Across The Room

Dear Stranger,

I’ll hope you’ll forgive me for writing this on a napkin.

I’m sure you must have had some confusion when someone passed this to you what looked to be like a used napkin. I half expect you to throw it away. If you’re reading this, then I’m glad you didn’t.

The reason why I wrote this on a napkin (in barely legible handwriting) is because I’m a coward. I didn’t notice you when I walked into the room. I didn’t even expect to be here today — networking events aren’t my type of thing. As much as I try, I somehow fall into the same habit of hugging the wall and sipping on my overpriced bottle of water. Like, really, what water deserve to cost more than a value meal at Mcdonald’s?

Sorry, that was my attempt at humor. And there’s a ton more where that came from.

Sorry, I realize this isn’t making me look any better. I’ll stop trying to be funny now.

As I became more uncomfortable with my half-standing, half-leaning position in my corner of the room, I began to scan the room for somewhere else to perch for the rest of the afternoon. And that’s when I found you.

Finally, someone who as disinterested as me. Someone bored with all the name cards and the handshakes. Someone who had the could-spend-their-time-better-literally-anywhere-else-in-the-world look. Of course, I imagine you’re a bit more bolder than me. At least you’re sitting at a table.

But as I looked closer, I noticed how different we are.

Your look of disinterest isn’t founded in distaste or fear of awkwardness. You have a constant smile on your face, as if you’re amused by all the tittering around you, waiting for someone to say interesting enough for you to join in. You look more like a god peeking into the affairs of mortals.

I find that to be the most interesting thing in the room today. Scratch that — I guess what I meant to say is that I find you the most interesting person in this room today.

Scratch that. It’s not just today, it’s the entire year. My whole life.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s unlikely that you’ve noticed me. My suit was a hand-me-down, my tie was my mother’s (long story, I’d be happy to tell you the full one in person).

I can’t pride myself on many things, but I can proudly say that I’m spectacular at blending in. I’m happy to watch the crowds come and go, see the many people that I will never speak to or shake hands with. Unlike you, I’m a mere mortal, waiting for a scrap to be thrown my way.

This napkin is becoming increasingly cramped. I guess I’d better wrap up soon.

I don’t expect much to happen. I’d be happy enough to sit here all day, waiting to make my French exit. But if you’ve read this far, perhaps you’d find some company amusing.

Maybe there’s still a way to make the day interesting.

You can find me sitting in the corner across the room. You might have to look hard, but I’ll be there.

Your friend,

A mere mortal.



Writer from Indonesia. Writing for fun.

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