Hi, how are you? how am I? I lived for so long like someone who was dead already never going never doing little more than yearning unfulfilled little more than dreaming like a ghost who's body's decomposing never saying, never staying how am I? I'm angry but you don't want me to voice the fury of my fire I'll try the world in flames and bring the backlash down onto both of us I was doomed from the start and my heart's growing cold, thank you how are you? This is one I wrote years ago, when I was finally able to articulate my feelings of frustration about feeling like everyone who asked me how I was, was nothing but a hypocrite who only wanted the standard answer : "fine, thank you. how are you? It was nothing but a pretension of politeness. We Americans are still very British in that regard, stiff upper lip, and all that garbage. I learned at a young age that no one wanted to hear the truth. No one really gave a damn if I was hurting, and anyway, I had no vocabulary for what I was feeling, no one ever talked about such things. It's so entrenched that even now I am censoring myself, and am also fully aware that half the time, when asked by a mental health worker how I am, after a pause to think about, I just give up. Maybe I'm just numb from holding back all those repressed emotions. Maybe we all are.