By the time I arrive at the office,
I am exhausted.
I have already been awake for several hours,
the bulk of which I have spent beautifying myself:
showering, shampooing, shaving, conditioning,
applying styling foam to my hair while it's wet,
and then tending to my face --
moisturizer, base, blush,
tweezers, brow brush,
mascara, three shades of eyeshadow,
eyeliner, brow pencil, lip moisturizer
and, finally, three shades of lipstick.
Then for the home stretch:
blow-drying my hair upside down,
blow-drying my hair straight (right side up),
followed by styling with smoothing fluid,
and sealing the deal with hairspray.
It's like an art or science fair project
that you do every morning
before you can get to your
I feel like a drag queen,
each day applying makeup
and hair and jewelry
in an effort to appear as an alternate version of myself --
a more refined and beautiful version of myself.
Although, unlike a drag queen,
all of this work makes me tired and irritated,
not excited and exhilarated.