by Taylor Key, Staff Writer

It’s like a pounding drum, building up behind your eyes and bringing with it a brilliant burning. You press knuckles to temple but it continues to grow in strength. Soon it has moved to pound further back, consuming your entire head until your fingers clench and your eyes squeeze shut. It would be easier to ignore it, for the more you feed it with nails digging into your scalp and jaw clenched tight, the stronger it becomes, but you cannot simply expect it to go away.

And once again, it continues to move. First to your throat where it catches with a breath, a lump meeting every swallow. Now others can tell from your heaving that something’s wrong, no amount of breathing can supply you with enough air now but you try anyway, and some try to help. But it’s clear they do not understand as you describe the pounding. I cannot hear it so it mustn’t be so. The more that ask, the more you tell and it’s met with a laugh. That’s silly, they say to you, that’s never happened to me. Perhaps you’ll grow out of it.

But your case will only be made worse if you try and bargain with them that the pounding is there, suffocating you and growing, so instead you try and swallow down the lump and apologize for wasting their time. 

Now you begin to wonder if the pounding is there after all when it moves to your chest. It’s rhythm is quicker than your hearts and with each passing bang you begin to cave in on yourself. It prods itself into your limbs next, arms first then feet. It feels wrong, foreign, but with time it becomes your new state of being. The constant beat has become apart of you and it isn’t long before you forget a time when it was never there. It is now a fact of your life, outside touch no longer feels like anything as your body throbs in an unending tandem. Your hands are too shaky to do anything now that their veins burn and their bones shake but you find little room to miss the still as the beat stop for nothing. You are consumed by an unending hammer and you find, despite your loneliness, at least you have that to hold on to.