When she asks, “How are you?” I say, “Fine.”

When she asks, “How are you?” I say, “Fine.”
Sometimes I say, “Excellent.” because it really does pay to be positive.
And your focus does determine your reality.
And people ask sometimes, I don’t respond at all. I’m just stuck.
And sometimes I ask myself, and I can’t answer. It seems such a simple question.
And of course it is just a greeting… a nicety.
I’m supposed to say that I am fine, and then reciprocate by asking how she is.

Sometimes conversations pass me by
And the sound turns into a dull roar
And sometimes I feel like I just have to get out of the room
But I have to stay… and make it work.

I’m at the store, and there is no line, so the cashier asks me, “How are you?”
And I say “I’m excellent… It’s Friday.”

And so I never explain that sometimes I am well and sometimes not so much.
When I run into someone that I haven’t seen before my son’s death…
I don’t think it is nice to go into a big story… the long sad story. So in that case, I just say that I am fine.
If I can get out the words.
Because suddenly I am not fine.
And I can’t tell you why or when or how long, because the hole left in my life and my heart will never heal.
But I won’t bore you with that, I am fine.
And I am waiting for the phone to ring. I need my son to call, and I will never, ever, get it.
And I think about the last conversation we ever had.
And that fact… the indisputable, immutable, fact that he is gone.
I’m fine.

And I walk through my day. Really, I’m fine.
When I have to spend a lot of time alone… and I feel myself slipping.
I look deep and I breathe
And sometimes I pray
And I find that someone is listening… and I am fine.

And when I step out into a driving rain hoping for the darkness to disappear…
And smile at the wrong time.
Or I look at the colors in morning clouds reflected on the water.
I know that God cares about beauty… and creates and plays with the light of dawn.
And that is comforting.
And I lose focus.
Or I take one more step, just to stay ahead of the gloom

There is always some pain there.., hidden
And sometimes my stomach hurts.
There is this hollowness and a ringing in my ears.
And sometimes I can’t feel anything at all… and I don’t know which is worse.
Sometimes I am quiet and distant. And sometime I talk on and on for no reason.

If I listen real hard I can still hear his voice
And in my mind I can still see his face
And the further I get from that God awful day…
The more I can say I am fine.

But when it isn’t that bad,
And my food tastes good. And the clouds trimmed with vermillion, and I really am smiling at the right time and laughing.
I know that I am fine.

I put that picture in my mind… and I hear that song. And then failing that…
I do math problems in my head. But it doesn’t work
And now I am stuttering and uncertain, and my feet tingle
Which is better than being so angry I feel like I can lose it… lose it all.

Sometimes it is like falling down on my knees
And sometimes it is like the crowd around me is crumbling
And sometimes I know the can see me like I am stripped away
And sometimes it’s like I have faded.

So when she asks at the desk how I am, I say I am fine.

I watch the cat playing with something on the kitchen floor… with his playface, he is so cute.
And that beautiful beetle with the broken shell, dragging his legs and leaking some kind of creamy ooze…
It is not fine.

When she asks, “How are you?” I say, “Fine.”

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