This is How I Panic

I’m in the thick of it now. Right now.

The breath in my lungs, hard to come by. I frantically type as fast as I can. Unsure when the next bout of panic will set upon my chest, refusing to let up until the unknown amount of anguish is squeezed from my pores.

My cheek is cold from the brim of a ceramic facility. My head dizzy. My throat dryer than British humour. Blinking fast I attempt to focus. A scuff on the wall catches my attention like a moth batting itself to death attempting to capture a fleeting moment. I can’t stay fixed for long. In time my stomach heaves a mighty whirl and the muscles running parallel up my spine twist and contract in some horrific form of masochistic torture. I writhe in pain. Not physically exclusive.

I’m stuck here. Running for my life until I place a footing in mud. Here I trudge, or perish. Not the sloppy, ruin your clothes type of mud. The mostly clay type. One pull of a limb and you’re succumbing. I’ve lost the majority of control.

No longer are my bones attempting to support the weakened soul. A bug that bred in my brain has grown to cripple a single joint at a time until I feel as soggy on the outside, as I do on the inside. I tremble with grotesque fear.

A storm has set upon me. It blatantly accumulates just inside my flesh. The sky is dark within my heart. These clouds may never relinquish the warmth of the sun against my skin again. I guess I’m lucky, so far in life, as I’ve made it to brighter mornings in the past.

Throat closes. Eyelids slide shut. I am not breathing. The fluid sensation of my flesh turns to stone, and the weight of a life lands on my chest. My arms fall to the floor. My head is in an unknown location. Floating. Somewhere. Beyond my trust.

I’m unconscious now.

Moments after breaking through the wall of built up saliva that is blocking my windpipe I hear the voice of loved one. I feel the touch of care. I still cannot open my eyes.

My head aches like a pipe in a vice. A blaring wall of noise.

The screaming wail of car horns, of humanity being torn from a chest fills the space between my temples. Reverberating. It jumps about like a bull glazed over with the sight of red. My displeasure scrapes through a hole in my oesophagus; she says, “I bet” with an affirming palm on my shoulder.

My jaw vibrates in agony.

Like a prize-fighter going twelve long stands in a bout for no title, a classless brawl has broken out under my skin. The sensation is aptly described as all of my bones attempting to segregate from one another. I am still. But the battle wages on.

Another wave.

My knees and shoulders become magnetic as they twist, pitching my torso in half. I am fetal, and without oxygen. The convulsions only mask the pain setting into my frame for a moment before they begin to work in tandem. Dancers, they’ve spotted one another on the hardwood, without a partner. Now they twirl and slide with the grace of a maniacal mass murderer. Set to a classical number, they trample my being. Rape my mind’s ability to see an end with hopeful glint. Pouring cement around my feet so as to toss me into the Hudson.

I ... am desperate now.

The tumble down a dark, jagged cave only pauses when my cold (yet somehow hot) form meets a plateau. Destined to fall again. When I’m in it, there is no end. I clamour. My nails break off, and my legs become a burden. Grinding my fingers to bone in a desperate attempt to find a hold.



I slink through the night's neon, up to a barstool. I order with haste as the newly discovered air in my lungs begs to be used. I'm going to sip slow, and feel deep. I want to fully realize the taste on my tongue before I sink into the ocean again. I’m upright again. But the sea legs still shake with a memory of lashing waves.

I am calm.

I can breathe again.

I ... made it.