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.