John sat in his small living room on the phone listening closely to Rose.
“John you can’t keep doing this. You have to tell people when you get these panic attacks. It’s important that you don’t get yourself into stressful situations that put you around your triggers. Do you understand John?”
“I know Rose it’s just that they keep happening no matter what I do; hell I moved out, I went to a different STATE. I thought that if I moved away they’d at least happen less.”
“Call me whenever you have one. I’m serious John it’s important. If I don’t answer then call Dave or Jade just make sure you’re talking to someone. Have you been keeping up on your meds?”
“Yes.” John sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He was lying. He had stopped taking them weeks ago. They made him feel weird and he didn’t like it. He was still jumpy and paranoid when he was taking them anyways so what was the point?
“Good. You worry me John; I’m coming down to see you when My next book is finished alright? I have to go pick Roxy up now. Take care of yourself.”
“Alright, see ya Rose.” He said hanging up and leaning back on the couch.
==> Be Future John Egbert
You are an absolute moron. Stupid idiot stupid. Why can’t you just listen to Rose? Look where you are now. Being sent home by your boss because you were being jumpy and awkward with customers. You sigh as you pull into the parking area of your apartment complex.
You have days like this pretty often, but there’s always worse. Sometimes you can’t even leave your apartment. You decide to just try to get some rest and flop onto the couch after walking up the immense amount of stairs in your complex. Before following through with your plans you glance at the pill bottles on your counter; some of them prescribed by Rose, some by your other therapist, others simple over the counter painkillers and such. You hastily ignore them as you drop your keys near them and proceed to crash on the couch.
You jolt forward, waking up in a cold sweat and clutching your chest where Jack had stabbed you. That moment recurred over and over. Your breathing grew rapid and shallow despite your attempts to calm down and your chest grew tight.
It was happening again.
You scramble for your phone in your back pocket hitting Rose’s speed dial half-hazardly; tucking your knees into your chest and gripping the phone tightly.
“You’ve reached the mobile of Rose Lalonde, I cannot take your call presently. Please leave your name and telephone number and I will return your call as promptly as possible.”
“Fuck. Rose please I need your help. Please Rose. Fucking hell.”
You hang up quickly and try Jade next, reaching a message that says her phone is out of range. You curse and call Dave. The dial tone rings for what feels like an eternity before he answers.
“Sup.” He says nonchalantly.
“Dave thank god, fuck I need help bro. Its- I’m- again-“ You stop and try to breathe normally.
“Whoa there bro, chill out. You’re okay. Listen to me; breathe in, then out, nice and slow. You are the fucking entity of calm. Just relax.” He coos as soothingly as Strider-ly possible.
“Stabbed, chest, again, fuck, I can’t-“
“Shh shh sh. No speaking. You’re okay man. No arch agents are trying to kill you. That’s all over. You’re chill in Arkansas now.”
“Arizona, Dave.” You sigh starting to catch your breath, your chest still feeling tight. You jump as your fan rustles papers on your coffee table.
“Same fuckin state, you’re still cool. Everything’s cool. You’re so cool the most ironically cool thing on the planet isn’t as cool as you. Aside from me of course.” He reassures.
You continue trying to breathe steadily while he talks you through your little breakdown. After a few minutes when he’s decided you’ve calmed down enough he sighs.
“Fuck man Rose said you were losin’ it but damn. I didn’t think your panic attacks were getting this bad John. You’re lucking you caught me between set changes.”
“I-I’m not losing it! I just- I just had a bad day with this… it isn’t like it really happens THAT often.” You say defensively.
“Sure. Whatever you say bro. I gotta go, you better call Lalonde and tell her what went down. I’m calling her after this next scene to check.”
Dave hung up after that and you stood up and walked to the kitchen. You stood in front of the sink for a minute before splashing your face with cool water. Your phone buzzed across the counter. It was Rose. After taking a deep breath you answer.
“John are you alright?” She asked immediately.
“I’m okay Rose. I just had a, uh, little incident.”
“Did you get a hold of someone? What happened?”
“Yeah Dave answered his cell; it was, uh, Jack… again…” You respond slowly.
“I told you to call Jade first if I wasn’t able to respond when you had an attack.” She said sternly.
“Her line was down again Rose. You’re forgetting she lives in the middle of nowhere. Not really consistent phone reception.”
“Oh. Well if you are really fine now I’m going to have a word with Dave.”
“He’s shooting a scene. He said he was gonna call you after to make sure I talked to you.”
“Good. Are you sure you’re alright John? You don’t sound very good.”
“Tired. I just woke up. I- I had a nightmare and woke up and panicked. I’m tired.” You exhale exaggeratedly.
==> Be Current Rose Lalonde
“If you’re absolutely sure John then I’ll be going now. I have other things to attend to as well.”
“’Kay, bye Rose.”
You sigh and hold your phone in your lap after your dear friend-patient hangs up. You actually do have other things to attend to. Namely your ecto-mom/daughter who is now your alcoholic flat mate. The same flat mate who just ditched her AA meeting to go clubbing.
You exasperatedly grab your keys and prepare to drive into town and fetch the irresponsible wreck of a girl-woman.
==> Be Dave Strider
You are now frustrated as hell because your actors are complete imbeciles who cannot hope to perceive your art form and portray it on the big screen. When will Ben Stiller grasp his intricate character?
You decide to give up for the moment and call for a break.
“CUT. JUST CUT. GOG DAMN IT CUT.” You yell. “Go reread the script. Again. Get back here in 15 minutes and you had better have grasped the perfect blend of ironic comedy I have set before you.”
You ignore the eye-rolls of the unappreciative staff you’ve been given and head back to your trailer to call Lalonde. She had better answer too because the Egbert dilemma was getting damn serious.
You put your iPhone on speaker as you lounge across your laz-e-boy sideways. The perfect way to sit in any laz-e-boy if you say so yourself. Ironic and comfortable.
“Strider.” She answers.
“Lalonde. Sounds like you’re on the road; Rox on the rocks again?”
“Do you even have to ask?”
“Not really. So, Egderp talk to you yet?”
“Yes. He has informed me that you helped him through his panic attack this relative afternoon.”
“For you two it was in the afternoon. For me it was very late in the afternoon. Time zones Dave; I’m positive you of all people are familiar with them.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. Whatever. Down to business; he’s not doing so great Lalonde.”
“I’m aware. I’m thinking of changing his medicatio-“
You snicker then start laughing.
“You honestly think John is actually on his meds? You must be more naive than I thought.”
“Well Dave if you must know I’m going to be going out to see John in person. Soon.”
“You don’t sound so sure about that.”
She sighs loudly and you hear the breaks of her car as if she was pulling to the side of the road.
“Fucking hell, Dave what am I going to do about Roxy? I can’t leave because she’s such a wreck and no one will watch her. She was kicked out of rehab. Four times. Four. She got her whole group in the therapy sessions to sneak out to a bar and then banged the pharmaceuticals guy of their facility.”
“But John needs someone there to help him get his shit straight at least for a few weeks. I hate to ask Dave but do you think you could?”
“’Fraid not toots. I am in the middle of shooting SB&HJ. Can’t just drop it and leave even though Egderp’s my bro.”
“Damn. It. To. Hell.” She sighed and there was a little thud.
“Wait. I’m a genius Lalonde. Tell me I’m a genius. I’ve just solved your problems.”
“Oh sweet merciful knight in shining armor, hero of us all, your bountiful knowledge is our savior, you genius mind will save us all. Does that work for you Strider.”
“It’ll do Rose, it’ll do.” You laugh inwardly at her witty sarcasm as you lay down the best plan in history. “I can call up my bro and he can drop in on John.”
“By bro do you mean Dirk. As in Dirk Strider. The man-child who raised you to be the mess you are. The one who strifed with a 7 year old on a dangerously high rooftop that lacked safety railing. If yes then hell no.”
“Ouch; your words cut deeper than the shittiest katana Lalonde. But yes. And also no. You are forgetting he’s actually responsible and capable too.”
She’s silent for a while. You tap a steady beat on your thigh waiting for her response.
“Fine. I suppose he’s better than nothing. Message me if he says he’s available and I’ll give him details as to what needs to be done. For now I have our friendly neighborhood drunk to track down.”
“Cool. I’ll hit you up later then. Good luck.”
“I’ll need it.” She says as she hangs up.
You contemplate calling your brother before deciding against it. Calling would most likely result in unnecessary banter for an hour and your movie would be even more off schedule than it already was. You open your Pesterchum app instead.
-- turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering timaeusTestified [TT] –-
TG: heard you were sitting alone at home with your robots
TG: fuckin same unironic shit going down all day
TG: gotta get some rad new events happening you know
TG: change it up
TT: Do you have a point little man.
TG: just sayin
TG: maybe you could like
TG: go someplace for a couple weeks
TG: do some cool things
TG: chill with peeps
TT: Dave spill.
TG: alright you know john right
TT: Yes. Egbert. Buckteeth goofy kid.
TG: exactly the one
TG: well hes going a little nutso
TG: and rose and me cant go check up on him
TG: we’re busy with other shit
TT: So you need me to check up on your friend John.
TG: hes having panic attacks and shit
TG: because of sburb
TT: I see. You’re asking me to drop my projects and go babysit.
TG: you don’t have to
TG: you can always stay home in surrounded by your hunks of metal
TT: I get it. It’d mean a lot to my dearest little bro if I’d go take care of his precious buddy.
TG: yes and no
TG: precious is not a term to be used unless in the most ironic circumstances
TG: lalonde will also appreciate you doing us this one act of kindness
TG: upon your agreeing to said kindness she will enlighten you on the details of your mission
TT: I suppose I can take time out of my busy schedule to assist you. In the best interests of all parties involved.
TG: rosell talk to you soon then
TG: seriously thanks though bro youre doin us a huge favor
-- turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering timaeusTestified [TT] –-