Secret Pop

May 3, 2003

"I fights to the finich, 'cause I eats me spinach."

My eyes are bulging with the effort of today. It's good for me. I take a very temporary but very potent sort of satisfaction from accomplishing even seemingly dreary tasks, especially when they require me to solve problems and test my mettle. I am strong. I lift things without assistance. I shove them into the trunk of my car when onlookers can scarce believe that I will be able to fit everything in with me at the wheel. Hurray for me.

You should have seen me. I lifted huge things and raised them high and plunked them down in a shopping cart. I carried giant ballast-wanting boxes from my car to my apartment. I was a marvel. The superhero version of me had sinewy muscles, rippling beneath peachy, feminine flesh and a smart outfit.

I was also just slightly taken aback by the apparent resurrection of chivalry in the Target parking lot. No fewer than five fellows offered to assist me with my unwieldy purchases. I thanked them and turned them all away politely, instinctively convinced that I am stronger than they are and have no need of their help. This might be the beginning of an explanation for why I never meet anyone. I just kept hearing myself saying, "I'm fine...oh, thanks, I'm fine...I'll be fine...thanks a lot." It is perhaps the commonest phrase you can expect to hear from me. "I'm fine." Although I nearly never find this to be a proper assessment of how I ever am. Am I fine? Does it matter? Doesn't it just mean that I'm getting by? I won't die yet. Not just now. I'll make it at least to the curb whereupon I will fall out of range of your vision and you needn't trouble yourself with what becomes of me. It would only really make a difference if I dropped dead right in front of you. That might shake things up for you at least until the next time you had a coffee.

Maybe it's more hostile than that. I'm fine. I don't need you. You can't help me. Don't pretend you care about me. I know you don't. I know that "I'm fine" is what you want and expect to hear. So have at.

Or maybe it's that half of a sentence whose second half exists only in subtext. Like in Japanese. I'm fine, but...

Or maybe it means just that. I'm fine. I'm okay. There really isn't anything to worry about. I am taking in the day, and it is agreeable to me. I am looking forward to being asked how I am very soon. I am excited about being able to announce that I am, in fact, fine. How fine a thing it is to be me. If only you could know it for yourself.

I'm fine. That's all.

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