an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places, the irrational fear of suffocation in a small area.
I’m sitting here in this room, with all these people around me. Their words, their questions, their accusations; they suffocate me. I hear all these voices and they bounce off the walls and punch me in my gut, wring my intestines around, crawl up my skin and sit in my wind pipe, making for themselves a temporary home in my throat; making sure I choke and trip over my rehearsed answers as I try and fail to explain myself with a slight quiver in my voice.
But why must I explain myself?
My feet tap on the ground as I move my legs in an errant form, drumming my fingers on my thigh, clicking the pen constantly; anything to take my mind off of this crowd and its effects on my heart. The racing beat and my stumbling pulse is only mildly camouflaged by the flashing lights. The cameras might pick up on the sweat starting to form on my brow, the tapes are probably recording my stammering as I avoid certain statements and choose my words intentionally, steering clear of anything crude or clumsy.
But why should I censor my thoughts?
And my palms are clammy, the thoughts in my head are swimming in erratic methods. Its helter-skelter inside and I can feel the heartburn intensifying. All I can picture is a dramatised replay of a war scene; waves crashing into each other with gusto and vengeance and all I want is to get up, push this table into the crowd leering at me and run out into the street and breathe.
Oh God, I want to breathe.
And so I do.
I shut my eyes and examine the dots floating behind my eyelids and run my hands through my hair, settling the over energised static around me. I unclench my fists and smoothen my clothes down and lightly dust over my skin, feeling the tension underneath play relay.
But I do breathe.
Because it feels like being pulled into a vortex of unease and every bad memory I could conjure and I want to swim and not drown and I want to breathe, I want to breathe, I need to breathe.
And I run out into the street.