My heart. It is doing that thing again. Beating at a normal pace of around sixty to sixty-five beats per minute. At least, that’s what the nurse tells me. “You have quite a healthy heart!”

“Are you sure? That can’t be right. I feel… I don’t feel… normal,” I say to myself, unable to utter the words into being.

“All your vitals are perfect too,” the nurse says and smiles as her yellowing teeth shine in the pale colored room. She coughs the harsh sound indicative of a life saturated in cigarettes and drunken sprawls. “Smoker?”

“No.” My voice sounds distant, foreign under the hum of the blood pressure cuff, as it exhales, loosening its grip. I’m losing myself. I want to scream the words. Plead for something, anything to make it better, but only the two little letters have the courage to venture from my lips.

DOCS-1-jumbo“Good girl.” The yellow teeth grin again and cracked hands continue recording a clean bill of health. “Blood pressure perfect. Hm. You must work out.”

I nod. But my heart. That can’t be right… How can that be normal when I can feel every rush of blood from my veins like waves crashing into my heart and charging out through the arteries. Every beat is steady, calm, yet peppered with a seemingly inexplicable urgency, as if every heartbeat might be my last. Fight or flight with an affinity toward flight. Anywhere but here.

You shouldn’t be here. It begs me. This isn’t where we are supposed to be.

But I… where else?

Anywhere. Anywhere but here. 

Nerves accompany the banging that rattles behind my ribcage. Adrenaline rushes race as I go about each day, slouching behind the desk in my little cube, growing smaller, as my self shrinks. I sit in silence, pattering away on the keyboard, littered with dust, pieces of who I used to be (or could have been) as I slip from sanity with every click clack of the keys. The sensation of little minions screaming for a purpose run from marrow to joints, jump across nerve endings, and slide down every curve of my innards, searching for something worth living for.

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