It’s a simple sentiment. It’s a confirmation that you are still amongst the living. It really isn’t that hard—
Until it is.
Until it’s one in the morning and you’re still at the office, shirtsleeves rolled up past your elbows, a coffee stain between the fourth and fifth buttons of your strangely rumpled shirt, and your eyes crossing over tiny cells on an electronic spreadsheet that you—must—make—perfect—before you can leave, for just a few hours, to only get back to the same stale place and do it all over again.
It’s simple, really, so simple. But it’s not—
Because there’s a red blinking light on your phone and even though you meant to send a text message four hours ago you literally cannot spare the fifteen seconds it takes to flip the phone over, unlock it, find the only person you ever really speak to anymore, and tap out those fourteen letters one space and an additional tap to send. You can’t spare it, you can’t spare it, and you feel like the crap that you stepped in this morning which required you to send an intern out across the park and down the block to buy you a new pair because you can’t walk into a client meeting smelling of shit and—
It’s only two words. It’s only two little words. You can commit to two words, right? You can commit to two words.
But you can’t. You can’t commit to anything. Because you’ve sold your soul and even though you are still amongst the living you are not one of them anymore. Your life outside is a fiction. It is a dream that has been put on hold. It is a life deferred and you hope it will still be waiting after you have paid your piper.
“Still breathing,” you whisper, mutter, murmur, sigh and only your monitors and the walls of your cube and the industrial carpet that strokes the unbroken soles of your new shoes hear it, hear your plea your prayer your wish – only the things that cannot help and have no ears and no voice are there.