The many ways I catch myself breathing.
When I smoke. In college, I’d smoke cigarette after cigarette while sitting on the porch in a director’s chair, looking out at people walking back and forth up the Kresge campus to classes I was not taking. I was convinced there were different inhales and exhales that would bring me different nicotine deliveries. I will never know if that was the case.
Holding my breath under water as I swim, hating every second of it. My head hurts so I stop swimming, and run instead. Running breath, a calculus. I think the longest I’ve run is 45 minutes, but it felt like I was punishing my feet in the same way smoking was punishing my lungs. I’m still learning to breathe for my skin. I can’t tell the difference whether these athletic breaths help my face. They help my heart.
Deep breaths I take because I have the time. Deep breaths I take because I have to say something really important, or to a lot of people. I don’t know the difference between these breaths either but they help my face, not my heart.
Inadvertently hurting someone’s feelings when I sigh instead of gasp. Inadvertently hurting someone’s feelings when I gasp instead of sigh.
The pained breath I push through wind instruments. Why do you do this? Sometimes it would feel good, but the best air instrument is actually an accordion. I don’t make the rules. My hands hurt too much to learn to play the accordion any further. I’ll remain jealous of the person playing bandoneon.
The pained breath I give to fill a balloon, understanding the cheer will be short lived and never traced back to the air I give you. I don’t actually care for authorship of celebration.
Looking for a cue in the song, understanding that finding the apostrophe is our job.
Me on flute & broken accordion