sound waves crash into my shaking body. ordinarily i love this feeling, thrive on it. but here i am shaking. i look around me at the smiling skeletons like flowing water. what is wrong with me? my head tilted towards a charcoal sky, i stand on the tips of my toes to rise above the ocean of bodies. i gasp for oxygen. my lungs inhale furiously but the air here is smothered by smoke. i fan air to my face which smells nothing of trees and life and other things air should smell like. it smells only of marijuana and pasta. this makes me lightheaded, disgusting. my trembling bones refuse to dial on my phone and my limbs are now weak. i am trapped here. this suffocating tide must be a thousand degrees. packed together tightly, bodies push and press against each other. strangers fit into each curve of my body, including the ones i was unaware of. with my arm extended i can touch the stage, but this is wasted on me.
i am drowning here.
i am drowning here.
the next wave pulls me under. its quiet here, under the water. i faintly hear the waves crashing above me, the current flowing around my skin. something grabs my shoulders and begins to shake. "Lexi! Lexi wake up! are you okay? Lexi, your shaking!" i open my eyes and once again i am standing among the crowd. friends stare with wide eyes. "i have to get out of here" i say, then bolt at my next opportunity. i make my way through the never-ending bodies. they stand in their place, stubbornly. i part through them like winter coats packed tightly in a wardrobe, nearly sprinting to get out.
finally, i make it to the shore. there is air here: cool, crisp, fresh, alive. i looked up towards the sky, in a way i had never looked at the sky before, and fell in love. i am small, i am insignificant. in a scale of the universe i am not even a grain of sand in all the world. but for a split second, i could swear those stars were watching over me. i found madison and peter sitting on the grass near circus folk and children throwing frisbee. my shoulders shed the tension they carried for weeks and i exhaled.