It began like it always does, with me reading an article on the internet.
1. In this case The Time I Got Stabbed in the Neck by David Henry Hwang. 
David is walking home carrying groceries when he gets stabbed in the neck. The detectives investigating the case later tell him that the nature of the attack was totes random.
This section in the article triggered my worry.
” It seems my attacker had severed my vertebral artery. Normally, in such situations, the doctors would cap the artery to stop the bleeding. But because my wound was so close to my skull, they didn’t want to risk the possibility of brain damage.”
I do not know what a vertebral artery is. Or where it is.
I can comprehend what capping an artery is.
On further self memory flagellation I discover that I do not know much about the human anatomy other than the mere basics. Think chubby cheeks, dimple chin…..Teacher’s pet, is that you?
I could not describe my trauma in such a clear manner, if anything of this sort ever happened to me. (I pray it doesn’t. double knock on wood.) One thought led to an another and ended with me buying a copy of Anatomy And Physiology for Dummies.
2. If you are a regular listener of The Moth you may have heard the story of Ed Gavagan
Ed Gavagan was walking down the street when he was the victim of a gang assignment to kill a random stranger.
I came down the block, and one of the very lucky things from that night was that when I was in college at Notre Dame I was on the boxing team. So I got one good punch and knocked the middle guy out. They caught him, and he gave up everybody else, which is how they had these five guys in custody.
Boxing saved him. I DON’T know boxing.
I yelped for self-defense classes. Sorted the reviews by ratings. Did not sign-up for any because all of them required : orientation fee, cancellation fee, fee fee, a fcuk you fee, address proof, pay-stubs, sperm samples, blood tests.
3. Colleague receives a bonus and comes running to me, ” Thank to God for this check. The amount is the exact figure that the IRS allows me to contribute towards my ROTH IRA for 2015.”
ROTH what? IRA what ?
Hours later emerging from the investopedia click-hole I cry myself to sleep.
4. My friend bought a house. My other friend had a baby. My other friends had a baby and bought a house. My other not-a-friend bought a car.
My conversations with them are more questions and less ‘how are you doing?’
“What are/is” + “Roof shingles? Heating costs? Down payment? Closing costs? Escrow? Income level ? school district? Charter schools ? landscaping? Homeowners insurance? Fixed-rate mortgages vs adjustable-rate mortgages? Carfax? Geico?”
After I hangup the phone/disable Whatsapp new message notifications and last seen time stamp I crack open Calvin and Hobbes and go to bed dreaming of Pagliacci the clown.
The next morning my wife reminds me that I overslept, again. And that I was laugh talking in my sleep, again.
5. After each panic attack tides over, the realizations always are
‘I need to know this. How did I not know this? How do they know this ? How did I grow up not learning this? YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS.’