To wit at speed

“How are you?” he asked, not taking into account the torrent of possible answers afforded by that question. These answers, now flooding through her mind all at once, staggered atop one another like so many sardines in a very small tin can, paradoxically both at the speed of jaguar-powered jet engines and with the glacial slowness of plate tectonics, caused her to be silent for a moment, until the one word that would let her out of this predicament appeared, chosen not for its accuracy but for its relentless, seemingly effortless brevity:

“Fine”

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