She attended a few dinners, a few parties, a few dinner parties. She was social and sparkling, even if she wore ugly shoes. She ran into old acquaintances, made a few new ones, smiled, laughed and talked, and more importantly, listened. What, after all, do most people do than love to be listened to? She smiled and nodded reassuringly, understanding deeply, and uncharacteristically, patted a few people’s shoulders, forearms or hands, even reached out to hug them casually before leaving and moving on to the next engagement. At the airport, she had casual conversations. She talked to a couple on the plane coming back. She made eye contact and smiled at strangers, if their eyes met.
For once she did not feel awkward. For once she did not feel mangled. She did not even feel pulled by her normal extremes.
All she could think, with this flood of faces and voices, is that she only wanted one face and voice. The one that had become most important by far. Others played their roles, but it was this pivotal and important face and voice that had paved the way for this equilibrium that let her move through the world without feeling awkward, mangled or extreme.