Hey there! I'm the socially defunct "idiot" that lives close to you, or perhaps that "freak" who you have run into at the store on occasion—the one who struggles with eye contact and simple human communication.

I want to offer an apology. I honestly don't mean to alienate you or make you feel uncomfortable. Please remember that I am doing everything in my power to appear "normal" and not make you feel uncomfortable.

It may come as a surprise to those of you who shrug me off as a freak, but I'm really not a moron. I consider myself intelligent; I'm gainfully employed and make a pretty good living. I just share a vacuum when it comes to any situation that is social, and yes, thank you for noticing and pointing it out to me, in detail, on every occasion. Yes, it's not you, it's me.

In closing, my request is simple: Give the awkward guy a break on occasion. We never ask for anything, nor expect anything from anyone. We just exist. Being "social" is something that you take for granted, like breathing, and something we have to work at constantly just to coexist in your world. It's not that I'm not trying to become a better human being every day—it just doesn't show, like it does with "normal" folks.

With all my freakish sincerity,

The idiot you ran into at the grocery store and laughed at because my brain and mouth couldn't agree on an appropriate response to your smile after I gave you my empty shopping cart