By Dean Haspiel

My gregarious behavior is probably a symptom of my dedicated desire to overcome my shyness. I mean, it’s so painfully obvious it’s almost pathetic but I’d rather hang out with someone who at least attempts to show up to the party rather than spend my precious free time to woo that person in the room who believes their life is a mystery when, in fact, it’s just as banal and trite as 98% of our shared existence.

I used to rally the morbidly shy because I’m shy, too. A self-imposed mission to level the playing field and even the odds. Nowadays, not so much. Not my job to help give a body a platform they’re not ready [or, frankly, not interested] to occupy.

That pretty nerd girl wearing six different fashion statements at the end of the bar reading, Winking Pink And Brownie Cake, while sipping one endless beer and ignoring everyone around her on a Friday night? Sorry. Not gonna take the bait. Pretend to read your book at home.

That guy in the corner holding up the wall with the mustard colored corduroy jacket scribbling in his Moleskine notebook while rolling his eyes at the conversation next to him? So what if a sweaty slob said something dumb to that cosmopolitan snob. At least they’re talking. Now, cut it out and go away.

And, don’t get me started with your three get-to-know-me jukebox song selects; “My Autumn’s Done Come” by Lee Hazelwood, “Almost a Kiss” by Throbbing Gristle, and “I’m so tired of being alone” by Al Green. Really? Fuck you. I love those tunes, too, but how dare you! Bust out Marvin Gaye’s “Got to give it up” and I might let you slide for bad behavior.

Instead, my aim is to take the temperature whenever my frame enters the fray and diddy-bop accordingly. Plant some Easter eggs. Flex wise and baste thighs. This is my house.

But, it can be yours, too.

–Dean Haspiel