I stood in front of the mirror at work, alone, determined to fix my hair into some semblance of a style, prepared to remain in that bathroom until some kind of satisfaction for my appearance was garnered (or forced). I gripped my headband between my teeth as my hands worked, hurrying to smooth and coax my hair so the headband could be replaced and I could get back to my classroom.
It wasn't until I finished fixing my hair and reached for the headband that I realized -- I had been holding onto that plastic thing between my teeth so tightly, so rigidly, so violently, that as my jaw released I felt the tension, the stress, the aggression I had been holding in that grip. I looked at my face in the mirror and heard myself say aloud: "Whoa."
The knowing, though, felt good.