Lately in response to my just to be polite, “How are you?” I hear “I can’t complain.” Then they add, “What’s the point? Who will listen, anyway?” baiting me to lie and jump in with “No, no…I’ll listen. I care.”
I did care a smidge before they were being snarky. Now I don’t care at all. Unless they tell me they’ve lost a limb, I’m thinking, leave me alone. My mind is back on what’s really important to me…me.
They surprise even themselves when it works, that they actually have an audience so they pause to make something up and you know they had nothing because their complaint is always inconsequential like about the weather.
“Ugh” they begin – and such weariness fakes you out again – so much so that you prepare to leap from your chair to hug them. Perhaps they did lose a limb. They are wearing long sleeves. “I can’t believe how cold it’s been” is their follow through.
“First of all,” I say much too aggressively, “It’s January. It’s New York. And, actually it’s it’s been unseasonably warm and sunny. Last year at this time, we had 100 snowstorms already.”
“Once it dips below 50 degrees I get a chill,” this one says. “Ira wants to move to Boca, but I told him “No way, too many complainers down there.”