Alkwalking, otherwise known as walking while socially awkward.
I’m not great at eye contact, public speaking or interacting with people in general. I’m the Kanye West of awkwardness. Walking around town is often a painful experience. Not only do I have to focus on blending in so that nobody notices me, I have to keep myself upright. The latter is the most difficult. I don’t so much as stumble as announce my presence to every damn crack on the pavement. It’s like I’m being taunted with Survivor by Destiny’s Child. That’s supposed to my theme, but instead I’m more like, ‘my body is fall over-licious’. Will I make it unscathed or will get my Kanye on? I wish I knew. It’s like walking through an episode of Total Wipeout, except my obstacles are people who don’t appear to notice that I’m there.
Eye contact is infinitely worse, though. As far as I’m concerned EVERYONE is watching me ALL THE TIME. If I was one of those Instagram famous people it’d be fine, but I’m not. I like to blend in. Instead, I feel like I have a giant glittery caution sign painted on my back. I probably come across like a sullen, sparkly Edward Cullen-ish vampire in the daylight. Except, I’m covered in rhinestones that I’ll probably fall over in five minutes.
The questions that range through my mind tend to go from the simple ‘Why was that person looking at me?’ to the full on hysterical, ‘IS THERE SOMETHING ON MY FACE? OH GOSH, THERE’S SOMETHING ON MY FACE?!’. And then I can’t look at anyone for the duration of the walk or journey. The train is the worst for this. There are a limited number of places to look on the train. I get that, but damn, Gina, I am not one of those places. Especially not on the train, because, here’s how it’s going to go. You’re going to look at me. I’ll look back, freak out and pretend to read through imaginary texts on my phone. Still, I’ll feel eyes on me. The person could get off at the next stop but the damage is done. EYES HAVE BEEN ON ME. If I’m lucky, I’ll actually have a mirror with me. If not, guess what, I’ll have to use my germ covered hands to physically remove the invisible blemish on my face. And yeah, I know that I should have antibacterial gel on me but if there was ever a list of Things You Always Forget To Carry Just So You Have At Least One Regret In Life hand sanitizer would be at the very top.
Moving on. Look, I’m not a joyless person. Not entirely. Everyone is free to laugh just not while I’m walking past you or vice versa. Suspend your laughter. Preferably until you’re out of my earshot. Otherwise, here’s how it’s going to go. I’m awkwalking, okay. I don’t need random laughter to mess with my barely there rhythm.
And while I’m at it….dear drivers of parked cars, I get it. Some of you are genuinely doing something and some of you are being shady as hell. Do me a favour, okay? If I stop to look at my reflection, don’t stare back at me? Why make it any more awkward that it needs to be?
Just pretend to read an imaginary text or something.