I sat quietly as the masses around me engaged in social banter. It was an ecclectic group, mostly fellow brothers and sisters. The rain poured outside and I watched as the cars rolled by, splashing a particular puddle repeatedly.

As I swirled the few drops of water in my first glass, I started to feel very self-conscious. Looking around and listening, there was quite a motley crew assembled together. Many were discussing the latest trends in the automotive industry, while others talked about their latest gadgets. Still others garnered the attention of the opposite sex through stereotypical impressario tactics, what some would call “flirting”. In other words, there didn’t seem to be any conversation happening in which I could participate or contribute. One person, with whom I had been good friends with in the past, walked by me without a greeting, as usual. In all fairness, I made no attempt to greet either, consciously or otherwise. But, that is what it is. As more people filled out the seats, I started to feel somewhat claustrophobic. I stood up to walk around for a bit.

I gazed around at some of the other tables. Many were celebrating some sort of milestone, while others sat with their families, tinkering with the various standard table knick-knacks at your typical eatery. Others were immersed in animated chatter.

As I sat back down at my table I took another look around. It has been said that time reveals what a person is all about, and upon observation, it made me feel somewhat depressed, and a little sick. It seemed to me that “casual” is a synonym for “let us not worry about who we are or who we are supposed to represent to the world, for tonight we shall just enjoy ourselves”. And indeed it was merry. Some would call it revelry.

Then again, maybe it was just me. Maybe it was ME with the problem. “Lighten up,” I have been told many moons before…I did try to chat with a few people, and some chatted with me, but in the end, reversion back to “lighter fare” was the entree of choice for the evening.

By the end of the party, once people started to depart for their respective residences (or after-parties?), I took a look around in the parking lot. People still gathered in conversation from our table, lollygagging as usual. I walked by several groups of them as the rain poured down. My feet were shuffling somewhat as I kicked a few rocks aside on my journey to my vehicle.

The music was pretty loud in my car as I departed.