I know this is so shitty and I’m really mad at myself about it, but I have to cancel our meeting. I was so excited to get coffee at 5:30 PM today (after rescheduling from 5:30 PM last Tuesday and the Thursday before that), but I got held up at work. I was “held up” with a minor anxiety attack at the notion of deviating from my daily routine in even the slightest way.

Should we connect over the phone instead? Please say no. Please say that something came up and you wouldn’t have been able to make our meeting anyway. Please say “we can reschedule” but then not suggest a time so that theoretically the responsibility to follow up is split evenly between us — and then we can both bail on the arrangement guilt-free.

Things have just been really crazy for me lately. I will not go into detail about what “things” are or what “crazy” means or when “lately” was. Just know this: I am totally down to meet up and brainstorm our big new project when my life calms down a bit. I will also spend the next few decades making sure that my life never calms down — not a bit.

Look, it’s not that I don’t want to start a podcast where we watch every episode of King of the Hill and compare it to the wild political climate of today. It’s just that I don’t want to think or talk about that right now. Let’s look at next week. Surely next week will never become right now.

I’ve just been completely swamped with other stuff on my plate. Stuff like agonizing over having this social interaction, procrastinating work because I keep redrafting what’s supposed to be a two-sentence message bailing on you, and planning my move to Los Angeles, where surely no one is having pointless coffee meetings.

Okay, so we are making this a phone call? Jesus, now I’ve really shown my hand. I can’t believe I’ve suggested a phone call as a means of making myself less anxious. I am voluntarily scheduling a time for a device in my pocket to vibrate repeatedly, demanding my immediate attention. And then, after a whirlwind two seconds when I consider all of the worst-case scenarios of what this phone call could mean — my dad is dead, I’ve been fired, my dad is dead and for that reason I’ve been fired — I breathe a minor sigh of relief when I look at the contact and realize that my brain is about to be picked about “the industry.”

Which industry? I don’t even really know. I haven’t actually looked at your message since I first replied to it. I agreed to this after one LinkedIn message because I guess I’m pretty neutral about whether or not I get myself murdered. Sure, I’m behind on every deadline for work, I’m slowly drifting apart from all of my friends and I haven’t called my grandma in six months, but I definitely have time to ask you, a complete stranger I will never see again, what it was like to grow up in New Haven during the early 2000s. Yes, I’m sure it was a tough time for your family when Yale fell from #3 to #4 in the US News and World Report’s college rankings. I cannot begin to fathom the oppression.

So, let’s circle back, let’s reconnect, let’s touch base, let’s follow up, let’s rendezvous, let’s re-up later on, I’ll hit you up, you’ll shoot me a text, we’ll shoot each other in the face, and we’ll get coffee in hell.