Power Play

Power Play (March 2020, Week 2 Day 4)

I saw you. I saw you look at your date when I walked in. I saw the smirk you gave him and his return of it. Maybe you thought you were being clever or subtle, or maybe you didn’t give any thought to me and my feelings – it was hard to see past the smirk. If I could have chosen a different seat, further from your smug gaze, closer to my reason for being there, I would have. I wasn’t that lucky and, as you might be realizing now, neither were you.

I sat through the presentation with your eyes boring into the back of me. I focused on the speakers, their ideas, their plans. You focused on me. I wonder now why you even chose to be there. I’m not usually that much of a distraction. Eyes skim past me most of the time, barely registering my presence. I navigate my way through stores – even electronics stores and perfume aisles – without a single employee offering help or samples. I have to stay after class to get my questions answered because my raised hand is invisible. I have to do my own sleuthing at grocery stores because there’s no one willing to help me find elusive items. Everywhere I go I’m ignored unless I ask for attention. But not to you – to you I was a strong magnet for your hatred.

A few years ago you would have won. Your baleful stare would have unsettled me even though I might not have realized that was the problem. The “you don’t belong” message that shot at me from the very fibre of your being would have rung loud and clear and I would have believed you. I would have apologized my way out of the room, making myself a spectacle in my attempts to regain my invisibility. I would have tripped over a purse or a chair or a cane while I struggled to flee with as much speed as I could muster. I would have ceded my sense of belonging to you and would have added yet another place to my “no fly” list. Yes, a few years ago things would have turned out differently, for both of us.

You’re used to having that kind of power over the people around you. Used to getting to create the environment and cast the players to make every room your room. It’s almost not your fault, though of course you could have made different choices along the way. That you didn’t – haven’t – says a lot about you. You savor your power even though you’ve done nothing to earn it. You tumbled into your circumstances just like I tumbled into mine, only I can see that and you choose not to. You surround yourself with weakness. It’s the only way to maintain your position.

Your date was a follower. You didn’t notice the furtive side glances he made every time you shifted in your seat. You didn’t see that he wanted to leave long before things got heated. 

2 thoughts on “Power Play”

  1. This gets my second vote. The final line about the man wanting to get away was another aspect that would be fun to follow as we hear more about self development. Could get real interesting.

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