Fiction
12.1 / FALL / WINTER 2016

LOVER’S BREATH: OWNER’S MANUAL

Congratulations. You’ve just purchased the world’s foremost Breath Capture and Dispensary System (BCDS), Lover’s Breath™. With Lover’s Breath™ you may safely and conveniently capture the exhaled breath of friend, family member, or lover. Stored in a sleek tank, Lover’s Breath™ has no expiration date. Enjoy fond remembrance of the loved one’s familiar breath for years to come by simply attaching the breathing apparatus to your mouth and inhaling.

    • Travel frequently for business? Give your significant other something more evocative than a phone call to get them through the lonely week.
  • Leaving the kids with a babysitter for an evening? Under proper supervision, one whiff of a parent’s breath before bedtime will soothe them right to sleep.
  • Finally, Lover’s Breath™ is a coping mechanism for those left behind. As smell is closely tied to memory, inhaling a breath of your lost love has the ability to conjure their presence in a way no picture could. Close your eyes and it’s as if they never left.

Indeed, Lover’s Breath™ can ease the pain caused by a distance of any length. Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief like never before.

Instructions for the Capture of Breath

1. Attach breathing apparatus to unused tank of fresh oxygen.

2. Turn valve clockwise to start the flow of oxygen.

3. Affix breathing apparatus to mouth and breathe normally. As you breathe fresh oxygen, your carbon dioxide is routed through the rebreather into the tank, where it is stored.

4. You will be notified of the end of the process by a friendly beep. At this point, remove breathing apparatus and close valve.

5. Store in a cool, dry place.

 

Instructions for the Enjoyment of Lover’s Breath

1. Attach breathing apparatus to tank of loved one’s carbon dioxide.

2. Affix breathing apparatus to mouth.

3. Press green DISPENSE button to experience loved one’s breath.

*Note: The DISPENSE button will only allow the emission of ONE BREATH of carbon dioxide per 30-minute period to prevent carbon dioxide poisoning, which can lead to death.

4. Remove breathing apparatus and enjoy fond memories of loved one as their breath lingers on your senses.

 

Warnings and Safeguards

WARNING: Do not expose tank to direct sunlight.

WARNING: Do not in any way alter or jam DISPENSE button as a means of experiencing the continual emission of Lover’s Breath. Such “jammed” devices may result in carbon dioxide poisoning.

WARNING: Death from carbon dioxide poisoning occurs slowly, without warning to victim.

WARNING: Do not force the capture of a loved one’s breath without their consent.

For example: If you (“Lover A”) suspect your significant other (“Lover B”) of soon leaving you, do not slip the apparatus over Lover B’s mouth while they sleep as to store their breath for a future occasion when you may be without them. Doing so is illegal, as breath is considered legal property of the breather until consent is given.

WARNING: Do not leave “jammed” breathing apparatus on the pillow next to yours while you sleep in an effort to recreate the presence of Lover B who has by now left you. Doing so may result in dangerous levels of CO2 gas in room.

WARNING: It may be prudent for Lover A to consider discarding Lover B’s stored breath after the dissolution of the relationship, and almost certainly to do so before Lover A embarks on a relationship with a new lover, “Lover C.”

WARNING: If you are Lover C, and you walk into a room to find your lover, Lover A, indulging in the Lover’s Breath™ of their former lover, Lover B, consider counting to ten before reacting rashly, out of jealousy and rage.

WARNING: Not for underwater use.

WARNING: If you, Lover C, wish to get back at Lover A for their obsession with Lover B, do not empty out the rest of Lover A’s supply of Lover B’s breath. Despite the fact that you may have discarded the Lover’s Breath™ of your former lover, “Lover D,” prior to your shacking up with Lover A, as any decent, faithful person would, this Lover’s Breath™ is still the property of Lover A, and you cannot change that, Lover C.

WARNING: Moreover, do not, Lover C, attempt to replace Lover A’s supply of Lover B’s breath with your own breath as part of some half-cocked plan of making Lover A realize that it’s you they wanted all along, not that withholding, self-absorbed Lover B, but you, kind, generous Lover C! The carbon dioxide within a tank CANNOT be replaced with different carbon dioxide, and attempting to do so will result in asphyxiation or even death.

WARNING: Store in an upright position.

WARNING: If you are Lover A, and you arrive home from work to find Lover C unconscious on the ground, the breathing apparatus over their mouth in an apparent attempt to replace Lover B’s carbon dioxide with their own, do not act rashly. Call 9-1-1 and initiate C-P-R. Under no circumstances are you to realize that it was in fact Lover C whom you loved all along, and that your infatuation—that’s all it was—with Lover B drove Lover C to desperate methods of gaining your affection ultimately resulting in Lover C’s likely death. Do not drape yourself in the limp arms of Lover C, slipping the breathing apparatus off their face and onto your own. Do not go gentle into that good night while inhaling some unholy mixture of the carbon dioxide of both Lovers B and C.

WARNING: If you are Lover B in all of this, and you catch wind of Lover A’s possession of a tank of your breath, captured while you slept back when the two of you were still together, and you arrive at the home of Lover A to demand the ill-gotten tank of your breath, only to find Lover A and Lover C both splayed on the floor, seemingly dead from asphyxiation, do not cry out for mercy. Do not run out of the home in a panic. Do not, if at all possible, faint in horror. Carbon dioxide poisoning can create the illusion of death, and there might still be time to save them. Remove the breathing apparatus from Lover A’s face and turn off the valve. Call 9-1-1 and initiate C-P-R. There may only be time to save one, in which case you have a tremendous decision to make, a decision no one would envy. As you blow air into the mouth of Lover C between pumps of their chest, try not to think about the sick irony in the fact that the very thing that may have killed them is now the only thing that can save them—your breath.

WARNING: Do not expose to open flame.

 

 

 

Nick Lane writes fiction and screenplays in Los Angeles and needs a job. He won the 7th annual David Sedaris Writing Award, and his satirical blog can be found at unscrupled.com. His Twitter handle is @FakeNickLane. He has 48 followers.


12.1 / FALL / WINTER 2016

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