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So…how’s it going?

Did you know that earlier someone asked me how life was and I said, “I think fine”?

Okay?

Isn’t that sort of weird? Like why wouldn’t I just say, “fine”? Why nuance it by adding the “I think”? People aren’t looking for that kind of complexity.

This got neurotic really fast. 

Sorry.

No, I’m sorry. Sorry. Why does that bother you?

I mean I just think it’s weird. I guess that means I’m “bothered.” I’m basically always bothered, if this is the criteria for bothered.

Jackie…

It just sticks in my head, I don’t know, probably because I didn’t really know how to answer that question.

But sometimes you answer that question just fine! I have distinct recent memories of you chirping “I’m great! Everything is great!” to several people with basically no hesitation. 

Yeah, me too. That’s why my hesitation today seemed so odd. I hadn’t really talked to this person for a month or so and I was suddenly flipping back through time like a newspaper reel, trying to bring all of the headlines of the past month of my life to the front so I could assess them and assign the right summative label.

And that label is “I think fine”?

Because I wasn’t sure.

So what if you get it wrong? It’s not like anyone is fact-checking your existence.

Are you saying no one has signed on yet as my biographer?

I may be saying this. 

Damn.

Sorry, GF.

But do you know what? Oh I think I know.

Huh? What do you know?

The other day, when I talked to my old preschool teacher, when I saw my former pastor that I haven’t seen for 22 years, and I said, without a single ounce of hesitation that I was GREAT–it was because, I’m great.

You lost me.

I’m great.

You’re a dork, is what you are. Explain yourself.

It’s math. It’s ratios. It’s how much time has passed | what’s going on in my life = the answer.

You’re trying to explain this using math?

I’d just like to pause to remind everyone in the room that I was long division champion of my 4th grade class, and although I chose to make English and writing my areas of focus, I’ve always been rather excellent at mathematics. So there.

*walks away*

Aw, c’mon! I just don’t like being pigeonholed.

Okay, okay. Explain it to me again…without the math-ness for my ~own~ sake or whatever.

I couldn’t just say, I’M GREAT today to my friend because I feel like that answer was meant to sum up the past 1 month span of time. Whereas this past weekend, seeing people I haven’t seen in more than two decades, I’m answering more as, how is YOUR ENTIRE COMPLETE EXISTENCE, Jackie? We last saw you as a small, shy blonde child, and here you stand in front of us with your OWN small blonde children (although inexplicably not so shy)–how have you done it? And what can I say when I think about it that way but, I’m great?

I guess the answer is, you could say that you’re not great???

I could. I have had some not great moments in the past 22 years. I have been handed difficulties that others have not. These things have made life at times not great.

So……??? I feel like you’re waffling. What is it?

I’m just trying to be fair. To the sum of my existence. Which has been on the whole really great.

Ugh. You always get this way.

What way?

This way. All like, happy slurpy dorky about loving and accepting your life and who you are.

I do?

Yes. Always around this time of the year. 

Hm. I wonder why that is.

I don’t know. 

Maybe I feel the weight of time differently in different seasons. October-December are denser, somehow.

Maybe you need some lightness to offset the coming darkness of the fall/winter season.

Now you’re starting to sound like end-of-the-year Jackie.

Shut up. 

*hug*

I’m leaving now. Here I go. 

Okay. Come back and talk soon. We’ll figure out some more stuff.

Okay, okay. See you. Enjoy being “great.”

Your sarcasm is the light of my life.

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