“She thinks I’m retarded,” I thought while watching her expression change from interest to judgment.

I held in a sigh and continued listening. Normally I would let it go, but was drawn to the idea that her opinion would create a tangible barrier in my direction, that and the fact that I was unsure what I’d said or not said, that led her to think I was mentally handicapped.

Ingratiating. I was working for her, and she was exceptionally ingratiating.

I don’t like external reassurance of my virtues, any more than I like reminders of my faults. Yet I’m occasionally a hypocrite carrying a purse full of double-standards, otherwise the drawing of my accounts would make no sense.

Something about the experience was intended to be a challenge, to help push me beyond the limits of my understanding.

The job was uncomfortable
She was uncomfortable
The chair was uncomfortable

The window where they could see in but I could’t see out was torture
My thoughts were uncomfortable
But I stayed

I always stay, and in comfort, I always go.

When she began talking to me as if I were a child, I realized the experience was purposed to show me how always can be just as limiting as never.

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