La Noche Oscura Del Alma

Sunday, 21 November

I have spent most of today in bed, just feeling nauseous, aching inside and out and listening to my heart beating with a slow and heavy thump. Thump. Thump. The very second that I opened my eyes this morning I saw that the room was spinning around me and when I ran my tongue along my gums I could taste blood in my mouth. I sat up very carefully but my balance was shot to hell and my chest was extremely tight as though my ribcage had been pushed into the centre of my chest. I took a deep breath and as I stretched I felt each individual rib crack back into place. Thankfully my breathing returned to normal quite quickly but I began to cough so hard that my nose streamed with blood-stained mucus. 

I climbed out of bed and had to practically crawl on my hands and knees into the bathroom to run a hot bath in order to purify myself and raise my body temperature for the hundredth time this week (Luke was right when he warned that anyone who bathes in the knowledge of Tehuti will eventually find themselves satiating their desires with his waters). Once inside the bathroom I braced myself against the sink and stared into the mirror for a good five minutes or so, studying the unfamiliar face that was staring back at me. My eyes were red and sore, my breathing was laboured and my movements were disconnected from my reflection. I am unrecognisable, even to myself. 

Although early mornings are without doubt the worst part of the day, nighttimes are also proving difficult to bear. My pillow is as hard as haematite and no matter how frequently I wash and change my sheets they constantly reek of damp and musty peat. I lie in bed for hours and try to fall asleep but I am painfully aware that my teeth are bulky and cumbersome like large rocks in my mouth, I have a dull toothache in my incisors (it’s a tickly vibration as though a small electrical current is being passed through them, which is not entirely disagreeable but it’s a toothache nonetheless), my legs and forearms feel abnormally long and my bones seem to thin at the joints to the extent that it is uncomfortable to lie with my knees together. When I close my eyes the room spins in a downwards spiralling motion and every so often the bed jolts so violently that it shakes me instantly awake. They will not let me sleep and no matter how much salt and water I scatter around the room at night I can feel them sat on the floor beside the bed, watching me and tapping the furniture and making strange whistling-blowing noises. They leave pennies on my cabinet which makes me think that they are mocking me and I have to pull the sheets tightly over my head because I hate the buzzing noise that fills my ears when they lean over the bed. At first I thought that they would hurt me, but now that I am vulnerable and exposed to them I wonder whether they are simply trying to protect me. Either way, there is really no need for them to make such a commotion.

I wake in the morning with the aches and pains that I have described above and the symptoms diminish throughout the course of the day, but most often the thick mucus remains in my nose and throat and I can barely speak for a persistent ‘gurgling’ sound in my chest. I realise that there are medicines and remedies that can control these physical symptoms and Luke has drummed into me the names of the concoction of tablets that he takes to make his daily life more bearable - antispasmodic drugs to calm the soft tissues of the body and to assist with the digestion of food, carotenoid capsules to help with light absorption and sight issues, antihistamines to guard against allergic reactions and all manner of dried herbs in capsule form for his various other ailments - but I have not been dependent on a substance in my entire life (not even nicotine or caffeine) and I am not willing to start now.

This morning I sat alone in my bedroom and I took a self-portrait with my digital camera. The light was poor and the angle was not flattering (I could hear Leonard’s voice insisting that I raised the blinds to allow some natural light to come into the room) but the resulting picture was beyond shocking. The whites of my eyes look dark and reptilian and the skin on my face is so transparent that I can see a network of blue veins beneath the surface of my skin. I should send the photograph to Luke entitled ‘The White Portrait’ - the final piece for the portfolio from his coniunctio queen - to show him what a foul and monstrous creature I have become.

There is so much that I have not told you, my devoted reader, but I am glad that I made the decision to start writing this blog because if the worst is to happen then it will stand as a record of what has taken place over this last year. Aside from the fact that I do not know what will become of me, it is essential that you read these posts and believe; believe in yourself, believe in each other and, most importantly, believe in gods and monsters in equal measure because there is only a whisper of breath between the two.