Waiting To Exhale

Jenny Perlin

My hands shook as I put the toothpaste on my toothbrush this morning. I realized every muscle in my body was tense and aching. My fists are always clinched. My arms always crossed tight over my chest.

And then I realized I never exhale. I hold air in my lungs like I hold so many of my feelings in my heart.

I’m dying for a rest – a break.

Almost ten years ago, I left my husband. There were months of planning and worry. I saved money. I rented an apartment. I consulted a lawyer. I bought new furniture. I moved out while he was at work. I left him a note. All of this without him knowing it was happening.

When it was finally over, I remember sitting on the back steps of the science building at work smoking a cigarette with a friend. The sun was warm. The quiet privacy between the holly bushes that flanked the steps and under the blooming magnolia trees was precious. As we talked and laughed, my legs started feeling funny. I wasn’t sure what was happening.

And then I realized the muscles in my quads were relaxing for the first time in months.

Oh, how I need that moment again.

Nothing used to be better for that reboot than a few drinks or twelve. Drinking was better than any of the meds the psychiatrist has prescribed. And here I had to go ruin such a simple cure by being an alcoholic.

I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone
I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone

Hello, speak up, is there somebody there?
These hang ups are getting me down
In a world frozen over with over exposure
Let’s talk it over, let’s go out and paint the town

Cause I’m waiting by the phone
Waiting for you to call me up and tell me I’m not alone
Cause I want somebody to shove
I need somebody to shove
I want somebody to shove me

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4 responses to “Waiting To Exhale”

  1. amyonnn says :

    Rosen Method Bodywork & Movement have given me that release on numerous occasions. I highly recommend it. The Bodywork requires a trained practitioner, but it isn’t massage. (www.annehringhaus.com). The Movement can be done alone, though it requires instruction. http://www.rmpa.net/html/bodywork.html

  2. Thomas Jones says :

    On the other hand, there always “comfortably numb.”

    “Comfortably Numb”

    Hello,
    Is there anybody in there?
    Just nod if you can hear me.
    Is there anyone at home?

    Come on now
    I hear you’re feeling down
    Well, I can ease your pain
    And get you on your feet again

    Relax
    I’ll need some information first
    Just the basic facts
    Can you show me where it hurts?

    There is no pain, you are receding
    A distant ship smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons
    Now I’ve got that feeling once again
    I can’t explain, you would not understand
    This is not how I am
    I have become comfortably numb

    I have become comfortably numb

    O.K.
    Just a little pin prick
    There’ll be no more aaaaaaaah!
    But you may feel a little sick

    Can you stand up?
    I do believe it’s working, good
    That’ll keep you going through the show
    Come on, it’s time to go.

    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship smoke on the horizon
    You are only coming through in waves
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
    When I was a child
    I caught a fleeting glimpse
    Out of the corner of my eye
    I turned to look but it was gone
    I cannot put my finger on it now
    The child is grown
    The dream is gone
    I have become comfortably numb.

  3. Thomas Jones says :

    I think you have to be a member of a popular band to achieve the status of comfortably numb. 🙂

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