My brain skips as I grasp for words. Conversations shouldn’t be this hard. But they are. For me.
I can never hold up the other half. The last remnants dying on another’s breathe.
Uncomfortable silences don’t make it easier. Now it becomes not only ‘what do I say’ but ‘where do I look.’
It’s a basic human interaction. Why do I find it so frustrating? Too many video games as a kid? Too involved parents?
My mother always said I didn’t have enough friends. People talked about me because of it. A loner, is what they said.
Turning my eyes and shoulders to my right, I focused on the conversation next to me. Leaning onto their words and hoping to get a hold of something to drag me in.
These two were really getting at it. Their voices mirroring each others in an escalation about a new property tax and something to do with an election down in Bade County.
I inputted a few slow nods and raised eyebrows but I don’t own any property. Nor do I have five cents of care for anything political. That topic can be tricky. So I began the awkward dance of slowly stepping back and pretending that someone had called my name.
A smile and a quick wave of the hand.
But as with so many of my unfortunate situations – the dance was interrupted by a silver plated tray lined with bubbling glasses of champagne. The waiter wasn’t quick enough to intercept my unpredictable movement. The glasses came flying forward like tiny missiles straight back onto my face and white buttoned up shirt that I had so carefully picked for this evening.
As each missile hit their target, each then made for a steep, shattering plunge to the tile floor below. The sound echoing across the room and my face reddening and tightening with each painful crash.
The room came to a halting quiet as everyone turned to look at me. I scanned the anxious faces, unsure of what I should do next. My shirt was soaking wet and had already began reeking of hangovers and headaches. The glass sparkled at my feet like a shining pedestal.
No words would come from my mouth to ease their surprised emotions. All I could think about was how I had been concerned about not being able to carry on one conversation but now an entire room was waiting on me to give a confirmation to continue theirs on.