Breathing high in my chest


Caffeine and a donut for breakfast after a rough night of sleep. Terrible combination of jittery and light headed. Addressed with ful madamas and a nap later in the day. But then followed by two margaritas and creating a tinder profile.


I don’t want to date. But I do want to make out. I think this is the right app to find that, as opposed to other apps with too much text and too many questions. But where are the women who I would want to make out with? And then I see her, and I freeze, and feel caught in a bright light. Swiping right is asking for what I want. And I want her. But do I want her right now? Do I want her to know that I want her? Do I want her to find me, instead? Good grief. Stop it. I close the app without swiping anyone. And my breath is high in my chest all day.

My big queer family crowdsources my profile and photos Monday night. No edits to the text, which is short and flirty. Remove one photo. And done.


I swipe right on a few women and experience that same sensation of — not quite panic — my breath high in my chest. And when a match clicks in, I think, ‘oh shit. I don’t want this enough’. And then the woman I want comes up, and I exhale, and I swipe right, and put the phone away.

I read myself to sleep, devouring ‘Becoming Wise’. Reading the chapter on love first, and then savoring the stunning introduction.

Settling. Smooth-breathed again. But still tingling and flighty from the stress which has not left my body. Embarrassed, chagrined, judging myself. And amazed — why does this still surprise me- at the power of bodies. The force of the stress hormones that surge for fight or flight, the way the chemicals affect my brain, breathing, muscles, mood. There was a time when I liked this feeling of fluttery and high edgedness. No longer.

And the settling brings questions. Was joining this dating site a result of the combination of bad sleep, caffeine, sugar and alcohol? Or alternatively was I preparing myself to get back out there? Was it armor for the battle or a chink in the armor? How do I return to my sense of adventure, to humor and grace, and to breathing from my belly?