make it burn/ the woman upstairs

‘ (..) I'm not an Underground Woman, harboring resentment for my miseries against the whole world. Or rather, it's not that I'm not in some sense an Underground Woman – aren't we all, who have to cede and swerve and step aside, unacknowledged and unadmired and unthanked? Numerous in our twenties and thirties, we're positively legion in our forties and fifties. But the world should understand, if the world gave a shit, that women like us are not underground. (..) We're always upstairs. We're not the madwomen in the attic – they get lots of play, one way or another. We're the quiet woman at the end of the third-floor hallway, whose trash is always tidy, who smiles brightly in the stairwell with a cheerful greeting, and who, from behind closed doors, never makes a sound. In our lives of quiet desperation, the woman upstairs is who we are, with or without a goddamn tabby or a pesky lolloping Labrador, and not a soul registers that we are furious. We're completely invisible. I thought it wasn't true, or not true of me, but I've learned I am no different at all. The question now is how to work it, how to use that invisibility, to make it burn.’ p6

Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs.

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