• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 05

Reaching Out

As I arrive you reach out to hug me.
Eyes down, I sidestep, fiddling with my coat
I mutter, Hi, sorry, got to nip to the…
and I flee to the bathroom, the safety of
seclusion. Yet I want to be here, to be sociable
to see people and engage in chitter chatter.

I discover inconspicuous is a lot harder
than I thought. Others approach ready to hug
greetings. Feeling brittle and gawky,
I stop them at arm's length by picking up my bag.
Brain-fog clouds my consciousness, I struggle to
focus, to relax and enjoy the company I sought out.

I need a little time to mentally thaw out. When
I do I know I’ll want those hugs, that physical
connection to others. But not at the start.
I need them a little further in. Perhaps if I could
begin in the middle and work my way back
to the start?