And how are you doing?
Head cocked to one side, feigning concern. No eye contact and a pursed little moue of a mouth, pursed with the distaste of someone else’s grief. Or maybe tears welling up, oh so willing to cry along with you. Showing what they think is compassion.
If there’s anything I can do, if you ever need to talk, you know where I am.
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
You think about needing to talk, and how you would choose someone you love over a sanctimonious rubber-necker. Or how you would seek comfort in a stranger. If you ever needed to talk about this paralysis of giving a fuck, or this loss of recognition of what makes you function, or this howling anguish that comes and goes like the squally showers they talk about on the weather sometimes.
You think about how you wouldn’t choose a grief tourist to bore with the details of your desert-like state, now hot and arid, now dead to the very horizon of existence.
You smile and say you’re fine, say thank you, and you know.
But you’re thinking, Fuck you, grief tourist. Come any closer and I’ll peck your fucking eyes out.