Status Migrainus

His mind, by and large, remained undisciplined, not so much due to an innate shortcoming of character as the distraction caused by the unremitting nature of his "headaches." He sought medical attention initially and was referred to experts at the largest of tertiary care research hospitals. The characteristics of his visual auras had been described by neurological consultants as "atypical," as well as noting that subjectively, the man's ability to distinguish between awake and dream states was impaired. The panoply of brain imaging, electroencephalograms and blood assays yielded nothing conclusive. His care was ultimately deferred into the hands of a world renown psychiatrist.

This physician, an elderly man, had been practicing for over fifty years, and listened intently to the account. After the man concluded, the doctor said nothing but lit his pipe, and made conspicuous pup-pup-pupping sounds, pursing and unpursing his lips. This went on for many minutes until the doctor was enveloped in an enormous cloud of smoke. He then proceeded to laugh. Smoke staccatoed from his mouth like an old steam engine, the new noise better approximated as fuff-fuff-fuffing. The doctor went about relighting his pipe now with additional pup-pup-pupping. The man could no longer visualize the doctor, but heard his voice within the vapor.

"How marvelous it would be to move freely from consciousness to dream state in the course of a day, treating neither as exclusive to the other. I'm envious, very envious, my friend. . . "

The doctor sat in his leather chair, alternately pup-pup-pupping and fuff-fuff-fuffing, as more and more smoke filled the interview chamber until the patient could stand it no longer and began to cough. He was unable to stop.

The more the man coughed, the louder the doctor laughed and more pronounced his fuff-fuff-fuffs became. The man's coughing grew weaker eventually, transitioning to shallow intermittent gasps, as he slouched further and further over to one side of the leather couch. When his head finally touched the armrest, the doctor asked,

"Should I open a window?"

"Yes," the man was barely able to croak.

"I can't," the doctor said. "If you notice, there are no windows in this room. Perhaps you could. . . create one." The psychiatrist cocked his left eyebrow at the severest of angles.

"Thank you," the man replied in the faintest of whispers at which point two large muffled windows appeared, half shrouded in dark amber festoons and falls of heavy drapery. With great effort, the man pushed himself off the couch, staggered two steps forward and flung aside the newly created material, pushed the panels outward, while doing so drew in a labored breath. Blue sky was evident and upon a tree branch just outside sat a small purple bird with an elaborate and somewhat rakish orange cowl. It chirped mechanically.

The psychiatrist pointed his pipe stem at the man and said, "You see. Who cares what caused your shit. You just create a window then open it. I'm afraid, that's all we have time for today." The psychiatrist jotted a single sentence in his notebook, snapped it closed and regarded a fingernail.