He rubbed his temples but the pain didn’t subside.  It never did and yet he persisted each time his head ached.  He never really thought about it either, it was just something he’d always done, some habit picked up along the way.  He did, however, force his jaw to relax because he knew if he was grinding his teeth his headache would never go away.  The clenching always come about involuntarily but with concentrated effort he could make it stop.  Most of the time.

Sometimes only sleep would provide him relief.  Most of the time sleep was a luxury he could not attain.

At the moment it felt like someone had taken a hammer to his head.  Though, in truth he didn’t really know what that would feel like and only could imagine.  He seriously doubted he wanted to know what it actually felt like but since his jaw and cheek bones already throbbed as if broken, perhaps he could at least guess.

He sighed and pushed the pain away.  It didn’t work completely but it was enough for him to get back to work.  The promise of his bed at the end of the day helped some too.  The mind, as always, was his strongest muscle.  Exercising it could help him power through everything else that needed to get done.  And there was a lot he still had to do.

The bed would be there but not necessarily sleep.  Good sleep.  Dreams.  He didn’t always want the dreams anyway.  The things he had done haunted him when they came.  He let the doubt and self-loathing consume him during his awake hours too much already to also be happy when that aspect of his psyche took control of his sleep.  Sleep was restorative and essential but he found himself pushing it off for longer and longer intervals.

He couldn’t actually remember the last time he’d slept.  It didn’t matter, though, he had work to do.

And, begin:

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