The red dress club writing prompt for today caught my attention and the following piece spilled out before I realized what was happening. The Red Writing Hood prompt today involved a photograph. Go here to read the other entries and see the photo on which this piece is based. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!
Deep breath as I stretch under the duvet. Red and green lights flash at me. Babbles fill the room. Why don’t babies come with a snooze button?
I sit up, sighing. Another deep breath as I reach for the drawer. My hand grips the curved steel to pull it open. Inside, my camera. Right. Today. Scooping it up, I sling it over my shoulder as I slam the drawer shut. I stumble to the bathroom. As I pass Simon’s room, I hear him babbling. It’s more a cooing at this age, really.
I set the camera down on the bathroom sink for safekeeping.
As I wash my hands, I stare at the camera. There have to be pictures. Memories. Things for him to look upon when he’s as big as I am – or bigger. Memories.
I stumble back down the hall stopping just short of his room. Lean against the wall and slide down, the dark wood swallowing me. The camera hits the floor with a thud. Simon stops babbling. He’s listening. My breath catches. I know what’s coming. I know what’s…
I mean, just.. SHIT.
How the hell could I be so fucking stupid? Really? The camera, of COURSE hitting the floor was going to make him scream. And I bet I broke the stupid thing too. I reach back to grab the camera – it’s still in one piece. Take the lens cap off and snap a quick picture to see if it sounds okay. Seems fine.
But I’m not. He’s not. He’s screaming. My breath is faster than a cheetah running across the savanah. My heart – well – it’s the damn Hindenburg. If I stand up, I’ll fall right back down. So I sing. Collapsed outside his room. I sing.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”
He’s still crying. I’m still panting.
“You make me happy when skies are grey….”
I’m scream singing now. He’s whimpering. I tone it down.
“You’ll never know dear…”
I think I can get up. Hands on the wall, I stand. I reach down to grab the camera and prep it for a shot.
“ How much I love you….”
He’s silent as the door opens. I stare at his tear stained cheeks below the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.
“Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
Last Saturday night I had a panic attack.
Alli had gone home with the in-laws to spend the night after her recital and I ended up having to take some pull-ups and church clothes over for her.
After I left, I headed over to Zaxby’s to grab some dinner for Chris and I.
The anxiety started gaining momentum as I left their neighborhood and continued to build the closer I got to Zaxby’s. You see, the intersection where Zaxby’s is located is where I had my accident on March 29th. At 10pm. On a Saturday night. (It was approaching 10p the closer I got to Zaxby’s.)
My chest got tight, my throat started to close and I couldn’t breathe fast enough or get any sounds to come out. I wanted to yell at the employee, tell her to shut up so I could think!
I pulled away from the speaker and parked. I could hear her saying “ma’am? Ma’am” over the speaker over and over again but I didn’t care.
My mind was racing – I have to stop this, I have got to STOP this I have to – what if I can’t. What if I just drive into the car in front of me – what if I can’t stop this and I get stuck here. I can’t face Chris’ parents like this. Breathe dammit just Breathe. C’mon. Breathe. Open your throat and friggin breathe. And yeah, like that. Oh just shut up! (reached down to turn the radio off. C’mon. You KNOW what to do. You’ve got to break the cycle, interrupt the pace, slow things down. Don’t freak out. You CANNOT FREAK OUT. YOU CAN’T! GET A GRIP. Breathe. deeeeeeep slow breaths. There you go. Breathe. In through your nose, pull in your abs, out through your mouth, exhale into your ribs. Close your eyes. Relax. Let everything go loose. Don’t think about the drive through. Don’t think about the fear, stop. Stop and Breathe. Pray. Breathe. Pray. BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally calming myself down enough to think somewhat straight and feeling strong enough, I pulled back up to the speaker to order again.
After placing the order, I called Chris to let him know why I was running so late. Nevermind that, I had ordered the wrong thing he told me. And at that time it didn’t matter that I had just had a panic attack. I didn’t sound panicked he would later tell me so he didn’t know if I was being over dramatic or not. (Note: We did discuss this a few days later when we were both calm and in a sane state of mind. He apologized as did I. I also had the order fixed at the window prior to returning home)
The rest of the evening a total wash, I collapsed into bed shortly after returning home, completely drained after having all that adrenaline running free throughout my body.
The next morning at church I started down the road to Panicville once again but this time I cut it off before the left turn got started.
I’ll never know the real trigger. I’m sure though it had something to do with the accident and knowing that court was just around the corner.
I’m writing this because I need to get it out, I need to deal.
Tonight I wanted a cheeseburger. I didn’t decide this until 930p. The closest cheeseburger place is up near the intersection where my accident occurred. Again it is a Saturday night. Close to 10p. And yes, I was afraid to drive. I know for sure I’ll be discussing this with my therapist this week. I did discuss last week’s panic attack with her already but hadn’t felt up to writing about it until tonight.
Gotta take the good with the bad right?
Just turns out last Saturday night was a bad night. Gonna let it be.