To: the girl at the checkout

To the girl at the checkout counter:

             I am sorry that I have my headphones on.  It is awfully rude to have a device between myself and someone who is speaking to me.  I don’t allow the children to do it and surely find it off putting when done to me.  Here is the thing – I live in a small village. A small place, with so few people, is very often a place where it is much harder to be alone than a large city.

25243671155_f1ff397610_k   Lately it seems I want to be alone.  I want the chance to not have every move noticed and every word scrutinised.   In some ways this is my place – 3 years on from moving to this island at the bottom of the world – but in other ways it still feels quite foreign.   It has my immediate family, my bed , and the harbour that I have come to count on seeing when I wake.  It doesn’t have my history.  There is no one here, outside of those I brought with me, who know the place that I lived before.  There is no one here who has known me since my childhood and who knows that I am the sort to stick and love forever  but that sometimes I forget to write for months or years.  There is no one here who knows that I can’t hold a grudge for longer than a night, or that my first impression of everyone is highly skeptical but that I almost always come around to appreciate anyone who pushes through the skepticism. There is

25125382652_18d0a1b261_kno one who knows first hand that I stutter when I am very upset and have to fight to get the words out even though I am always talking the rest of the time.  Most of all there is no one here who knows just what things might cause me to stutter.

      And thus I am sorry that I have my headphones on and seem so far away when you ask me if I need a bag.  I am sorry for my lack of eye contact and general look of disregard.  I am somewhere else at the moment but hope to be back soon.