Gasping, not because I cannot breathe, but because every time I'm not inhaling exhaling inhaling there is a rushing noise and it's not in my ears where you usually hear things and it's not in my brain like pain but it's a pressure pulsing in beats, surrounding my head like a viscous membrane and pulsing, breathe.

I have grown if not accustomed at least expectant of these moments, and still I sometimes surprise myself, but I drag on the air like it is a cigarrette, I will expand my lungs with heavy sighing and the pounding will hurt my internal ear pressure, I will drink water and swallow and try to laugh at myself and then go back to inhale exhale inhale.

It has never happened, (or it was so insignificant that I do not recall ) that I will have a panic attack with someone else nearby. Last night it did, and I just stopped, (scared) and breathed. And shook my head (that never works) and breathed, my fingers gripping the edge of the table and my mind racing to figure out why it was telling my heart to race and why I was panicked.

The girl I'd been talking to looked at me, as I reached conclusions I did not want to reach, conclusions about people I was leaving to see, people I'd been thinking about while I was talking to her. The pounding didn't subside and I couldn't explain it to her, I just kept breathing and picked up my bag and left.