My inhaler sounds something like this: peoof! It is a high, squeaking sound like the brakes of tractor-trailers as they release their air or the seal on an oxygen tank when you have done something wrong.  A little cloud of smoke bursts into the air right in front of me, and I immediately pull it all deep into my lungs, straining to suck in every last molecule.  There is a moment before the smoke vanishes in which I look through it, and all the world is in a haze.  But then it is pulled into my body, and the world is clear again.  Only I still cannot breathe.  I hold my breath, letting the albuterol absorb into my bloodstream for as long as I can.  A few seconds and then I breathe in again, but it is still labored, wheezing.  When I was little I was told to relax, and so I try.  My eyes are closed; the black before me is flecked with red.  I think it is the thin switchbacks of capillaries, but I do not really know.   If I pretend terribly hard I can shape the red into a rose, but it takes too much effort to be worth it.  I do not particularly like roses.  My heart begins to beat loudly, and I open my eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the air filling my lungs.  The compression, squeezing and suffocating, is gone.  My lungs are normal.

I still have a paper to write.  I still have terrors to put to rest.  I still do not have the answers.  I still cannot breathe.

And apparently I am still writing on this journal/blog/thing when I should be writing papers.

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