people keep telling me to

"read the room"

they keep trying to make me understand

"body language"

and i might be bilingual

but i can't read 'the room' or speak 'body' language

i can understand faces

if they're really obvious

(and, on tv, have musical cues)

but

people who can have conversations with

just glancing at people

seeing little quirks

too fast to catch-

it's like watching someone

grab a handful of dirt,

and pull out a tiny blue gemstone

without looking.

i can't understand how people do it,

and they can't understand how i can't.

going through the world,

and watching other people's faces-

trying to magnify their expressions,

trying to figure out what their voice means-

it's like trying to read a biology textbook

written in hieroglyphics.

everyone else learned to read hieroglyphics when they were little-

they're better at hieroglyphics than they are english,

probably.

but i never learned hieroglyphics.

i'm trying to understand what they mean,

trying to match

bird-casket-snakes-reeds

to

alpha-glucose-enantiomers

while everyone else is passing notes.

i've seen cheat sheets-

i've used a handy hieroglyphic-to-english poster

with bird-snake-human written under a cartoony face

but it's really hard understanding people

when their faces don't match up

to the flashcards.

and there's more hieroglyphics

than there are english words.

i can't understand

any of the faces that people make,

and people tell me that

there's something wrong with me,

but i don't feel wrong.

i just didn't learn the same alphabet

everyone else did.