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how are you

The phone rang. Woke me up. I picked up the phone, stumbled out a hello. “Hi, it’s Sara.” Oh, hi, Sara, how are you? “Oh, fine,” she said. “How are things with you?” Oh, fine, I said, work’s been busy. “Oh, I know,” she said, “I was the maid of honor in Carol’s wedding, and tacked on to work I’ve been swamped.” Speaking of work, I said, I’m late. “Oh, okay,” she said, “talk to you later.” Good-bye. “Bye.”

Got into the office. Waved my copy of USA Today at the receptionist’s desk. “Hi, Janet.” Hi Lisa. “How are you?” Fine tired. And you? “Oh, fine, it’s Monday.” And I checked my mailbox and headed for my desk.

Sat at my cubicle. Larry peered in. “Hey, J.” Hey, Lar. “How are you?” Fine. And you? “Same ol, same ol.” And he walked away.

Phone rang. This is Janet, I say. “Hi, this is Don Olsen.” Hey, Don, how are you? “Oh, fine, how are you?” Oh, fine. “Look, Janet, there’s a problem with the order you placed with us last week...”

Got home. Checked messages. “Hey, Janet, it’s your sister. How are you? Give me a call.”

The machine beeped when it was done. I picked up the phone to call her back, then I realized I had nothing to say. I hung up the phone. I walked into my bedroom.

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