There’s a middle-aged man living in my building who suffers from acute panic attacks.
Bald, a little hunched over, we literally run into each on the stairs.
Despite an elevator, I make myself take them since for forty years, lived in a 4 floor walk-up having little choice but to hike. I have the heart of a yearling, my doctor tells me, and wistfully want to keep it that way.
Whenever this man sees me, he jumps, dropping what he’s carrying, running back out in the direction in which he came.
My heart opens since, I had these attacks as a kid, and they’re no fun, folded in a inexplicable terror you can’t shed or outrun. Gratefully, I outgrew them, but sadly, my neighbor on 12 has not.
I’ve tried to calm him like a skittish cat, but he backs up, often falling into one of the lobby’s ficus trees adding embarrassment to his plight.
The doormen have offered to intervene for me…for the lady on 5 he’s so rude to.
However, the lady on 5 declines this offer, as she gently continues to try to make a new friend.
Here kitty kitty.