Short Stories, Writing

Socially Awkward Shadow Puppeteer

In social situations I develop a sense of shame, I go to speak but I hear my voice replayed at me from a distance and then again hours after, but closer, as if I have a dictaphone lodged in my head and everything I say sounds eager, amplified, meek. I am so desperate to be included, to be let into the social circle for twenty minutes and then to disapeer just as quickly. The dictaphone gets stuck, it echos, it echos as I sleep, the actions, the reactions, the comments and the inevitable silence, and then the worst of it hits me, the hammering on the things which make me

The repetition of my differences for attention. I am from a colder climate, I did win a competition, I do have this accent, I have one foot half a size bigger, I can do most of the shapes, this eye is not as green, my swan is pretty good but I need to work on my giant dog eating small rabbit. I am a walking party trick and when dispelled I will spell out “why wont you love me?” My ashes will be scattered on the hill top, next to the cathedral we discussed and they will land on the green below and everyone gathered will ask “how did I do?” I avoid talking to people for too long, closeness, because honestly, its too exhausting to have friends, it’s too exhausting to be “intimate” with someone, the seller, the friendly door opener, the others on circuit, that frown, that squint, dismissal with a hand, it means they don’t want you here anymore, they can’t bear to see you and you’re being forgotten but somewhere you are logging this, logging it in the file marked “reason you are wasted on this planet,” and it digs at your brain and gives your the worst kind of headache, I hear cluster headaches are the worst, so sometimes words are not uttered. Comments and queries are shelved. There is nothing to see apart from silence, nods, turns and fatigue because I could not quite figure out who you wanted me to be today. Did you not want something funnier? I have this part about a butterfly, the kids always like that. Why did we have to sit in a circle? But just don’t let me hear that tone. Let me here nothing and become invisible to your eyes, your agile teenage beauty, don’t dismiss me, just discount me, and whatever you do, never be kind to me. The thrill I get when I see you could be a mean person, and your annoyance is spread thin and far, I can get by on that, live on the idea that it truly is not about me, but kindness is something I hate more, the look in my eyes and the attempt to establish of a connection.I avoid people, I that’s why I am here, because it proved too exhausting to have friends, that’s why I do what I do. Can you recommend me to someone else?

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