Small Talk
I find myself making truly awkward small talk on purpose because I have learned over the years that there is a certain banter

Lighthearted topical and noncontroversial

that puts and keeps people at ease and I no longer give it much thought anymore since it just happens now

I hear myself and cringe at how insipid I sound to myself but it is the price I have chosen to pay to fit in and be regular folk sometimes like people are

Invisible and gray and according to systems and norms and the rules

I find I do it not for my ease but for the comfort of others so they do not have to try to figure me out on their own but I give simple cues and clues that mostly serve as a reflection

a chameleon holding a mirror to a mirror

Because they cannot figure me out because I am never going to allow it because I never want to be figured out by anyone without my explicit permission

I am a stingy gray shadow on an overcast day when nobody is watching

Yet a certain few will see through the knots and venture deeper against odds and shields and all manner of diversionary tactic and know the things I wanted them to know all along