fine

Wandering my house, bare feet on the cold travertine floor of my kitchen; I could put on socks or slippers, I could turn up the heat, but the stinging cold of the stone on my soles dulls something more painful.

Everything seems too intense.

Overwhelming.

A particular song on repeat, melancholy; I can sing in a whisper or at full volume, depending on the where I am in the pendulum swing.

I answer the inquiry into how I am with the stale and canned response of “fine” when I feel anything but. There’s no quick and easy answer to give when stress and sadness and worry sit somewhere tight in your chest, just behind your heart.

I wish I had written the song. So many books of so many lyrics lost or burned or otherwise dead. Instead, I’ll listen until I’m too tired to stare at my phone or pace the room.

Laying on top of the covers naked, until my skin tingles from the cool air and I tuck inside the sheets to cry myself to sleep.

The impending disappointment is palpable in almost every one of our conversations.

Sometimes I want to push, and I usually regret it when I do. Other times, I can barely keep from shouting the words I keep pressed behind my lips. The moment the call is disconnected, I let them out, in a whispered kind of whimper.