Monday, April 17, 2006

And How Are You?

A cow-orker passed me on the way into the building this morning, and gave me a smile and a wave. "How are you?" he asked.

"Fine, thanks. You?"

"Oh, fair to middlin'."

Niceties observed, we continued on our ways. Probably the only words we'll speak all week.

But as I continued on my way to my desk, the thought occurred that my answer had been, well, not a lie, exactly, but certainly incomplete. In these parlous times, when flat-out mendacity, dissembling and prevarication emanate daily -- hourly! -- from the highest reaches of government, when religious fanatics on every side justify lying in the name of what they deem a higher purpose, when employers, moneylenders, advertisers and PR weasels tell the most baldfaced whoppers to advance whatever crappy agendas they themselves have been lied into believing, it becomes a sacred duty for we ordinary folk to preserve, protect and defend the Truth no matter how much discomfort it may cause us. Thus do we defend our jackboot-crushed Reality.

Let's try that conversation again, shall we?

"How are you?"

"Gassy. Woof. Just blowin' like a Roman candle. You do not want to get in my truck cabin right now, smells like the whole Red Chinese Army used it for a latrine. I cut my palm Saturday rassling plywood, that throbs a bit, looks a little red and angry. Prolly oughta get some Neosporin on it. Felt this weird twinge in my gut on the drive in, right side, maybe my liver. Or more likely just that gas. Temperature's right where it should be, blood pressure's OK. Been drinking a little too much lately, which might indicate emotional emptiness, or could just be high spirits, I don't know. Got laid Saturday, so I'm doing OK on that front. Could do it again right now, but no urgency. I've got four screen-mockups to do by COB today, but I'm a pro, I can handle it. Right sneaker's tearing a bit at the sole, prolly oughta shop for some new ones. Not living paycheck to paycheck, socking some away, hitting the credit-card bills OK, nothing to complain about there. 'Course, being naturally frugal with the fripperies helps on that score. Got the taxes in on time. The boy sprained his ankle on the halfpipe we built together, so I've got some guilt going over that. Had a flying dream last night, which I think is good. Don' t know for sure. Hating this cold rain, but the garden sure could use it.

"And how are you?"

The instant my interlocutor opens his mouth to speak, I turn on my heel and stalk away. The defense of Truth can only go so far.


Matt said...

great post with an especially great ending.

blue girl said...

You crack me up.

blue girl said...

And just so you know. I read this post soon after you posted it this morning and wanted to leave a clever comment. Blech. It's Monday. So the above is all I got.

But it was sincere!

Sluggo said...

"maybe people only ask you how you're doin'
'cause its easier than lettin' on how little they could care"

Jackson Browne has a way with words, too, sometimes.

Lately, when people ask me how I'm doin', I just grxlwr.

Sluggo said...

The Late Show, from Late for the Sky

XTCfan said...

Flying dreams are always good. Trust me on this.

Unless you crash and burn. That's Bad. Very Bad.

Kvatch said...

Perhaps a quote from Pulp Fiction the next time someone asks, "How are you?"

...right now I'm a race car and you got me in the red. I'm just saying that it's fuckin' dangerous to have a racecar in the fuckin' red. It could blow. - Vincent

Felt like that last week myself.

Hieronymo said...

I'm just worried about that cow-orker in the first line.

Over here, orking cows is a criminal offence.

Neddie said...

Over here, orking cows is a criminal offence.

...And here, a major source of pleasure. Two nations separated by a common language. Things are never as they ouxeessm.