"'Either way, the other person's reaction was the only thing that ever counted to me— numbers were spiky and indifferent, but a person was warm and breathing, potentially swayable. I often messed up with people, it was true, but it rarely happened because I was reading them wrong; it was because I got nervous, or because I could see too clearly that I was not what they wanted. And, in fact, it was in falling short that I truly excelled. I might fail to be what the other person sought, but as a failure, I'd accommodate them completely— I could be obsequious or truculent, sad or earnest or utterly silent.'"
Prep: A Novel