Shuffle in. Can’t stand, must sit. Try to arrange my limbs, get settled (as if that were remotely possible). Seated, the two of us, you watch me. I don’t know what to do with my face. I know you are trying to read it. I am self-conscious. I am getting this wrong, this therapy thing. I am failing. The white noise in my head spills out through my face as I wrestle it. Your eyes are burning my skin. I will never be comfortable with an audience, even a private, caring audience like you. My face squirms. I try to still it, to freeze it, to pull it into line. I am failing. You are reading the white noise and trying to make sense of it, but there is no sense in white noise. Your questions reverberate, tumbling jumbled, as I trudge and stumble through the suffocating fog of panic. It’s a mess. I’m a mess. Thoughts are floppy now, refusing to form. My words are lost, walking in circles, banging into bone. I am failing. The self-hate roars, rages, tearing at my insides. I can feel my blood rushing through my veins, but I cannot feel my fingers. The clock’s tick-tick-tick is gaining on me, grating. Time is broken in here. Breathing is hard. So hard. I am gasping. There is no air why is there no air I need air. I think I will implode, I am certain, it is happening, it is—
but we’re done.
Same time next week?
Allison Black is a queer, disabled writer who has a very tricky brain and a BA in Creative and Professional Writing. She currently resides on Dja Dja Wurrung land in regional Victoria, Australia with her awesome rescue cat, Astrid. You can find them both on Twitter @crashing_silent.