He knew he shouldn’t have come. He couldn’t really say no though. It was a classmate’s daughter’s first birthday. Saying no would be pretty rude and he admittedly needed to get out of his house. It is very hard to build a network when you don’t support anybody else personally. This was the pep talk he needed to get out of bed that day.

Everybody at the party was lost in conversation. He stood by the trash can. The only spot that was not full of people. He stared off silently, making note of the decorations. This would be only his third visit to the house. It showed everytime he went looking for plates or the bathroom. Only the trashcan, his temporary home, could be found instantly by him. Minutes passed. They turned into hours. All this time and only a sentence or two escaped from his mouth.

“You should have stayed home.” Shut up conscience.

To his right was a glass door. Outside he could see the snow had consumed the rest of the world. White clung to everything, either leaving it’s mark or completely washing it into a white outline. Here, there was no room for something different.

He checked the time. Only a few minutes had passed. Relativity was not on his side this time. He could feel the social silence. It bore down on him. At first it simply felt like a gnat flying around your face. Annoying, but manageable. Now, he sensed his eyes desperately trying to connect with anybody. It was pathetic. Embarrassing. Another glance at his watch told him he would have to endure another hour.

The host approached. “Thanks for coming! I really appreciate it.”

“Anytime.” A quick smile and thumbs up.

In another 365 days I’ll be ready for this.

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