Self preservation 102: Dying is easy, it's living that's hard

They say the last thing to go when you fall asleep is your hearing. It’s the first thing to come back when you wake up, too. It makes sense, but I couldn’t tell you what came back first this time.

Consciousness crashed over me, nearly as painfully as when it had been forcibly taken from me. All at once I was acutely aware of everything, from the irritation of my stubble against the crappy pillowcase, through the pressure in my bladder, to the chill of the breeze that blew over my hands, every time the doors nearby slid open, pulled it seemed by 1000 asthmatic mice.

None of these came close to the throbbing pain in my head, though, and everything made that worse. Breathing hurt. The noise of the people around me, in what must have been the local ER hurt more.

But what hurt the most, were the lights – overhead and strobes from outside – which seemed to pass like lasers through my eyelids.

The lights were back on with a vengeance, and I wondered whether I might not have preferred them to stay off, instead.

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