I listen as he talks.
His hands move in sync with his mouth. His fingers and his voice dance together in perfect modulation. His wavelength is hypnotic and while he is not talking to me directly, I am transfixed enough to forget temporarily that he has trained himself to perform this wonderful manipulation,
“Diane claimed our program was unique to this company…”
“…Training,” His colleague interrupts him.
His irritation is hidden with an intelligent charm that he uses to regain power in this casual conversation. His colleague is young; Ivy league smart, but immature and inexperienced. He knows he can rule him like a pawn if he chooses to. This excites him. I can see it in his eyes. And that excites me. I long to be that kind of influence. Thier conversation continues back and forth in a game of words between men and I am in between them as if I am a part of the conversation. I am not, but I want to be. So I ask a question,
“Could it be that your bipartisan position in the company is perfect for unbiased data towards market research?” It goes ignored. I silently question my own question, “I understand their conversation,” I think to myself, ” I know the business well enough to contribute.. or inquire. Maybe they didn’t hear me?” So I ask again, but louder, “Maybe you two are part of some sort of bipartisan secret data collection thing, ya think?” I cringe at the dumbed-down words I used in an attempt to be acknowledged, though they were, again, ignored. I begin to wonder if I am in a dream, or maybe an episode of twilight where I am really a ghost and neither one of them can see or hear me.
This is not new to me.
I am often ignored between men because I am not one. It is as if the “wo-” completely cancels out the “-man,” and I am left in contemplation of who I am; If I am anything at all.