“I’m fine.”   (everyday lie) Mar30


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“I’m fine.” (everyday lie)



It’s lovely to see you too. Ages, I know. Oh yes, I’m fine thanks. No really, it’s nothing. A little tired, maybe. Nothing more.


My life is splintering.

I’m slipping through the gaps.

The interstitial places, the spaces where meaning vanishes.

I’m cracking up.


Work’s fine too. The kids? They’ve left home now – I see them sometimes. The ex? Don’t know, don’t care.  I’m ok. Memory’s a bit scratchy. But that’s nothing. Really, it’s nothing.


The haziness of chit-chat. Why am I here?

There is no reason.

Nor rhyme.

Rhymes are useful. Mnemonics too.

Every good boy deserves…. something.

What if words go? If conversation ceases?


Europe. Global warming. Wars in the Middle East. What do I think?


This is talk in a different register.

What do I think? Thinking’s not easy.

Ideas are smudged, arguments tumble, reason’s faint.

God, this is hard.  What was the question?

Words limp into place.

Sentences chipped, subsidiary clauses avoided.

Sense flies away. I catch it.

But not quite.


Have we met before? I recognise your face. Years ago or was it yesterday. Me?  I’m well.  Just tired, that’s all.


Was there a turning point? The junction between then and now.

Old loves remembered clearly, too clearly.

Old stories. My secrets in an unwritten book.

But the way here today – that’s a conundrum, vaguely.

The bus was slow, the journey sluggish. Or was that yesterday?

There are slugs in my head, secreting confusion.


Of course I’m sure – I’m fine thanks. Pretty much the same as ever.


Yet I’m not. Not fine. No longer any doubt.

My world is breaking.

It hangs by a fibre, my brain on the edge, slipping.

But that’s not yours to know.

It’s my lie. My deception. My business.

Let’s end the conversation.

I have nothing more to say.


Writer: Wendy Jones
Artist/illustrator: Steve Fenn