by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ache: 1.(n.) a continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of one’s body 2. (v.) to feel an intense desire for: e.g. she ached for his touch.

What IS a dull pain?

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

I guess they call it “dull” to differentiate it from the concept of a sharp pain. But see, a sharp pain is something that comes quickly and then disappears for a while. A dull pain, by its very nature, hangs around, convincing you with each passing moment that it isn’t quite as uneducated and without influence as one might first believe.

You know what I’ve learned about pain? The closer it is to headquarters, the more it hurts. The headquarters, in this case, is the brain.

Since the brain REGISTERS all this crap, telling us exactly how miserable we are, if you only have to travel a few inches to get there, the level of misery is more intense. After all, isn’t a headache or toothache much more intolerable than a big toe ache?” Any message from the big toe almost has to be telegraphed to the brain. After all, no big toe would have the Internet… By the time the telegraph gets all the way up to the brain, it kind of responds, “What’s the big deal? It’s a big TOE.” But when it’s a tooth or the head itself, special interest is given. The brain views it as a home invasion.

So even though we refer to “aching” as a dull pain, the intensity of the affliction is actually determined by how close it is to the gray matter. I guess the exception to that would be a heart attack. I suppose that’s because the heart and brain have a special friendship that we are not completely privy to.

So I think anybody who refers to an “ache” as a dull pain is someone who is presently not so afflicted. Aching, whether it be from love-sickness, a toothache or an irritated little toe on the left foot, is a fussy matter which does not want to go away, and only intensifies … the more we think about it.