When the doctor takes your blood pressure with the new fancy machine
You feel your arm tighten and hold still at the tip of your finger
Where they put that clippy thing, and you’re not completely sure what it does
Or at least I’m not. I’m studying politics.
They put that sleeve on you and at first what you feel is simple: cold.
With every pump of the little balloon comes a pressure, at first it is comfortable
It’s like light relief
It accelerates and makes you crave the next –
And then comes the next compression, the binding feeling with you and this rimy sleeve engulfing your skin but it starts to blend between discomfort and subtle reliability-
It strains, fastens itself, clenches against you approaching a threshold cornering you into a blur, a blur between the potential energy of pain and the uninhabited space of repose-
Ow! Fuck. Pinching. Pinching depriving you of the preferred annoyance of manageable pressure pinching seeping through your fortification of blissful ignorance- pinching is a feeling, a feeling of peevish pique, acute and centered around a fine point you can’t neglect-
You can’t turn a blind eye just glance around the room exploring for an enclave for your attention as this god damn squeeze manifested into something so restricting you can’t decide if it’s excruciating or preferred… preferred to pinching… this one lasts the longest and the silence between you and your trivial, routine result is vociferous.
Come on doc. I don’t care about the number. Tell me 3 digits over 2 or however it goes I suppose I’m writing a poem about blood pressure because the tightness in my arm, so conventional, unremarkable and anything less than a surprise equates to this feeling I get when conflict constricts me in its menial itching manner until the cramp competes with my sanity and I can’t tell which stage made for a more irritable sensation
The comfort, the merger, the pinching, or the silence in maximum restraint.
All the while I hold my finger still. Unbothered. Sometimes, I stare at it and wonder what its purpose is, what is the point of me holding out my fingertip in prolonged pause, as if waiting to tell a story, or waiting to call on a human for help. Always still, always a chance for redistributing my thoughts during this awkward puzzle of time.
What is it telling you, that the pump of pressure isn’t?
Can you read more from my extended finger, than you can from my eyes darting around discomfort, than you can from the wretched trapping feeling itself.
Sometimes all it takes is a light cap on the fingertip to pull you away from vexatious space, no matter how unjustifiably bothersome.
Oh I just love searching for metaphors to excuse my psychology.
Am I witty and adroit in emotion, or do I just need to do some push ups?
It’s interesting, I still love getting my blood pressure taken.