Oct 02


The awkwardness coats us like a blanket. Uncomfortably warm, we are too close for comfort. 
Too close to each other and too close to ourselves. Rustling papers accent the silence. I 
politely clear my throat, unfortunately I do so with a brittle sounding gurgle. Adding another 
layer of embarrassment to the already multi-layer, ready-to-topple cake. Our voices seemingly 
ripped from our lungs. My pencil does a jig. Dancing between my fingers. Mocking my 
unnecessary discomfort. The clock ticks constistanty from several feet down the hall. Getting 
louder and louder like a horror movie scene. The tension in my chest reaches its climax. 
Flooding my lungs with air, I almost drown. Aggressively I push breath out my nose, with a 
short shrill whistle. Resurfacing to my calm, relaxed demeanor. With newfound courage,  my 
fingers quickly flip through the pages of my notebook, acting like jittery imprisoned man, 
plotting his escape. Pulling my voice, kicking and screaming, from its hiding place in the dark 
crevice of my mind, I prepare to read. My heart pounds like an out of shape runner competing 
in a marathon. Barely around the first corner, already out of breath and panicking. My voice 
comes out short and shaky as I begin to read. My pace is too quick, and I feel my poem’s 
disappointment in the pressure on my hands. The work and emotion poured into the writing is
liquid gold. And it deserves to be read to the fullest extent of my abilities. Grasping at the 
rhythm I block out my peripheral vision. My eyes are a tunnel. With no where to look but 
straight ahead. Passion pores from every fiber of my being. My beating heart exposed for all 
to see. Each word resonates. I tastefully pause to let the flavor sit on my tongue. Like a young 
child licking their ice cream with slow precision as to prolong the wonderful flavour. By the end, 
only satisfaction lingers within me. As I close my notebook, the pages caringly kiss my fingers 
in thanks. I stroke them one last time before glancing at my crowd. The awkwardness hasn’t 
completely left but its blanket feels more like a tender hug. Uncertain, but not suffocating.