraying out of my neck, “what a pity,” I mutter.

She laughs and I groan with another wave of pain. I lay my head in my chem book, looking up at her.

The teacher circles us like a hawk, “need help girls?” she asks.

In more ways you can imagine.

I raise my head out of my book, “alright, let’s do this.”


4 thoughts on “Pens

  1. It is so hard when you have chronic daily headache (cdh) as well as migraines. I hope you eventually get some relief.


    • Thank you. This little vignette is from my junior year of high school (approx 3 years ago) and probably during the peak of my migraine and headache related depression. I reenacted this probably 3 or 4 times a week. Thanks, I hope we all get some relief.


        • I’m on my third neurologist and I don’t really like his approach to my problem, I’ve had a couple invasive procedures and I’m not a big fan of that. I’ve had a spinal tap and an internal ultrasound. Not fun. He believes my migraines are hormonal related so I’ve been talking to my gyno about that, she’s fantastic. Since I live in the greater Philadelphia area, I’m thinking about being referred down to Jefferson Headache Clinic and giving them a try. I’m much better than what I was in high school, I still have headaches but I deal with them better and I’m taking medicines correctly. No more rebound headaches for me. My depression is under better control than what it was. Thanks for asking. I’m happy to hear that you like your new doctor, I hope she helps.


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