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I walk up the stairs carting the vacuum and the laundry basket, and in that moment I am that woman. My rage erupts and stays with me as I scrub the tub and scour the toilet and wipe down the tile floor. But I am not that woman, as I put away my (and only my) laundry. As I make lunch for my self, as I lace up my shoes and run alone, not talking to any passerby, not telling anyone where I am going or when I will be back. I am not that woman as I watch whatever I want on television, as I sit in my sweaty clothes on the porch. Quiet, but most importantly, alone.

He offers to make dinner and I offer to go to the store. To help. He doesn’t need that. I am free to sit longer, to stare off into space longer, to meet no one else’s needs other than my own. We are a house of unmade beds, and I am not that woman.

A victim of, a hostage to, complaisant in convention.

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