personal atmosphere

It gives me an odd sense of community to breath in someone’s breath that flaps behind them like a white flag in the winter weather. The sun was spreading out a warm, golden morning light and the air was just the right cold temperature, with a dangled, almost frozen, dew humidly in the air—all creating an atmosphere of wordless dictations, of souls soundlessly speaking, of visible breathing. i tighten my mouth and nose as another someone’s breath whispers into my face. There’s a girl standing on a guy’s toes and their eyes are locked. Their breaths are swirling into each other’s faces, mixing, and they breathe in the mixture. i wonder if their eyes are fogging up, or if he can taste that mint on the edge of her mouth, or if he can sense that her breath is a little warmer & more robust, because her heart is beating against her lungs and her love is soaking into the inhalation. You don’t see that in the summer, or in the classroom. You don’t see this sense of community—swapping breath with complete strangers, breath that is soaked with who knows what. And now, after it was on the tip of their tongue, it hangs in the air a moment and you breathe it in, or it disappears and you wonder how many breathes you’ve been intubating, how many human hearts have gotten into you, leaving the residue of all humanity stuck to your insides. It really does give me an odd sense of community.