April 24, 2012

Saturday night I awoke with the feeling that I could not breathe. Anxiety filled my body like frantic champagne bubbles overflowing their coupe. My breath coming in sections. First, smashed in my belly, then squashed in my chest, squeezed in my throat and finally releasing in small gasps through my gaping mouth. The room closed in around me; the darkness filled with eager beaks pecking at the cracks in my sanity. I closed my eyes, feeling the consolation of the bed beneath me, holding me steady. As reality swarmed, I reached out to grab on but found only vapor slipping between my fingers. The next night I did not wake but dreamt instead I was a small child old enough to walk but young enough to still cradle my mother’s hip. She held me there with her left arm wrapped around my tiny waist as her pelvis tilted diagonally to manage my weight. As things shift in dreams, the roles reversed and I became the mother and my toddler self, my child. Suddenly alone, screams that revealed mortal fear drew me through a door and into a barren room where my child lay with deep blue-black veins bulging from her neck. A disembodied voice calmly observed, “I think she’s choking”. “I know this,” I thought. I know she’s choking; unable to breathe-breath denied her-empty inside-struggling-straining-something stuck-in her throat. I screamed for someone to call 9-1-1. The phone was handed to me and words of explanation torrented forward, uprooting the culprit from my child’s throat. Freed, she breathed once again.


One Response to “Stuck”

  1. Jackie said

    Powerful and wonderfully written

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