Three words that casually slip off the tongue upon meeting. From the barista behind the counter. From a relative at a family occasion. From an acquaintance you haven’t seen in a while. From a friend who isn’t close.
How are you?
And what do I say? I’m good. I’m fine. And while that may be the case, in that specific moment, there’s so much more behind my lips. There are words that are preserved; that are kept hidden behind my teeth.
I could say, I’ve been thinking about the past a lot. About a lot that’s been left unresolved. There’s a need to confront what needs to be dealt with and come out on the other side.
I could say, I’m scared because I don’t know when that will be.
I could say, I tried to dye my hair auburn a few weeks ago, but it didn’t come out — my hair’s too dark. I was upset about that for two days.
I could say, everything is changing and it’s inevitable. I’m swimming along with the current and that current is called Metamorphosis. Some things are not meant to last.
I could say, I’ve been having dreams of death, but apparently, death signifies transition. Or a yearning to escape the demands of daily life. I’ve been dreaming of hurt. Of energy that’s painful. Reminiscent of where I was at this point last year.
I could say, I feel lighter. A layer is unraveling and it feels right. It feels like relief.
I could say, I just nourished myself at Spumoni Gardens and ate the best slice of pizza ever for my grandma’s 83rd birthday. She was smiling and savoring every minute of it.
I could say, I sung three songs at an open mic night and that makes me happy because I was able to surpass a fear of mine. To exert control in a time where control is challenging to come by.
I could say, I spent a sun-filled day outside by the East River and Brooklyn Bridge in a polka dot dress, rejuvenating my spirit. Cleansing in another place with a new view.
I could say, Brooklyn has my heart; it’s where I grew up and it’s grounding. In a way, healing. I could use the healing.
I could say all that. Or I can just say I’m fine.