Get yourself an invite to a room full of fear, hubris and desire.

Enter to applause

          for someone just over your shoulder.

Gently float.

You are invisible…
you do not register.

Glide through the room,

          enter their orbits

          questioning if you still have skin.

Humid chatter is the evening’s soundtrack.

The abyss-borne sweat
                   of collective insecurity
          greases your path.

Eavesdrop on their awkward stances.

Wave your palm in front of their dead eyes
                   as they stare off towards
imagined
          greener pastures
                   in their ill-fitting
                            costumes.
Seize their secrets.

Time moves like a submarine.
          Encased and thick.

You may reach a point
where something resembling empathy
                   begins to form.
A rough diamond.

Someone will notice the spark.
          One tucked away, buried
          for when you land.

Stay cool.
          It will only be a moment.

Laugh,
          it reminds you of a childhood game,
you were caught.

          But it’s also a shield,
                   use it to block traffic.

Invisible yourself once more.

Feast your eyes on the exit sign.

Pour yourself towards it,
          one last glance,
making sure you got what you needed.

Your escape is twofold-
you are free

          and can use this knowledge

for when you please respond

next time.

TAGS: ,

RACHEL POLLON is a native Los Angeleno. Her writing has appeared online at The Nervous Breakdown, The Coachella Review, The Rumpus and The Weeklings, and in paperback form in The Beautiful Anthology and Teen Girls’ Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny. These pieces and more can be found on her website SeismicDrift.com. On Twitter she’s @RachPo and on Instagram @RachPoWills.

17 responses to “She’d Been To Better Parties”

  1. Laura says:

    This is great! I’d love to read more of this chick’s work. Kudos Ms Pollon!

  2. Lisa Sutton says:

    This is so vulnerable and relatable. I love Rachel Pollon’s voice. Whether it’s her short stories or her poems, she always writes from an authentic and vulnerable place that I can relate to. I’m such a fan of her work!

    • Rachel says:

      Dear Lisa,
      I’m both sorry and grateful you relate. If we are ever at a party, or any place at all, where we feel this way let’s find each other and huddle up. 🙂
      Thank you for all the lovely words!
      xoxoxo

  3. What a clear voice… Simultaneously heart breaking and encouraging. I didn’t know Rachel’s work until today. Now I’m officially a fan!

  4. Arnie Doo says:

    This poem is So beautiful and extremely relatable. Need more!

  5. Amanda says:

    I love this- Rachel puts to words how we all feel in many social situations- the cocktail of insecurities and expectations all mixed together. I will be reading more of Rachel’s work.

    • Rachel says:

      Yeah, you will be reading more of my work. 😉

      That reminds me, a short story of mine called “Ten Items Or Fewer” will be coming out in the next week or so in The Coachella Review. I’m quite excited.

      Thanks for reading me and the kind words, Amanda!!

  6. Tracey says:

    Sad and beautiful. Very relatable even to the social butterflies of the world. 👍

  7. Stevie B says:

    Great – timing is amazing…expecting to experience this emotional gamut tomorrow at a gleeful holiday party. Now its all in perfect perspective.

    • Rachel says:

      Ha! Hooray! I’m here to help. AND was actually thinking of phrasing it that way on my next Twitter post: “Just in time for the holidays!”

      Happy, happy, friend! xo

  8. Nancy Isaacs says:

    Brilliant, Rachel!!

  9. […] (Originally posted on The Nervous Breakdown.) […]

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