Just got thrust into a situation that could have made me hyperventilate if I had neglected to take the BP and anxiety meds. In fact, I should have doubled up on the anxiety med once I got word I’d be pulled into this. No need for details. Matters to none but I. As it is heart is still kinda pounding. It was a successful incident, one I wish had demonstrated more poise and elegance on my part. But only I concern myself with that detail. Remembering a similar incident, not similar in substance but in respect to having taken the meds and feeling it made a consequential difference. This one I can talk about. It was the day I heard someone yelling my name. I turned and saw no one I recognized, so I turned back, thinking there are lots of Marks in Astoria. But the name kept coming, then followed by “Don’t you remember me?” It was…. what should I name him?… Danny. I think that’s what I called him before in previous accounts. I remembered Danny all right. He was a bar buddy from the best bar scene I’ve ever been a part of. We were not best friends but we spent time together, smoking pot at the cemetery, day drinking our summers away at the bar, and occasionally driving around Astoria in my car. I helped get him a job by letting him create an email address on my AOL account. It made him look legit, or so he said. But when I saw him this day all that was a sour memory. Years ago I’d heard that he went full bore homeless. His mother died after throwing him out of the house and that triggered his descent into living in boxes off Times Square and sleeping on subways. He’d almost instantly gone from a normal looking dude to mega hairy, stunk of piss and body, nails were 3 inches long, on and on. Just a classic stereotype of a New York City homeless person. Fast forward to this more recent encounter and he didn’t look horrible but he definitely wore the markings of someone who’d been on the streets. Difference now, from what I heard of his earlier days as a homeless person, is that he seemed more in control of himself, in control of his life and he had navigated the vagaries of New York’s homeless safety net. He was, apparently, happy; but I saw through that bullshit, evidence that I knew him as well now as ever. He seemed scary to me for reasons I can’t define. I guess a fear of the homeless is not uncommon. But I can’t define my emotional confusion and angst at seeing this person again, learning as he spoke that he sees me around Astoria and seems to follow after me at times. I don’t have time to finish this now but the anxiety machine as our encounter continued was on full tilt, contained only by the phucking pharmaceuticals. Without them I think I might have passed out or fainted, whatever the modern term is for losing consiousness on account of anxiety. Gotta go.