short thoughts: on judging one’s existential state, or, the answer to “how are you?”

When people ask how you are, I wonder how many actually know what they are asking? Is it just a customary greeting? Are you enquiring about my overall well-being, encompassing my personal, professional, and social lives? Is it a question on how I am physically, whether all my parts are in working order?

I spent some time trying to understand how I am, because sometimes even I don’t know. The conclusion I came to is: life is a mixed bag. A bag of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. There’s all kinds of stuff in there, some beans have the finest chocolate flavor, some you know are definitely bitter gourd, and some, you think they’re caramel, but one bite in, and you know you’ve got an earwax flavored bean in your mouth. Often a couple surprise you, you lick tentatively but then find they’re sweet, a sunshine-y flavor you’re not familiar with. In my bag right now, I know I’ve got a few chocolate ones but there’s a whole layer of bitter gourd in there, possibly some earwax, and it seems like I have no option but to eat through if I want to get to the good ones. And it’s actually bloody hard and I definitely need someone to hold my hand while I do it, and remind me that chocolate still exists, and that I will get to taste it again someday.

So yes. Prepare to no longer receive a “fine, thanks” answer if you ask how I am. You will be hearing about which bean I’m chewing on that day.


Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

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