My jaw juts forward, mouth closed, with fire breath inflating my nostrils
My eyes, unblinking, bounce from one talking head to the next, as the players serve up isolated facts, spinning up the one-sided, calculated, narrative.
My cheeks are immobilized as if by botox, struggling to keep its shape amid my simmering fury.
I squeeze out a small joke, forcing a break in the mold of my face, hoping it will distract from the third eye on my brow.
The room starts to swirl, as I press back into my chair, the only sturdy home base in the room.
Intelligent, thoughtful, humorous, trying to play-it-cool- all my roles in this one-act play.
I want to flee and leave behind the
cattiness, in all its stereotypical garb,
the match of a woman against a woman,
who is supported by a mean girl,
in an entertaining dance that the men in power gaze upon
from their balcony seats.
“How do you not see it?” I yell.
“Pulling each other down (I pound my fist on the table for emphasis) into the well drowns us all.
“We can lift each other up.
“And we can all make it, together (I stand up symbolically), to the sunshine.”
The impassioned speech occurs in the confines of my imagination.
I leave the meeting deflated,