when nothing’s inside my head (and I have no clue what to say)

Unsure if the darkened cafe is actually open
I sweep inside, straight past the hosts
Despite their earnest efforts to engage
Princess Charlotte says I look ‘dapper’ –
Referring to my outfit

She – with dark blue eyes
Dual German-Irish princess, by birth-right
Still, I penetrate deeper into the darkened space
Ignoring the time-spent on decorations
I don’t register such things

So, I actually made it to the Christmas fancy dress party!
Having left it ’til the last minute to decide
Congratulations are in order
Certainly
No mean feat

Ignoring everyone I pass by
My mission is to disembark my coat
Find the safe place
Hat and scarf
To boot

Now
Where is the drink?
Wine
Why wine?
Why white wine

Against red?
Chat
Small-talk
Forced
Uncomfortable

Move on
Notice Derek, chatting intensively
To shy Lina
Join them
Graciously elbow Derek out

Lina opens up
I nod head, agree
Say something wrong
She leaves
Smarting

I disappear for a cigarette
Reappear, drawn to the Ladies in Waiting
I chew the fat, yet
Before I settle in
All six arise together and leave

I am doing well
Another cigarette, outside
Back in, attracted to Cordelia
The source of light
To a dusty old moth

“You look well. Pretty, you look, well pretty” 
Stumbling words
I am stared down by her friends
She leaves
To involve herself elsewhere

Secret Santa exchange begins
I watch my wrapped gift picked up
Several times and placed back down
I can’t bear to watch, find another table
Here’s Tara, locks tied back.

But it is exclusively me-talk
I can’t get a word in edgeways
Facing failure, I am elbowed out of the way
By a grandpa age-difference man
That’s how bad I performed

Full circle
I chat to the two Princess Charlottes
Explaining how my gift hasn’t been picked
Now I don’t want to give it away
I decide, so take it back for myself

Mild confusion ensues
I beg my leave
I retrieve coat, hat and scarf
I don’t look back
“If only I had said this…” all the way home