At lunchtime there was dark and dreary weather in the sky and in my lumbar spine. I chose to spend my break performing a gentle walk of the mall.
During this brief stroll I encountered, separately, three different people from my workplace. People who all ask me in passing how I'm going without ever really pausing to hear the answer. As I passed each person I prepared my half-nod of recognition, but each time my colleague ignored me completely and walked on by.
One or two I could understand, but three in a row seemed odd. Was I dead, and Bruce Willising my way down the mall? A chugger then stopped me to ask for a donation to cat rescuing, so I knew I was still living. But it was still weird. Was the pretense of camaraderie we shared in the office so flimsy it faded after only metres. Perhaps I'm just not that recognisable.
Back in the kitchenette I was microwaving my lunch and one of the same people walked by and commented that it looked healthy.
"Good," I said reflexively. "How are you?" But he'd already moved on.