Prismatic worm-like segments floated at the periphery of his vision. Closing his eyes, he hoped it would be different this time around but deep inside he knew nothing would change. Instinctively, he grabbed the fatty tissue between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand with the thumb and forefinger of his right and squeezed. He knew his pressure points and hoped this might at least be the preemptive strike he needed. A temporary reprieve.
He slowed his heart rate as best he could, but while the rhythmic pounding slowed it seemed louder and more exaggerated with every pulse and the floating segments burst into brighter colors with the cadence of the beat.
He pressed his hand tighter moving it slightly to find the most tense part of the muscle in his hand. "Please stop," he pleaded silently to no God in particular.
Pound-Flash. Pound-Flash. Pound-Flash. It continued in simultaneous bursts. He tried to imagine it was his own personal fireworks show. Spinning the most positive thought he could to make light of the coming storm.
He wanted to bury his head. Flee to total darkness but it was impossible in cube town where heads popped up in random succession, voices drifted overhead like low lying thunder clouds and fluorescent lights buzzed like bees stirred from their hive. Instead he squeezed open his eyes to peer out the tunnel his vision had become only to see his supervisor hovering over him with "that look" on his face again.
"Nap time, Emery?" came the voice with a sound like the whine of metal gears grinding in a worn out transmission.
"Just computer eye strain," was the weakened reply. He knew only one thing that would cure his malady. His inner eye had been telling me for weeks. "Get a new job. One you love and makes you feel fulfilled," it would say.
One day he would listen.