‘How are you?’ my friend asked me, cutting me off mid-sentence. Her eyes were open, unblinking, and fixed on mine. ‘Really,’ she said, ‘how are you?’
It was November of 2016, and she and I’d arrived to the restaurant maybe five minutes before. Amidst the bustle of a conference, we’d met in the hotel lobby, setting aside time and space to catch up with one another. When she arrived to the lobby, she found me sitting nearby on a couch, steeped in conversation with the man who’d handed back my heart, in pieces, a few months earlier. I wrapped up the conversation, hugged him goodbye, and walked with her to the restaurant in near-silence. Sitting across from me, in that moment, she wasn’t interested in hearing how ‘fine’ I was.