Anxiety 101

I’m sitting still; they are talking. I see their mouths move, but no meaning comes. I am quivering. I want to jump from my seat, yell, maybe run. At least hop on one foot. But I sit and try to take a breath. It is small, as small as I. I. I worry about things: the siren, the rain on the street, what everyone else is doing in the world. Somewhere someone is starving; someone else is writing a song; on the corner a homeless man waits. I am sitting at a white table in an aqua chair. I forget if I have a body and tremble like a spirit instead. I am just a vibration, an idea, a small bit of fear. Darkness hovers; I should do something. Get busy. Hurry. Be useful. I go into the kitchen and unload the tiny dishwasher. It is easy to find where things go. I wash the skillet from breakfast, put our dishes in the washer, wipe the counter with my palm (we used the last paper towel yesterday) and stand. From my bubble I wonder what is happening, why I feel this way. Through the clouds their laughter comes and I return, scoot my aqua chair and sit again. I count my breath in threes, like a waltz, and slow my core vibration. Their words slide into focus. I join them. We talk and laugh but my inside self still feels like bands of rubber breaking.

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