a different kind of high

My breath is held captive by my ribcage, caught up inside the complication of my neck and even my lungs are gasping for some sort of rescue. Do not ask me to clap or lean forward. There is music playing but for once I practice stillness. Down below are drunk bodies, heavy bellies, sports fans fondling their partners just to get noticed on a giant projection screen. I am clutching my limbs, holding on to the one beside me understands my fear of heights well enough without having to ask why I am wincing.

I feel like the haunt above clouds which nap above rooftops. I feel high enough to converse with religion, if I were inclined to believe in such a thing. I feel like I can tell you what brand of weather will arrive next: this is how high up I am.

Far down below are men wearing tall bones and sweatbands on wrists and foreheads. They are agile and seductively graceful as they press callused fingertips against leather/rubber/synthetic wrapped sphere. This is called a dribble.

As I am practicing how not to be frightened from my fear of these heights, I become mesmerized by how many times they take a break.

Time Out: Bring out the “dancers” or women wearing very little spandex and bright red smiles and carmelized hair.

Time Out: Commercial break. Beer run. Refill of overpriced nachos or greatest hits compilation of meat pressed into a bun.

She asks me if I know the rules and I tell her yes, even though I don’t. But I also don’t fully understand how to engage in this odd twenty-four (continuous) game of life, yet I seem to be an active player.

What keeps me distracted from the extreme height of our seats is the woman behind me wearing netted stockings and a piercingly inquisitive voice. She is asking her boyfriend/brother/friend/cousin questions about the point system and why they rotate players. I overhear her say to him, “I don’t know what you just said, but I laughed.”

At the end of the evening I want to thank her for inadvertently distracting me from my fear. I want to thank the handsome human beside me acting as my seatbelt.

I used to not be able to travel up stairs with spaces in between them. I will never skydive. And as a child, I fainted inside a hot air balloon. This fear is bullying, but slowly I’ve worked out ways to move through it.

Kind of like life, I guess.