I was on I-20 just outside of Douglasville driving home from the holidays with my parents. I’m in the center lane of three, and ahead of me in the right lane is a truck, looks like the kind of flatbed truck with a small hoist used to carry sheetrock. Maybe 100 feet or so ahead of me, maybe less. Truck went boom, loud enough to hear the boom, and shit went everywhere. A blowout. Something went under the rear axle and got kicked up and tumbled into my lane. Looked like a lock box that mounts on the frame of large trucks. Box and shimmering bits spinning through the air, deformed, I could make out the stamped pattern, saw what looked like yellow insulation punctuating the torn pieces. I swerved, it tumbled to my right. I’m not sure how much of the avoidance was swerving, or it’s height in the air. In the moment my thought was, oh shit, that’s enough to fuck up my car pretty seriously, shit oh shit, if it hits the windshield even worse. The more terrifying thought is that it would have activated the airbags if I’d hit it. And then my car would have been left to its own devices to shed 70 miles an hour of speed with no input from me. I took the next exit to stop at a gas station and let my hands stop shaking. I tried with little success to clean ribbons of gunk that had been spun all over the windshield. Hydraulic fluid, or some kind of grease.
Back on the road and by the time I hit the state line the adrenaline finally crashed, so I took a moment to sit on a picnic table, reflect a bit more, and drink some vending machine coffee to pick me up, calm me down, for the remainder of the drive.
Born to run, or did my parents just think fat-baby-in-a-track-star-shirt was funny?
Found type in the parking garage stairwell.
Years in the making is not an overstatement. Rarely have I enjoyed the smell of fresh ink on paper as much.
It’s the damn little things. We updated the floor numbering at the Museum, changing from “1, 2, 3” to “G, 1, 2.” The tech came out and updated the elevator buttons, but I noticed the floor indicators above the doors were still the old version. Sigh. But, a couple of weeks later I saw the tech in the elevator. I was pleased. Then I rode the elevator, looking up, expecting to bask in the glory of floor indicators to match the new numbers. And behold. A hand-lettered “G.”
I’m still a little surprised Doug Jones won. I’m still not used to voting for candidates that win.
I wondered many times if another migraine would strike. At times I began to think perhaps the waiting was worse, a nagging little concern in the back of my mind after runs. Would this be the day I get another. After six months the nagging concern shifted slowly to small amazement and a begrudging appreciation for the growing gap from my last migraine.
And then 364 days since my last migraine, sitting a lunch with friends after a run, the little aberration appeared. A faint smudge in the middle of my vision. I made a hasty departure and on my walk home the smudged cracked, refracted, and began the familiar shimmer of an aura. The usual course of action. Excedrin. Shower. Nap. An abbreviated nap so I could still attend a family holiday lunch. I’ll not be abbreviating my migraine routine again. Though it was not a severe migraine and it was waning as I left home, recovering in a busy restaurant was unpleasant.
The upshot is I have a potential lead on triggers. As much as one would be tempted to think it’s the holidays and the stress involved, research doesn’t show stress in and of itself is a migraine trigger. Which is a little disappointing as my mind would love to make the connection that this migraine was caused by what has just been a shitty-feeling holiday season which is always a difficult time for me. Looking back at what’s been different for the last year, I think it could be as simple as a vitamin deficiency.
I have mild dermatitis. Particularly a form that causes small blisters on my fingers and palms that eventually lead to cracking and flaking skin. No serious harm, but generally just unpleasant. Sometime a year or so ago, my friend Cynthia took notice and pointed out that skin function is related to Vitamin B, and perhaps a supplement could help with the dermatitis. I gave it a try. After a few months I noticed I hadn’t really had an outbreak in a while, and I continued to take a B vitamin supplement for a while. But, as habits are formed, for whatever reason I slacked off and haven’t taken the supplement for a couple of months. And a couple of weeks ago I noticed the first dermatitis outbreak on my hands in quite some time. And then a week or so later I had my first migraine in almost a year.
The evidence is obviously correlation and I can’t prove causation through this observation. But, it’s enough to make me take the supplement again. Time will perhaps tell if I’ve found the underlying cause of my migraines. Or this could be another stab in the dark and there was no particular reason I went nearly a year without a migraine. After all, they have shown themselves to be rather mercurial in timing over the years.
A relatively surprising December snow in Birmingham. I wandered downtown for an hour or so taking it all in, and in my fashion, documented the aesthetic appeal. Abstraction. Found type. Manhole covers. More or less the greatest hits in black and white, with a little more frozen white than usual.
Things at the Museum that amuse me. When gallery labels are found in incongruous settings.
Across the street, Mike’s Pawn Shop glowing in the fog. Wholesale to the public. An image that’s begging to be the setting for a short story, or a novel.