02 October 2013

Queasy Piñata

Today's attempt at writing has its roots in grandeur, and probably its end in mediocrity. My ambitions outstrip my ability, all because my head feels like a piñata. This is a source of great distress for me. I had grand plans and a good idea last night, but no time or energy to write it out. The backup plan was to write the kernel of the idea down in one of my handy-dandy little notebooks, then turn out the light for some sleep.

Except for one little detail. My bedside notebook had gone AWOL. Not in the drawer, not on the nightstand, not even on the floor beside the bed. I told myself that I would remember in the morning, but you can guess how well that turned out.

Upon awakening this morning I found myself in possession of a low-grade headache. It started in the base of my skull and wrapped itself around the left side of my brain, edging its way into the frontal lobe. Manageable in the morning, by late afternoon it would balloon into quite a whopper. Like someone was beating it with a stick.

A fine sandwich for lunch had no effect on it. Pain medicine? Pffft. My go-to solution of taking a nap was of no help. In fact, when I arose from the nap, my head felt even worse. The throbbing in the piñata bobbing around on the top of my neck made me slightly nauseated.

Nauseated, not nauseous. I use that word deliberately. 

Never let it be said that I cannot learn something new. As someone who aspires to be a writer, I am always on the lookout for new words and word-related knowledge. Recently, it became illuminated for me the difference between 'nauseated' and 'nauseous'. Shocking, I know, that I did not know the shading between those two siblings.

Simplifying a bit, but it turns out, that to be 'nauseated' means to be feeling sick to the stomach, i.e. inclined to vomit. 'Nauseous', on the other hand, means to cause feelings of nausea, i.e. something revolting or physically disturbing. 

A very fine line, would you say? Me, too. Admittedly the latest dictionaries seem to indicate that over time, the usage of 'nauseous' to mean the feeling of sickness rather than the cause of sickness has become so commonplace that the two words are near interchangeable. So for years, I had been saying "I feel nauseous" when what I really meant was "I feel nauseated". 

The realization made me nauseated. Heehee.

So when I sat down to write today, trying to think through the fog of fatigue, forgetfulness and headache, the only thing looping through this weird brain of mine was a riff on the new thing I learned. That is about as good as it was going to get, seeing as I lost another essay idea to the void.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, left me a little...nauseated. 

1 comment:

  1. Just as I was falling asleep last night I had an entire--and dare I say, brilliant--conversation between two characters in a story I'm working on. I could have reached for my bedside tablet, but was so sure I would remember, and I was tired.

    I only remember these two words from the whole dialogue: "bedtime stories." How nauseous does that make me this morning? ;D

    Hope you feel better today...


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...