“I didn’t drive this morning,” I say carelessly, sounding more like I’m stating an observation as I wait and look out at the parking lot. I watch the cars drive down the road, looking at their general shapes and the blurs of color as I can’t make out a lot of detail without my glasses, “I didn’t feel well this morning,” I tack on. He looks at me, looking for more details, “migraine,” I add, “I don’t feel comfortable driving.”
“Ah, yeah,” he says, “I wouldn’t either if I had a car.”
I chuckle. I have a car and I can’t even drive it. We talk for a little bit about migraines. He knows someone with migraines, his girlfriend’s brother. I ask a couple questions he doesn’t know the answer to.
“Are they migraines or cluster headaches?” I ask.
“I don’t know, I think they’re migraines. What are cluster headaches?” he asks.
I laugh. God. “Headache is really a misnomer. They’re so much more,” I laugh dryly, “They’re also known as suicide headaches,” his eyes widen. “It’s the most painful condition known. If her brother moves around and it’s short, it’s a cluster headache. If he has a variety of symptoms, over sensitivity being the big one then it’s a migraine. ” I feel pretty good about educating someone about this.
“What do you take for that?” he asks me after a moment.
There is a little hesitation. I don’t take anything because nothing works and no one knows what to give me. If I give him a name, I’ll have to explain what it does. We’re English majors, not pre-med or health majors. The only thing I take is Excedrin and the occasional vicodin.
“Vicodin,” I say.
His eyes widen and then he laughs. The image of me, the stereotype assigned me to as an education major finally shatters. There’s always something about someone, everyone has a secret.
“Yeah,” I kick a rock, scoffing the bottom of my shoe on the pavement. “I can’t wait until I have a drug test and there are narcotics in my body fluid,” I laugh, it’s that sad, dry, desperate one that makes me sick, makes my situation seem so much more pathetic.
He laughs again, heartier.
“Well,” I think, “I have a prescription for it so,” I trail off.
“Oh,” he says, “I just figured…,” he trails off too.
My eyes widen now. For a brief second he just assumed it was illegal. The image shattered the wrong way.
“No, no,” I begin. After all the shit I go through, went through to get Vicodin, to get some relief.
“That’s what I would do,” he shrugs, “with that much pain.”
I shrug and pull my bag higher on my shoulders. I hear the Excedrin rattle in my bag.