As of late, I have felt that it is just a bit more of a struggle to breathe. Like I am taking my very last gasp of air each time. I cannot see any reason for this, but I just notice that it is happening. It feels like I have to recruit every muscle fiber in my body to will the air in, enough air in, because it just does not seem like it is enough. And every time I take that last gasp, there is a subtle sickness that I feel deep inside my core. Yet again, inexplicable. I have not thought about the past, about what happened on a constant basis for a very long time. I have subtle reminders here and there...a hawk swooping down by the side of the expressway, a lone feather on the sidewalk, a dreamcatcher hanging from someone's rear view mirror. The latest reminder was rather horrific. I was commuting home from work at the end of a very long day, and I caught a glimpse of him in my rear view mirror. I could swear it was him. He is a very distinct looking man, and I would not expect there to be many others in this world who even resemble him....his stark white handlebar mustache, flattened and slightly piggish nose, but most obviously his sky blue eyes, with an eerily dark creepiness. A knowing creepiness, a depth that bores through your soul and at once knows everything there is to know about you. I have never seen eyes like these on another human being in my life. I saw these eyes, the handlebar mustache in the man driving behind me on the expressway. They are unmistakable. But was it really him? Could it really be him? I reasoned with myself...he lives two states away, he couldn't still be stalking me could he? This moment is where I really began to feel that I was gasping for air. Stop and go traffic, glance in my mirror, c'mon breathe in, breathe out...keep breathing in and keep breathing out. It is not him, it cannot be him. Just drive, focus on getting home. I told myself to pay attention, to call the police if he continues to follow me. But then traffic picked up, and he drove past me. I was safe. I took that last gasp over and over again. Perhaps I am still reeling from that incident. Perhaps this is the explanation I was looking for as to why it has been so difficult to breathe. Who knows really. But what I do know is that I will keep willing myself to breathe. Even if every breath feels like the last gasp, I will keep on. I will take this air in. It is mine. It is my undeniable right.