Hi. How are you? Fine? You’re fine? Is that the truth? You want me to stop asking? Leave you alone? But what if I care? What if I really care? What if I told you that I’m asking not because I’m supposed to ask but because I set aside the next hour of my life to listen to what’s bothering you or making you happy or tugging at your heart or making you want to throw a rock through a window? (Put down the rock.)
How am I doing? Well, I asked you first. But if you really want to know, I’m hanging in there. What does that mean? Hm. I guess I’m doing okay. I’m focusing on today, this hour, this word. I try not to think about tomorrow or the day after that because sometimes when I lift my eyes and stare straight ahead I see miles and miles of fire. Flames stretching so far that they hide the entire sky. I see waves of terrifying, oppressive heat spilling out across every inch of ground in front of me. And then panic swells in my lungs, that old familiar rush of anxiety and dread and certainty that the world is going to fall apart. So I look back down at my hands, at this word. And this word. And this one. And everything is okay.
Right now I know which end is up. This end, this one right here. This is up.
How are you?