Urban Camouflage

August 17, 2008
By Jen Adcock, North Tonawanda, NY

I am a master of faces, of interpretation. Of reading the tiniest change in expression and the smallest shift in timbre. Of reading people like books. The social hierarchy is no mystery to me. I know what makes people tick. How to manipulate them.

I know the rules of the game that's constantly in play. I'm not a player, but I'm hardly an idle observer. Everyone has a part in the game. I'm a coach, guiding the pieces and rearranging the way things play out. I know the groups, the teams, the cliques. I know them inside and out, better than I know myself.

I don't fit in with any particular group. I fit in just enough to keep from drawing attention to myself. And that's vital. I can't stand out too much. People would think it's odd, what I do. They'd think I've giving myself unwarranted importance, that I'm reading too much into things. And maybe I agree with them. But that same social hierarchy depends on me. People like me.

But that's the problem. I'm the only one I know.

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