I hate it when I start freaking out, when my blood starts to boil and my heart starts to race, and before I can slow my self down, before I can get a grip on reality, it’s too late, I’m already freaking out, the sides of my head are, my temples are pounding, I can’t catch enough breath, I’m already starting to lose it, and I could have stopped it a minute ago maybe, but it’s too late now, so I’ll do a few laps, pace a few times around the living room, slapping myself on the sides of my chest, but it’s not working. And now I’m freaking out even more because it’s not working, so I go to the bathroom to splash some cold water on my face, but I catch my reflection in the mirror and I really start freaking out because I don’t remember looking like this. When did I start looking like this? And the cold water was maybe starting to work for a second, but it’s definitely been offset by this person staring back at me in the mirror, so I’ll go to the fridge and pour a glass of water and I try to drink it all in one gulp because I’m seriously losing it here and I start pounding the water and the whole glass is going down all smooth but right at the end I feel like I’m suffocating, so I tilt the glass all the way back to just swallow it all as fast as I can, because I’m almost done, really, but I start to choke just on that last sip of water and I close my mouth to try to contain the rest, but, of course, a little bit of it doesn’t fit and then I do one or two of those choke coughs, and there’s water on my shirt and I finally choke down the rest of the water but now I’m really starting to get excited because I’m automatically gasping for breath, I need all that extra air for all of these extra heartbeats that I’m having in my chest and, how many heartbeats do I have left? Because when it’s all said and done there will have been a finite number, an actual number of heartbeats, maybe nobody will ever know how many, but that number will have existed, here lived Rob G. who had a heart that beat this many times during his life and now I’m really feeling my heart beat and race and I’m starting to count every beat, one, two, three, four, five, six, and – am I wasting my heartbeats my making them go so fast? I’m just trying to stop the automatic counting in my head that’s going even louder than the beating of my heart, wait, no, the beating is, louder, wait, no, now the counting is louder, they’re competing for my attention, they’ve both got it, now they’re competing to be the loudest, and I’m just counting those heartbeats, trying to grab onto maybe just one of them, but they’re going fast, my finite supply running shorter. I think I’ve caught my breath and I’m feeling a little better. I just have to remember to take those deep breaths, maybe I’ve had one too many cups of coffee today, I’ve got that taste in the side of my mouth, that metal taste. I’m pretty hungry, or maybe I’m not hungry, I ate breakfast hours ago, I should be hungry, should I force something down? My stomach’s not feeling great, am I going to freak out again? I don’t think my diet has been all that balanced lately. Or actually maybe it’s been too balanced. Is that a thing? Is that a real problem? I’ve just got to chill out, calm down, focus on those deep, long, deep breaths, so I take a big breath and try to let it out all smooth in one motion, but it’s coming out all jerky, it’s like when you’re pulling the cord on a lawnmower or a snow blower or a chainsaw or a generator and it’s supposed to just pull out smooth but there are these tiny, regular, intermittent little bursts of resistance, and so my breath should come out all swish, all whoosh, all heeeeeshhhh, all, eeeeeeehhhhhh but instead it comes out just like hh, hh, ch, ch, ch, ch, chk, chk, kk, kk, hh, hh, but it’s getting better now and I’m feeling better now and maybe I just need another glass of water or, you know what, maybe I should just go for a run, or maybe I should just go take a nap or lay down or something or, you know what, maybe I should go get something to eat or maybe I should splash some more water in my face or, maybe I’m just freaking out a little, maybe it’s probably just in my head, maybe it’s passing, maybe I’m not freaking out any more, maybe I’m already just chilling out a little, maybe it’s starting to swish out a little more normal now, maybe I just needed to get it out of my system, maybe it’s OK, it’s fine, I’m cooling off I think. I’m totally cool. Totally cool now. Much better. I’m totally much more fine right now, right this second.