How are you?

Been sending a lot of texts these days that open with the question, “How are you?” That’s my main concern for everyone I know – checking that they are healthy and getting through this pandemic all right.

This is my text to you readers, with my hopes that you are all right, too, and that everyone comes out at the end of this in good health.

I started self-isolating about a week and a half before anyone suggested it, so I’ve already done a month of isolation. Even for an introvert (aren’t all writers introverts?) that’s a bit much, and we probably have at least all of April to go.

So hang in there, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. #JustWrite #InThisTogether

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “how are you?”

Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

7 thoughts on “How are you?”

  1. How are you? 
    Fine, I say, how are you? 
    And how are you, she asks again, twice.

    I conjure a Marx Bros scene. Groucho, repeatedly asking the same question of a glamorous woman, hoping to impress, wriggling eyebrows comically suggestive of something else.

    Now, in mum’s dementia, not so much.

  2. This post caused all kinds of thoughts and responses to pop into my head. I’ve been sick with chronic bronchitis since November and thus, home for months now. I’m an introvert who is also chomping at the bit to mingle (somewhat), and I’m having trouble hanging in there. June’s reply brought thoughts of a friend and sister, both I now deal with only on the phone, and am sometimes stressed because of the round robin of conversations that pretty much mirror June’s comment. But the Marx Brox./Groucho scene made me smile and brought back wonderful memories of watching Marx Bros. movies year after year (hubby was a HUGE MB fan!) and reading Grouch’s letters (I own the book — money well spent!). So, thanks Virginia for a wonderful post. You made my day! All the best, Caroline

    1. MBs can always make us laugh so soak yourself in them every day and best wishes in your recovery – difficult times, very difficult illness at any time 🙂

  3. It was not all a good time to receive a call . The vegetable truck has arrived , some half an hour ago . Most of the small number of buyers are content to buy bread and milk . Ignoring the leaves poking out of the plastic milk boxes .

    It is my turn to step into the barely visible chalk circle . A bad knee sprain has left me limping . Now my bathroom slippers gets caught in one of the gravels . Happens all the time with an injured leg . You just end up messing it further . With shooting pain clouding the details of shopping list in my mind , the phone rang .

    “Hello ! may I know who’s speaking ? ”
    This question unsettles me to no end , specially from unknown numbers . After strained introduction , the person spoke his name . It was an acquaintance from a remote past . A person whom I have seen just twice in my life . Both times fleetingly , at a dear family member’s funeral . I do not recollect his face . Just some sketchy details of his life . Wife , one son , businessman , suburbs .

    “How are you ?”
    A bead of sweat has trickled in the furrow of my upper lip beneath the mask , begging to itch /wipe . Can’t do either .

    “I am fine . How are you ?” These are just pleasantries , they do not mean anything . “We are all going to die eventually ” The doomsday predictions ring in my ear . The itch gets stronger, the vendor gestures impatiently at the spinach and radish leaves crowding his seat .

    I nod , wordlessly . He fills my bag with leaves . Now a radish leaf frond scrapes against my chin . More itching . I feel a sneeze coming on .

  4. Manners First

    I’m fine, the automatic response,
    when anyone asks, “How are you?”
    After all, do they really want to know?
    Do they want to hear about how I worry
    about this little tickling cough,
    about my husband who won’t pay attention
    to his chronic condition,
    about how we listen to the news
    and wonder, will we ever be able
    to travel freely, without concern, again?
    Do they want to know about our son,
    working in a place with 10 positive cases
    of a deadly virus, or about our grandson
    stuck in LA in a tiny apartment
    or our son in Miami whose wife
    still has to go to her nail tech’s house
    to get her nails done because Lord knows
    it would be disaster not to do so?
    Do they want to hear about how I plan,
    ordering bulk supplies, anxious
    that we may run out of flour and milk?
    No. No one really wants to know
    how you are. They only want assurance
    that you will not burden them
    with the truth, but only with the polite,
    expected response, “I’m fine,
    how are you?”

  5. I’m not sure if you might see this comment, but I just wanted to leave a comment to thank you. (And since this is the site for writing prompts, I didn’t know where to leave my non-writing-related comment. Please bear with me) I’m actually an aspiring Korean-English interpreter, and I also love a good story. I’ve reading your blogs(mostly your reviews on Old Ain’t Dead). It’s been fascinating to read such an interesting, deep, and well-written reviews of the shows I love, by the writer with similar interests. I really thank you for your writing. Please, keep writing (and posting your work) and stay safe!

    1. I just spotted your comment today. I don’t always check the comments here because my attitude is anything people write is good because they sat down and wrote it. I invite you to participate here, practice your writing if you want. Thanks for the comments on Old Ain’t Dead. I’m an older person, and it shows in my writing style – especially on Old Ain’t Dead. I hope my comments on the shows I review are not old fashioned.

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