The muscles in my neck and shoulders feel like they are being stretched and twisted and pulled tight, as if badly frayed lengths of thick wire rope were clawing at me from the inside.  Maybe those pieces of wire rope are my muscles. Maybe I feel broken strands of steel wire stabbing and scraping me as the muscles response to my attempts to move.

Those muscles, pulling and stretching and writhing, cause my head to ache; a dull throbbing accompanied by a sharp pain, as if a thin slice of steel positioned between the lobes of my brain is twisting in an attempt to separate them from one another. In my mind’s eye, I see an oyster being pried open with a shucking knife. I wonder whether the oyster feels the same pain I do? Is the mollusk in agony as its shell is split in two, revealing the pearly lining that attempts to protect its soft inner self?


I have to shower now. And then go to church, where I hope I will find that the HVAC system was properly set to cool the community hall and sanctuary for the service in a few hours time. If not, I will try to figure out how to make it work. Already I have regrets; not about my role, but about a role not adequately filled.  Enough. It’s a shade after 6; I have to move.  Dammit.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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