The night anxiety came knocking

30/09/2016

the night anxiety came knocking at my door, anxiety

I arrive at The Winchester, anticipating the freeway poets event. A dimmed glow fills the venue and I stop in awe of the numerous inspirational quotes and tarot cards hanging gracefully about. The theme for the night was "Follow your dreams"

I'd never been to an event like this before, so my mind was completely open and free of expectation. Passing faces illuminated by candlelight deep in conversation with one another, I make it to the bar. Not being a drinker, I ponder over what to order: water seemed too boring and tea seemed too comforting. I opt for a glass of coke - I don't even like coke.
I notice a sign which reads "Buddha beer" I ask the bartender if the bottle is shaped like Buddha - she gives me the answer I was hoping for and my mind starts to race with photo idea's for my blog and instagram sad, I know but I love a good insta' pic. 
We sit at a table with a single tea light, 3 tarot cards surrounding it. I instantly google the tarot card facing me because I'm really superstitious and believe that it must have meant something,  I explain this to my friend and she chuckles at my weird beliefs, but I don't mind. The tarot card was in french so I had to google translate it. I did screenshot it but for some reason, it's been deleted so I can't share with you what it read, but I can tell you that it was very relevant and reinforced my superstitious ways because I remember being delighted at how well it fitted with my situation at the time.
Usually, I hate tarot cards because I believe in them too much but I felt obliged to read up on it as I felt it was a sign from the universe.

We pop out for a cigarette just before the open mic starts. We lose our table but find a cosy nook in the corner overflowing with pillows, so we get comfortable and ready to listen. the first act, a young blonde lad takes the stage. He hastily recites his poetry from his phone, avoiding all eye contact with his audience below - I didn't mind, my neck was hurting from gazing upwards so I was quite relieved that he couldn't see me staring at the lonely table in front of me, rather than up at him and his awkward stance.

I start to feel weird: my chest tightens and my throat closes. I start to shiver but blame the people walking in and out of the door we were positioned next to. I wait for the blonde poet to leave the stage before I jump up and fetch some ice cold water, hoping it would help subside this weird feeling consuming my body. I sit back down and try to get comfy. The next poet takes the stage: Shane something or other - I recognise him from the TV program "The Undateables." My mind starts to wander and I focus on my inability to breathe rather than his words. I only catch "Poetry pie" and wish I had heard it all.

I feel worse and worse as the night drags on, more poets taking the stage each one showing the same amount of nervousness and bravery. I pop to and from the toilet trying to catch some fresh air but nothing was making this feeling go away. I eventually tell my friend and explain that I need to go, that I feel weird and that I cannot breathe properly. Sadly, but fortunately, she understood as she suffers the same thing: Anxiety. I didn't know it at the time but what was happening was that I was having lots of mini panic attacks. I feel disappointed and guilty for ruining my friends night, but also glad that I didn't feel weird anymore -  I blame those fucking tarot cards.

I get on the bus and call Shane trying to describe the way I'm feeling, but my words are all muddled and disjointed. I soon arrive at the tattoo studio where Shane and his brother sit peacefully drawing. I position myself at the end of a tattoo chair and stare aimlessly into the mirror wishing for the night to end. 


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