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When Jake was small he’d always end up on the floor, during attacks. It wasn’t that he couldn’t stand; something about the texture of carpet on his cheek was soothing. He tried to scratch his back on it, too, but that never worked. The itch was on the inside.

Asthma. Old enemy. He sits propped against a stack of pillows and watches the wall like a distant army, but then everything’s distant on low oxygen. Asthma’s a full-sensory experience, and the synaesthesia is taking him back in memory: detachment, his tight chest, dog-heavy legs and the strange plastic taste of albuterol.