Content Warning: Anxiety, Claustrophobia
She finds a cardboard box in her cobweb covered basement
next to the dusty plastic Easter eggs and the toy drum filled
with white and orange ping-pong balls. To be stuck in a
cardboard box, a suffocation of a world built for you. To
keep you in its incarceration. To trap you in its comfort
until it comes apart and everything inside falls.
Is that a sea of living lungs who will see every breath she
takes? Does the hair over her face cover enough to be a
translucent shield but not too much as to make her a solid
curtain amidst a field of open windows? Is the thumping of
her heart too loud that every beat playing in her eat hits a
resonant frequency with her steps, sending vibrations through
hidden capillaries in the air so that all the eyes on the walls,
floor, grandfather clock, and gymnasium intercom ignite.
And she becomes a silhouette of herself drifting
through these spotlighted halls. A pinch of sodium nitrate
in a glass of water. To solve, she dissolves, dissociates.
The cardboard box is more welcoming than before. At
least its suffocation is done alone in the dark. Loneliness
is a strange thing if you think about it. She thinks she can’t
live with it, but put her in that sea of lungs blowing their
eyes through the open windows her hair can only do so
much to shield, she knows she can’t live without it.