Monday, December 18, 2006

The Serpent of Pain

The metal hand gripping my right side squeezed viciously as a flat hammer hit the edge of my face. I ground my jaw and sharp pain split through my head from ear to ear. Shivering, I shifted position and tumbled out of bed onto the thinly carpeted floor. Something had begun to grip me by the cheek-bones, squeezing hard as though trying to pop my eyes out. “Oh my head” I groaned, as another paroxysm of coughing shook my whole body.

Emerging into wakefulness, I remembered where I was and what I was to do today. Rising stiffly but purposefully and heading towards the tiny bathroom, I realised I was yet again suffering from a Benalin hangover. Talk about a chemical cosh! My virtuousness the night before at my mate’s party in drinking only the cola hadn’t made me feel any better. But I had to move. I was in a strange place but I had an appointment with the goddess.

I had ordered sun and he was here! The sky was high, the sun shafted low across the hills as we drove, licking me cautiously through the windscreen as I lay huddled on the passenger seat. My companion this day, a purple haired druid, chatted easily as she manoeuvred the car along the winding lanes. Inside, a serpent of pain wrestled purposefully with the Linda McCartney Veggie sausages I had unwisely eaten for breakfast. My bowels churned and I wandered how long it would be before I was forced to dive behind a bush. If I kept very, very still, perhaps it would all go away?

The car coasted gently along, up, round and on. I allowed myself to sense the movement as though on some kind of never-ending roller-coaster for wimps. From time to time a certain drowsy safe sleepy feeling crept over me, only to be suddenly supplanted by another gut wrenching twist as the serpent turned and made himself more comfortable.

“We’re surrounded by holly hedges and oh, there’s a blackbird, ah, and a squirrel” the PHD’s voice broke in. “We’re nearly there”, she continued.


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