Monday, November 17, 2008


I had a panic attack in a crowded market in LA.

I got out of the van, fumbled for my things and went straight into the market. There was a news helicopter circling a group of cop cars on the corners; so loud. I walk into the market, following The Chief left, right, around, back down. He was starving and needed something but couldn't decide. Cajun, crepes, seafood, fruit, vegetables, cakes, candy, burritos, meat... too much. So many smells. We were dodging people left and right. LA people walk like they drive. All of them were talking. Too loud. He grabbed a slice and we sat but I couldn't take it. He asked me if I was ok and I bit his head off. We argued. I couldn't breathe.

I was freaking out.

I eventually settled down. He figured out I wasn't a bitch... I was having a panic attack. I was overstimulated and hungry and tired. Just as I was settling down, I had an asthma attack. (Every time I go to California, I have one... weird.) All the damned ash in the air had finally won their way into my lungs.

I sat on the curb, focusing, trying to control my breathing. (my inhaler was about 2000 miles away...) I watched the flecks of ash scurry along the sidewalk. I was quite a sight. Sprawled out in my new dress on the sidewalk, trying to catch my breath outside a farmers market while police helicopters circled above me, cursing between wheezes.

It's hard to be a lady when you can't breathe.

The Chief took us back to his place, a sweet little house with an avocado tree in the backyard, and I fell right asleep. All that wears a girl out.

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