I shook my head emphatically as I struggled to get my breathing under control.
“Should I call Melissa?” he persisted with the annoying questions instead of just leaving me alone to sort out this problem on my own. “She at least has medical training and would know what to do.”
I turned to face Lucifer, who in his impeccably tailored suit certainly looked like a doctor, but clearly had absolutely no idea how to handle a panic attack.
“The last thing she needs is a call from The Prince of Darkness telling her I’m having difficulty breathing,” I hissed as best I could considering I could barely breathe.
Luckily, this logic clicked with my house guest, who turned his attention to the cooler in front of the couch. He fished out a Snapple, removed the top, and handed it to me.
I accepted the bottle and chugged it greedily. These panic attacks were not new to me, but it had been a long time since their last visit.
I took several deep breaths, and began to feel normal again. I swallowed down about half of the iced tea before gently placing the bottle on the table.
“Are you okay?” Satan asked.
I’d never seen him like this before. He was usually so confident and self-centered, and this confused, caring side of him was freaking me out at a time when I needed to remain extremely calm.
“I read your blog post yesterday about the drowning man, so I knew you were dealing with these, but I was totally unprepared as to how to react should one take place in my presence,” he explained sheepishly.
I gave him a gentle pat on the leg with the same hand with which I’d been holding the Snapple bottle. To The Devil’s credit, he did not go completely bonkers at my touching his precious suit with a slightly wet hand.
Now that’s a true friend.
“I’m really okay,” I said confidently as my breathing finally returned to normal. “I used to have panic attacks all the time when I was a kid.”
Lucifer eyed me suspiciously and raised an eyebrow for effect. “Want to talk about why you’re having them again?”
“Not particularly,” I quickly replied. “Did you see my new post on The Good Men Project today? I’m not a fan of the title.”
“It does make you sound like a douche bag with borderline prick tendencies,” The Prince of Darkness quipped. “Why didn’t they use the title you wrote for the article?”
I shrugged because I really had no idea why my editor had changed it. “Guess they thought the more provocative one would attract more readers,” was my best guess.
“Well, it’s nice to see The Retirement Party getting a mention,” Satan remarked as he reached for a Snapple of his own. “I always thought it was a shame that the movie never got a release. It was a cute story.”
I sighed. Sometimes, when I think back about my life during the time covered in The Retirement Party, I get sad. Sure, it was a confusing time, but I was younger, had so much hope for my future, and thought my screenwriting career was about to explode.
Now here I was spending my Sunday afternoon with The Devil while having panic attacks.
“It definitely would have been cool to sit in a theater with hundreds of paying customers, and watch my life unfold on the big screen,” I had to admit. “It could have led to a rash of Hollywood blockbusters about my exciting love life.”
We both had a good chuckle at that one. Even when panicked and disappointed with my life, I still knew how to get the laughs…
Don’t panic! It’s really quite simple to follow me on Pinterest…