“It was like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you’ve made, and there’s this panic because you don’t know yet the scale of disaster you’ve left yourself open to.”

― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

A meat pie, Sriracha sauce, a diet Coke, a bike, and a concrete bridge

The sound of a bubble coming up through the ice in my Diet Coke sent me into a panic attack. I’m not sure why – I was tired, stressed out and daydreaming – it sounded so odd, unexpected and otherworldly that I was startled, confused and distraught. What was my subconscious lizard brain thinking? Was Cthulhu rising in miniature tentacled horror from an icy bath of artificial colors and sweetener? Was it guilt on spending almost two precious dollars on the unhealthy concoction? Or is it just a sad commentary on my pitiful useless life that a stray sphere of escaping carbon dioxide can throw me into such a tizzy.

Granted, it didn’t last long – I even took a cold, refreshing sip of the evil beverage (everything other than water, coffee, tea and maybe certain kind of rum – Ron Flor de Caña on ice – is an evil beverage) and my panic subsided somewhat. I was left with a vague unease and anonymous fear. What do they say about this? Did I feel as if someone “Walked over my grave” or “by the pricking of my thumbs” or simply a shiver up my spine.

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