My Life As A Claustrophobe This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 2, 2011
My chest is collapsing, and I have limited air supply. Never have I ever felt so helpless. My breath is sprinting away like a runner in the hundred meter dash, and the gnarly fingers of darkness enclose on me. My eyes are tightly clenched, and my muscles are tense. Can I survive? I feel like a pool ball descending into the winner’s loop, five seconds… three seconds… thump. I’ve entered, I am trapped, I am lost. Grabbing my face I think I can snap out of it, I’ll wake up in an open area where air isn’t a minority.

My throat is so dry I feel like I’ve eaten a 5oz parched chicken breast, poorly prepared by my aunt. I flinch when I picture her cheery grin as she prances to the table, placing a plate full of food right under my nose. It may seem exceptional, although every time I swallow half chewed bits of her chicken, I feel as if I’m eating pieces of napkin.

My breathing gets heavy and my palms are soaked in sweat. Undulating down the narrowing hallway, I reach out to the poorly painted walls, the small flaws scratch at my fingers tips. The stairs are nowhere in site, I instantly panic. I don’t want to press the button.

Standing hopeless before the metal doors, I see my reflection, realizing I no longer hide my horror. I wait for the bell as I watch the miniature numbers above, four, three, two, one. It’s like their laughing at me, mocking me. “Ding!” The bell has sprung, I cringe, my dad isn’t here to hold my hand this time.

It’s just me, myself, and I, alone with the other ten people trying to cram themselves in with me. Never have I felt so alone in a crowded area. I close my eyes sensing their vacant stares, I ponder if they sense my fear. Do they realize my insides are swirling like a tornado, and that I'm secretly flustered. Although I must be doing a dreadful job of camouflaging it because someones just prod me in the back. I soon notice I've spent so much time allowing myself to spiral away, my anxiety has taken over, and I've failed to hear the door glide open.

My heart then returns back to normal vibrations, the sweat is no longer dribbling off my finger tips, and I can breath without suffocation. I've landed back on earth, reality has kicked back in. I then apprehend its only a matter of time before I'll feel confined and paralyzed once again.





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