When I was little, my Mom used to make a creepy face where she would draw back her lips into a menacing smile. And for a moment I was convinced that she had become a witch. I was reminded of that the other day when studying my co-workers, one of whom has the resting face of a witch. Dark haired, slender, she easily passes as attractive from afar. But as she draws closer, as she comes to inhabit my working life, filling each day with a fine mixture of dread and anxiety, that other side, the one that I imagine harbors ill will towards others, bleeds through. You can see it in her mouth, which resolves into a deep frown. In meetings, she rarely speaks. Instead, she seems to defer to the group while silently relaying, almost as a whispered after thought, that she is out of here. If I could just get some insight into who she is, a handle say, on her taste in music, or, what her husband does for a living or if she prefers meat loaf for dinner on a Wednesday night, I might be able to quiet my distrust. We’re heading towards the crunch season, with endless overtime, so I should probably try a bit harder to strike up a conversation about something other than the PSQ reports. But I know the moment I open up my mouth to speak, it will inevitably be about Margaret Hamilton’s role as the Wicked Witch.
(Artwork: Tim Duch)