When I arrived at that place, words
and actions let me know I wasn't quite
what they wanted, had expected. Yes,
I'd been invited: a technicality. I spent
some time at the party's edge. I was
following a line of exclusionary logic:
If unwanted, behave peripherally
and keep close watch on arbiters.
Later I moved toward the center,
began to perform so as to prove
they should indeed desire my presence.
You know how that sort of thing
goes. I went from ignored to resented.
Outside finally in night air alone, I told
another departing guest, "I had a
strange time in there. I'm glad I'm out."
"You're not alone," she said to
me, adding, "and by that of
course I mean you are alone.
Good night." "Good night," I said.
Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom