I get asked all the time, “Why are you so quiet?”

At parties, I walk around and listen,

unsure of when to join a conversation or, worse,

when to let go and walk away.

I have taught myself strategies, ways to get along.

Those I share the problem with

react in different ways. Some don’t believe me,

others say, “It can’t be that bad.”

But they don’t know about the nights I hid,

choosing to stay inside,

rather than go out and deal with how different

I communicate and try

to relate to strangers that can’t see the loneliness

of not “getting it” or getting it all wrong.

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