I digress today from the theme of depression to one that has travelled closely with it until very recently. “The Elephants”. Of course there are several types of elephant. Firstly, there is ‘The Elephant in the Room’. Next there are the coloured elephants – the ‘Pink Elephant’ and the ‘White Elephant’. I shall define these briefly for those who hail from Saturn or who vary the colours of their elephantine associations. However, today I wish to share with you my perspective on the phenomena that I call “The Elephants”.
The Elephant in the Room
The Elephant in the Room is one of the more familiar breeds that I refers to. It is a stubborn creature. It stands in the middle of a room where it cannot be missed. People know that it is there, but try to ignore it. They do not want to acknowledge it, however the Elephant in the Room does not go away until it is dealt with. Properly. If ignored too long the Elephant in the Room may even start to misbehave, distract people and destroy things purely by its presence.
Next there is the Pink Elephant. To some, what I call the White Elephant is also called a Pink Elephant. However, a Pink Elephant is known as such because it is impossible to miss. It stands out. It is conspicuous. People are often embarrassed by them. The more ostentatious the elephant, the more conspicuous the person it accompanies will feel.
A White Elephant is an item, generally a bulky one, that takes up space that nobody wants. They are often of little perceived value to the owner, out of date and not particularly attractive to anyone who holds current right of possession. But to the astonishment of all – sometimes there is someone out there who wants it. Sometimes. Stalls and sales where people bring their unwanted items to sell often used to be known as ‘White Elephant’ stalls, stores, stands or sales.
Anyone who suffers from severe headaches and/or migraines experiences from time to time an acquaintance of some level with The Elephants. Sometimes the headache is only mild, but persistent. There might be one spot that feels like an Elephant has his foot or a knee fixed right up against it, leaning all his weight against it at once – or sometimes leaning in then out and shifting his weight a little. Other times it might feel like he’s trying to poke his trunk right through your eye socket.
But … every now and then The Elephants gather. It might be a cocktail party – annoying noise making things foggy, Elephant bodies jostling together, occasionally bumping against the sides of your head or more delicate parts of your brain – the bits in the middle that hurt – all noise sounds tinny and everyone around you seems to be shouting. There are some Elephants leaning constantly against the walls of your head checking out the rest of the action – because these ones like to see what’s coming up next so they can shoot through or step up to party.
The ‘Rave’ party is something else. “The Elephants” pack in like clowns into a mini-minor on Sesame Street. The music pulsates and throbs to the rhythm of the pulse in your eardrums while they jump and stomp and punch the air and poke their trunks into anything that doesn’t get out of the way – and that’s the ones in the middle of the head. The ones at the edge love nothing better than to throw themselves against the walls as they thrash in time with the music. In the heat of the dance, still other Elephants push and shove to thrust their trunks into the eye sockets to gasp some cool fresh air. Of course the movement of the dance floor and of the music is often too much for a person’s vestibular system – so The Elephants’ besieged host at times is also affected by dizziness and the ever dignified volcanic nausea – vomiting.
“The Elephants” in their element – The Migraine.
But it doesn’t finish there … After the migraine “The Elephants” would – to put it in human terms – blow well over point0.05. Now is their turn to be ill. And the host must carry a heavy head full of limp, hungover Elephants around for the next day or two as they gradually waken, stumble around clinging to their heads whilst supporting themselves against their host’s skull until they sober up and one by one, take themselves home – wherever it is they may belong.