Cardboard Headaches

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

My headache recedes today after a terrible headache-filled day and evening yesterday. I’m still in Houston, my last full day in Houston, actually. There are two possible causes for yesterday’s headache, nausea, and general sickness: the first is my last lunch, not getting up until after 11am, I didn’t eat until 2pm. While my eating habits have in the past caused headaches, they have not left me in the debilitating state I found myself in yesterday.

The more likely explanation (likely as in clever and therefore more interesting, but not in the least related to any scientific evidence) is that sleeping in the company of cardboard boxes caused my sickness. After packing my belongings on Monday, the moving company failed to tell me that they wouldn’t actually pick up the boxes until today (Wednesday). Cardboard has a particular smell. It’s a moldy, papery smell. (Obviously my creative juices aren’t flowing, since that’s the best I can come up with for a description.) After sleeping with my windows open yesterday, I woke up much improved this morning. I’ve since aired out my empty apartment, so tonight should be even better. If I can find some scientific evidence for the cardboard conspiracy, I can institute a class action lawsuit and makes millions of dollars in attorney’s fees.

The cardboard boxes have since left me, and my car has been reprocessed. Tomorrow, I begin my three weeks as a vagabond, both homeless and carless, relying on the kindness of Doolies to see me through.

A sense of calmness and happiness descends on me during post-headache days. My former boss (not that boss), a man of little intellect and few insights, did supply a little perspective on my PH days, which went to show me that even the clueless, sans-intellectuals of the world have the occasional wise insight to impart, or now that I think about, can recall an insight of another and pawns it off as his own. Returning to his insight, he said that PH days (he didn’t use my clever acronym) were so good because they are a contrast to the terrible previous day. There you have it: Contrast.

I leave Houston tomorrow for the last time. I don’t plan to return anytime soon. The last three years have been interesting (I won’t define that word for you), but it’s time to make a break and start anew. Snap. I’ve fallen nicely into vacation mode. Most of my stresses have been lifted and I find myself gliding through the days. Regrettably, the last few days involved sitting around my apartment waiting for movers and packers to arrive or telephone, but, except for the deadly cardboard fumes, it’s not been too a terrible move. (Yet.)