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No Exit

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I’m in a packed room, minding my own business, when I slowly awaken to the fact that something’s awry. This is when I crawl out of my own little world, look around…and realize everyone’s merrily dousing each other in gasoline.

“That’s not good,” I think, and thus I say so.

I’m immediately branded as a hate-filled, transphobic, cis-gendered, white-privileged racist and made to go sit in the corner until I understand the gravity of my oppressive microaggressions. Meanwhile, the frolicking in petroleum continues unabated.

From my perch in the corner, it suddenly dawns upon me that the row of mirrors at the back of the room look suspicious—as though we’re in a focus group room and behind those mirrors sit observers, carefully studying the ongoings. I go over to try to peer in.

“You can’t see them,” someone says. I turn to see a group of older men and women standing alongside one of the walls, not participating in the insane gasoline party, but rather looking glum.

“Who’s back there?” I ask.

“Your guess is as good as anyone’s,” was the response.

“We have to stop this—it’s insanity!” I cry.

“You can’t. Whoever’s back there is not only giving them the gasoline, but also convincing them they’re saints for showering in it. Try to tell them otherwise, and they only become more zealous in soaking themselves—and more hostile towards you for questioning things.”

“Well, then, we have to get back there and stop those evil people!” I declare patriotically.

“Impossible. That’s bullet-proof glass and you don’t even have so much as a chair to throw at it.”

Refusing to give up, I then suggest: “Then we must get everyone out of this room!”

“We are locked in here. Even if we could escape, the rooms we’ll escape into are even more dangerous and insane than this one.”

“Then what are we supposed to do? Just stand here and wait to be burned alive?”

There is no answer from the group of sullen and aged men and women. They simply stare at me, forlornly.

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