Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How Are You?

Such a simple sentence. Just three words. But for those of us who are chronically ill and don't want the world to throw a pity party, this is such a loaded question.

Why does everyone want to know? Are they just being polite, or are they really interested? And if they are interested, why? Do they really care, or are they just curious?

How am I supposed to respond to this repeated inquiry? How do you tell someone that on the best days of your life, you still feel like crap. On the worst days and on many in between, you wish that you didn't exist any more. That you're always afraid to leave home for fear of what may happen while you're out. That you're tired of the inquiries and fake concern and especially of the Paramedics. And of the embarrassment of bodily functions gone awry in public settings.

Then, of course, there is the make-up aspect of the whole thing. Enough make-up, and a corpse looks good. So why is everyone so surprised that I can paint on a "look" and still feel the way I feel? I am like veneer on particle board. A fake cover to hide something of less than standard quality.

All I know is that everyone makes assumptions about me. In most cases, they don't have a clue and I don't even know how to explain it. I'm tired of the question, and I'm certainly tired of the answer.

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