How are you?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
“How are you?”

How many conversations have you had that begun in this way? How many left you wanting more?

“I’m good, thanks. How are you?”

What would you say, if you could say all of the things that are currently racing through your mind? What would the world look like if we were irrecoverably honest?

“Yeah, I’m good. Thanks for asking.”

I think it would be better.

Submitted: June 10, 2016

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Submitted: June 10, 2016

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“How are you?”

Have you ever heard a more awful question? Is it really even a question at all?
It feels more and more like a social contract every time it is asked; an agreed upon custom to smile politely and move the conversation on to something that is much safer for everyone involved.  

“I’m good, thanks. How are you?”

That’s not what I want to say. Is it what any of us really want to say?

I want to tell you that I cried myself to sleep last night because I am just so sick of everyone I know being miserable. That I am watching the people who I love drown and all I can do is stand on the edge of their agony and describe the fucking water. That my heart physically aches for the lives that they are not living. I want to tell you that it is okay if you feel like that as well; maybe we are supposed to save them together? I want to tell you that it is exhausting being responsible for other people’s happiness, but that I am terrified of what will happen if I stop. I want to tell you that I cried myself to sleep last night.

I want to tell you that I am horrified by the person I can feel myself becoming. That she is weak and small and unremarkable in every way. That every dream I have ever had is ash on my tongue, bitter and queasy. I want to tell you that I am a disappointment. That all my life I have been trying to save myself, and all my life I have been failing. I want to tell you that I know I should have done more, tried harder, been better. I want to tell you that I believe in the multiverse theory because it might just be the only thing that will keep my heart pounding long enough to redeem myself. I want to tell you that I am horrified.

I want to tell you that Tuesday was magnificent and that I think it might just have been the greatest night of my entire life. That when tequila courses through your veins in makes you feel like you can fly. I want to tell you that we were young and drunk and disgustingly in love with this whole damn world. I want to tell you that I hope you feel like that one day soon, or perhaps ask if you ever have done in the past. I want to tell you so much more than just those things, but my memory will always be hazy and I don’t know where the lost time goes, but I hope that it is a beautiful place. I want to tell you that Tuesday was magnificent.

I want to tell you that the truest love I have ever known was between two people who don’t exist in the real world, at least not the one that we are living in. I want to tell you that I spent eight years of my life believing in a fictional love as if it were an ancient deity. I want to tell you that it doesn’t matter where you learn to love or who teaches you how, as long as you know that it should be extraordinary. I want to tell you that I haven’t found that for myself yet and that I’m scared I will come to need the hope of waiting too much to ever let it go. I want to tell you to love freely and openly and with you whole damn soul. I want to tell you that the truest love I have ever known was between two people who don’t exist.

I want to tell you that I am not afraid to die, because living forever scares me more than dying tomorrow ever could. I want to tell you about the time when I was six and stayed up late to watch a film that I was a decade too young to see; there was a woman who had blonde hair just like mine and she knew that she was going to die young. That I have carried that feeling with me ever since and that sometimes it is the only comfort that I have. I want to tell you that I don’t want extraordinary measures to be taken; let me go, let me go, let me go. I want to tell you that the only way I know how to live a beautiful life, is to believe with my whole heart that it is going to end soon. I want to tell you that I am not afraid to die.

I want to tell you that I know you are going to change the world someday, and that when you do, you will feel so full of grace it will be unbearable. I want to tell you that I believe in you. I want to tell you that you are magnificent. I want to tell you how important it is that you never, ever allow yourself to become small in the ways that I have; you are too important to live a life that you are not proud of. I want to tell you that I know you are going to change the world.

“Yeah, I’m good. Thanks for asking.”

I want to tell you that I hope there are things that you want to tell me in return. That other people feel it, too. That the words cling to the back of your throat because you know that they can never be spoken aloud. I want you to tell me that you are terrified and silent. I want you to tell me the story behind the name of your pet dog and the colour that you see when you think of your Mother and the first time you told a secret that you have spent your whole life wishing was still locked safely in your mind. I want you to tell me beautiful things and terrible things, and all of the things that are neither and both at the same time. I want to tell you that I hope. 


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