Apparently, no doctor has found the cause for what we call Ice Pick Headaches: those stabbing, shattering pains that enter the minds of their sufferers like me, then disappear in a hotter flash. They’re not linked to any sort of brain damage, it seems, yet some say they might indicate a flaw in certain pain receptors (given that there is no correlation with any environmental factors).
Maybe that kind of flaw would explain, too, why I still haven’t run from you.
At the bar with my friends, I sometimes admit that when I’m up to my lips with ice, you put me on my knees and you strike—you work away until there’s nothing left but water in my mouth.
They always urge me to get rid of you, of course (skip the town, if you really need to) but I think that I have too much love for our little Artic, Indiana.
Besides, why should I be the one to leave?
On the days that I still try to reach your good heart, I think of the summer that you and I went to the lavender field close to the library: my favorite spot where I used to sit and read or sleep. You’d laid down with me in that grass just like one would an epic novel, and you’d flipped through my pages with all the attention of a high scholar.
“Oh, so sweet of him,” my mother said to me, later that afternoon, seeing in my hands the flowers that I’d ripped from the ground.
But because it is winter now, I only want to rip my brain from its own stem. I want to wring out my grey matter until I can find that goddamn ice pick, catch it in the act and remove it from the world for good. These last few months, it’s come back to me again and again (usually as I’ve been walking the road to see you), just like the butterflies that used to meet my stomach.
If this disorder is not linked to my environment, as so claims the great Internet, then why does it so happen in such correlations, I wonder? Could it mean that you yourself are not really my environment? Perhaps you are, truly, the ice pick?
Either way, I think that something was set off in me, that day I arrived intending to watch those Marvel movies with you in your room. I think it was maybe that it was ten below zero, that day, or the fact that you were using your scraper-brush on your windshield as I sort-of approached, or maybe because you looked up at me as you continued to do it, and in any case the hearty pain came again and I grasped my head with a new yell.
Somebody said icicles would, hypothetically, make the perfect murder weapon; I think the logic was that icicles are sharp, and they melt, which does make sense. At the time, I must have misheard.
Pascale is Editor-in-Chief of Wrongdoing Magazine and an Editor at a few other publications, including CHEAP POP and Walled Women Magazine. She’s also Staff Contributor for The Aurora Journal and has placed work in Eclectica Magazine, Maudlin House, BlazeVOX, Witch Craft Magazine, and many others. She has a BAH from Queen’s University, and she is working on a budding book series. You can read more about her at pascalepotvin.com or @pascalepalaces on Twitter.