12 minutes

12 minutes

I stare ahead slightly softening my focus with every inhalation and exhalation. Then with a deep exhalation I slowly close my eyes. My focus remains with the sounds outside, my lack of sight heightens my other senses, I hear the sharp chirping of the birds, their wings flapping, the impatient honking of the cars, the throttle of engines and the occasional street hawker. A cool breeze caresses the exposed parts of my body, leaving me with goose bumps. I try to focus on my breath, counting from one to ten, leaving the sounds of life behind me. 

Inhale. Exhale. One, two, three…

The sound of a car horn takes me back to yesterday, I was driving to my mother’s house and a slower car blocked my way. I pressed my horn impatiently, fully aware that my horn was two times louder than the average car and it would shock the driver out of his reverie. And that was the cruel intention. Should I have been kinder? If I put out anger and violence, am I not responsible for adding to the existing hurt that is everywhere? 

Coming back to my breath. I focus on a formless shadow that moves up and down in my inner eye. The form moves up when I inhale and down when I exhale. Four, five, six…

I feel the chill breeze and my thoughts latch on to the weather. It’s cloudy in a pleasant way and after the scorching summer we’ve had who could complain. I enjoy the feeling and I think about whether I would need a sweater when going out later today.  

Seven, eight, nine, ten…

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today; I feel mentally and physically exhausted. I can’t even sit up straight; I hunch my shoulders and feel the enormous weight of gravity. Maybe I should consciously lift my chest up with every inhalation. 

Chest rises with inhalation. One, two, three, four…

I feel restless; I want to move my legs but my feet feels like concrete, one with the floor. How can I focus on the mind when my body isn’t restful? I want to scream, it’s too much effort. A silent scream like the ones that happen underwater, only in this one thoughts take the place of bubbles. 

Breathe, I tell myself. Five, six, seven, eight, nine… Ping!

Was that a message tone? I forgot to turn off my notifications again. Who could have texted me?

Focus, I shout. I start again. One, two, three, four…

My mind wanders; I think about an article I read a few years ago. There was some mention of the average time spent on sex, a desirable seven minutes. It doesn’t seem much; I guess time passes quickly when you enjoy an activity. How much more time is left, I think. 

Five, six, seven, eight, nine… the alarm rings. 

Saved by the bell.


Nia Tilley
Nia Tilley

A voracious reader and travel addict, Nia writes engrossing poetry and short stories.

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