I am interrupting the Halloween extravaganza for an update I think you may enjoy. 13 Days of Darkness is back tomorrow. When I wrote this I was sitting in the Salt Lake City airport at the end of a really difficult morning with Tourette’s Syndrome. Actually, this might count for the Halloween series. It does have blood in it.
I am standing in line in a crowded airport in Salt Lake City and I can’t stop barking. “Arf! Woof! Yip yip yip!”
The other people in the line are not very happy about this. I’m not sure what to say to them. I guess I could say, “Was that me or you? RRRRR. Woof!”
Finally it gets to me. I’m only about ten back in line at this point, but I have to get out of the line. Something is coming. I duck under the rope and sit down in a chair between two of the vending machines and try to sit on my hands–but I’m too late. One of my hands turns into a fist and smashes into my nose.
I look down at my bloody shirt and think: I’m not going to be home for six days. Who’s going to wash this shirt for me? Oh well, no time to worry about this. I don’t think anyone saw me. I put my hands over my nose and run to the bathroom, dripping through my fingers. I throw my duffel bag into one of the stalls and sit on the toilet to regain my composure.
The fist is still flying. This is one of the worst things about Tourette’s. Once I actually injure myself, that is what my brain wants me to keep doing. My poor nose…
“You all right in there?”
I look through the crack in the door. A custodian is standing by the sinks.
“Yeah, thanks man,” I say. “I just have a bloody nose.”
I sit on my hands and drip onto the floor. It isn’t stopping. I look for a way to distract myself, but I sat down in the only stall in the world without any graffiti on the walls. Quickly I unzip my duffel bag and pull out a bag of 60d nails that I have been trying to bend. I quickly wrap one of them in leather, stand up, and bend it with my hands.
Then another. And another. And one more.
My nose is still dripping, but all I can think about is the PR I just hit. My previous record with these nails was three in 30 minutes. I just did four in under two minutes! Woo hoo!
I clean up my nose and walk out of that stall with a big smile on my face, only to slip in the puddle of blood I left on the floor when I walked in. I hurry back into the stall, strip to the waist, and change my shirt. But first I get out the training diary I keep in my bag and mark down:
4 60d nails in two minutes. Hell yes.
It was a good morning after all. I look at myself in the mirror. I look into my eyes trying to see this other thing that lives inside my brain.
I see it. I win again, I say. If you had a throat, I would strangle you, Tourette’s. But you do not, so I will do the only thing I can–the thing you hate the most:I will live my life as if you do not exist. You are only as real as I decide you are.
I head back out, check my bags, and get on my plane. I am twitching again like crazy but I don’t care. Five hours later I will land in Monterey, There was a day when I would have spent the afternoon in bed, curled into a ball.
Instead, I will check into my hotel, ask where the most crowded spot in town is, and I will walk there and stand in the middle of the crowd, just to prove that I can. Just to spite this monster in my head.
I win again.
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