Plight of the Introvert

By: Kayla Doubrava

Typing the conclusion of my English essay,

in a loud, dimly lit coffee shop,

I peer over my laptop screen

and see the type of girl you only see

in pictures.

I thought of saying something to her

when I get up to leave.

That I’d compliment

her glasses,

or her lip gloss,

or the stickers on her laptop.

And then maybe she’d compliment

my hair,

or my new shoes,

or my favorite sweatshirt.

Then maybe I’d ask her if she knew the artist

whose name was written across that sweatshirt.

Maybe she’d say yes

and that she saw them in concert once.

Then maybe we’d find out I was there too,

and we’d laugh about it,

and find ourselves talking for over half an hour.

Then all of a sudden,

we’ve become friends.

And maybe being friends with her will remind me

that people are like objects in rearview mirrors.

They are much closer than they appear.

So then maybe I’ll be bold enough to speak

to another stranger,

and another,

and even a few more.

We could laugh about the weather,

or whatever it is that people talk about

to feel a little less lonely in the world.

And maybe I’d meet a nice guy

and fall in love for the first time.

Maybe I’d spend a few years with him

until he eventually broke my heart,

but at least I didn’t have to spend those years alone.

Maybe if I spoke to more strangers

I’d be happier.

Maybe I’d feel warmer inside

as if I swallowed something hot

like chicken soup

for the wallflower’s soul.

But instead I spend my time alone in a house

where the TV’s always on

so that the silence doesn’t suffocate me .

But one day it’ll happen,

and I will tell that girl

that I liked her glasses,

and her lip gloss,

and the stickers on her laptop.

One day I will tell that kid

that his performance was moving.

And I will tell that man

that he is one of my biggest inspirations.

One day

I will say all the things

to all the people

just because I can.

I take a deep breath,

and look back down to my laptop screen.

One day I will find that courage.

But until then,

I’ll finish typing my essay

and steal a few glances from the type of girl

you only see in pictures.