Birth and pain are interdependent.
I thought my headaches were the result of stress, sourced in a fear that I was losing my ability to cope with work. My doctor said I needed to relax, so I ran a bath, poured a liberal amount of wine into a plastic beaker and sunk into it.
I tried not to think about how much the website was costing us, or if my sister was right to marry Justin.
Jenny, will you please stop it?
I sat up, knocked the beaker to the ground and shrieked.
‘What the fuck?’
Interesting question, I know that I exist and I’m absorbing a lot of interesting information.
My skin prickled with unease and I wrapped my arms around myself.
‘You’re a voice in my head, you’re not supposed to talk to me.’
That’s different. I am inside your head.
I shivered, despite the heat of the water.
Literally inside your head.
I ran my fingers over my scalp, combed through my wet hair and tried to imagine what lay inside my skull.
My grip on reality had become fragile.
‘You’re a tumour? A talking fucking tumour?’
I don’t know what I am. It’s not a matter of scale, because I don’t think I am taking up any room in here.
‘I’ve been getting headaches.’
Well of course, you’re horribly stressed out, you don’t eat or sleep properly.
‘Hey, Jiminy Cricket, stop doing that.’
A wave of utter bliss fell upon me, and I sank back into the water as my thighs fluttered with delight.
‘Did you just do that?’
I did but I’m not sure how. We’re connected.
‘But I can’t even see you, you’re just a voice in my head. Ish.’
What if it could make me feel other things? Methods of control. The thought was shrill and ugly, twisting in my stomach like an old wound healed wrong.
No, Jenny, I would not do that to you. We’re connected.
‘But I can’t see into you. How do I know you won’t make me feel bad things if you needed to?’
Another wave of pleasure fell onto me and I sighed with a narcotic sense of wonder.
You can see into me if it helps you.
I figured that I should get out of the bath for that. I dried off, got into warm, comfortable pyjamas and wrapped my hair in a towel before I laid on the bed and looked up at the ceiling.
‘So, how does this work?’
Close your eyes. Focus on the space between your eyebrows. Breathe in and out.
‘I could fall asleep.’
Each breath built upon the last and I began to experience a deep, glorious release. Away from thought and down into feeling.
You’re not falling asleep, Jenny. You’re waking up.
Jenny handed her resignation with a mix of excitement and embarrassment. She did not have long to stop and talk, she had a plane to catch.
Everyone said how different she looked. A slight cast in her right eye, but she was trialling a new contact lens.
She did not have time to explain that the trial was her own. She had built a computer last night, using bacteria and the lens was how she operated it, using eye movements to draw up the information she needed.
She had built it in a single evening, and despite not having slept, she moved within a storm of positive energy. It was her and Jiminy against the world now.
They were going places.
They were going to do incredible things.