Dylan Loring

At the First Local Meeting of Extreme Introverts


No one sat next to anyone else
and one guy hogged the locked bathroom
reciting small talk to the mirror.
No candidates emerged for group president
but at least five participants took minutes. 
Eventually it turned into a game
of who could keep quiet the longest.
Everyone won, and the coffee shop worker
turned off the lights and locked up
before any of the introverts could leave. 
They found the situation agreeable,
in that they could pretend they were alone
and no one could see them, but also disagreeable
since there wasn’t enough light to read.
Outside, purple aliens from a distant galaxy
arrived and beamed everyone up
to their airships.  The alien commander
was sort of lazy and didn’t check
the dark coffee shop for human life. 
When daylight came and none of their combined
twelve friends had responded to texts, the introverts
dispersed into separate corners of the shop
in order to stake out private turf.
Overnight, one introvert peed his pants
while another introvert set herself apart from the rest
by pouring the first glass of water.
On day four, the first fatality due to starvation
motivated the remaining introverts to begin
speaking to one another and eating stolen scones.   
Mission accomplished!, but George W. Bush-
War on Iraq-style mission accomplished,
as when they had finally
eaten all the scones that didn’t contain raisins
and the glass-of-water-pouring introvert finally
threw the cash register through the shop window,
of course the introverts discovered they were the only
humans left on Earth.  And despite their many
interpersonal breakthroughs and staggering
levels of individual progress, each decided
to move to their own country.  That said,
two of the introverts who enjoyed each other’s
relative silence decided to Skype every week. 
Without the video feature, of course.

Dylan Loring is a poet from Des Moines, Iowa. He recently received his MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County. His poems have appeared (or will soon appear) in Ninth Letter, Split Lip Magazine, Third Point Press, and The Minnesota Review

JD Thornton