You ever go to a place and you know everyone by face and name but you don’t really know them at all? You just know where they all congregate. You know what kind of shoes they wear and how they position themselves relative to the crowd. You know how they style their hair and you know who their closest of friends are, but you don’t even know where they’re from or what kind of degree they received, if they did at all.

They talk. That’s all they do. They talk about things I don’t care about. I play with my feet. In my head, I count how many seconds I can keep my balance on one foot. I look up and play connect the dots with the stars. I look at the faces I see in the trunks of trees and wonder if they’re looking at me. I look to the left at passerby strangers. I say something every now and then. I don’t have social anxiety. I can enter a crowd of people by myself and introduce myself to people easily. This isn’t a problem. I like social scenes because it means I can observe how it all works. Every now and then, I enter a joke. I can tell they think I’m weird. I can tell they wonder what I’m doing here. I can tell they don’t understand my sense of humor. They think it’s weird that I laugh so loudly. They think I’m out of place. I feel just fine. They ask me where I’m from. They ask me who I know. I wonder why they bombard me with questions. Their tone sounds suspicious rather than friendly. I didn’t know I signed up for Q&A. Is this a social gathering or a court case?

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