1. How are you doing?
    She asks
  2. Quietly, conspiratorially whispering to preserve my privacy or my feelings or her own good mood.
  3. Fine
    I say
  4. Fine
    Flat and monotone
  5. Fine
    Again, trying harder, sideways smile, burning eyes
  6. I'll be fine.
  7. Well, OK, take care, call if you need anything.
    Turn, step, step, bounce, relief, like Spacey gradually and suddenly gone.
  8. How are you doing today?
    Asks another
  9. And the titanic burden of the world falls
  10. Today I can not feel fine
  11. Today I can feel nothing or everything
  12. Today is not all of me
  13. Today is just today
  14. So here we go
  15. Hey you, stranger, co-worker, li.ster, friend, lover, kid, mom, YOU
  16. How are you doing today?
  17. And how am I doing today, you may ask in return
  18. Mostly happy
    Life is busy and good
  19. A little sad and scared
    Life has so many sharp edges and humans are so damned soft
  20. And always, sometimes in the back of my mind, but today in the front, wishing I'd asked at the right time.