A Taxonomy of Migraines

The Sardine Can

Feels like: The bone protecting your thought ball has been peeled back and a thousand grackles are pecking at your exposed brain.
Cause: Five minutes on a computer.

The “Star Wars”

Feels like: Your skull is the Death Star’s trash compactor, and Leia, Luke, Han, and Chewie are your noggin.
Cause: You didn’t eat your 10 A.M. snack.

The Puddin’ Pop

Feels like: Your brain is a gelatinous substance held together by a skull made of dollar-store construction paper.
Cause: You drank only eighty ounces of water today.

The Ineffectual Superhero

Feels like: You have superhuman senses. You can hear the sink drip in your neighbors’ house like it’s a wrecking ball in your cranium, so you sit, monk-like, in a dark, soundproof room, wondering how Clark Kent could stand it.
Cause: It rained.

The Non-alcoholic Hangover

Feels like: You drank a Russian F.S.B. officer’s weight in vodka while a black bear thumped on a tambourine and someone’s granny slapped you and yelled, “It’s ‘babushka’!”
Cause: Your period started.

The Super Smeller

Feels like: Hug-the-toilet nausea, but in your brain.
Cause: Someone walked past vaping a cucumber Juul.

The Headbanger’s Ball

Feels like: There’s a free concert by the Norwegian black-metal band Gorgoroth in your dome, and their vocalist is screaming, “ØDELEGGELSE OG UNDERGANG!”
Cause: You looked at red wine.

The Babysitter

Feels like: Your toddler niece is playing kitchenware drums while scream-singing “Let It Go” into her Disney “Frozen” karaoke mike and twisting the cord around your eyeballs.
Cause: It’s your only day off. (And you don’t have a niece.)

The “Are You Kidding Me?”

Feels like: Your scalp shrank in the dryer, but you continue to wear it just like your favorite mint-green, pointelle sweater.
Cause: You put your hair in a ponytail.

The Glitter Bomb

Feels like: Everything in your field of vision—well, the left eye—is blurred and sparkly. You live in a dream-nightmare sequence straight out of Tim Burton’s 2005 remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Cause: No one knows. Though everyone has a theory.


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