10-Line Tuesday

March 29, 2016

proximity

At the party, the man with the Belgian accent told her he, too,
always got a little nervous around crowds, drew imaginary lines
to the closest exit and kept his eye on the time. He didn't want to lose track,
he said, and she was relieved she didn't have to explain her position near the door,
or why she wasn't dancing, or the reason she chased each glass of wine with
a bottle of water. They hovered like elephants at the edge of the crowd, witnessing
the splashy revelry, and while each of them felt the small ache of the outsider,
there was, nevertheless, certain comfort in their distance from the center,
the way their own stillness cushioned them as they stood, shoulders
almost touching.