There were two women having lunch at a Manhattan bistro. Fall had faded without memory, leaving the weather in a brisk and overcast limbo. Over eggs, the women shared the recent happenings in their dissimilar lives. They were seated in the center of the restaurant, a prime location for a view from all sides. Sally, married and expecting a boy, was dressed in a white maternity top. The other woman, Mariam, was an unmarried business woman, nursing the bitter end of a bronchial infection. She wore a purple blouse. Their interaction was that of fond, yet indebted acquaintances. It was a polite encounter. Sally talked in depth about her summer home and some renovating in the apartment that she and her husband owned in preparation for their new child. Mariam spoke of lots of professional advancement and squelched her painful cough frequently, to protect delicate Sally from any germs or infection. Her friend did not seem to notice. After they finished lunch, Mariam sipped her wine as Sally considered dessert. Their conversation quieted, leaving Sally to begin to describe her husband’s attempt at putting up the first bit of dry wall for the new baby’s room. The story was mild and not exactly humorous, yet Sally took her time recalling the experience. Mariam was tired of talking about motherhood and new apartments, and really just wanted to step out for a cigarette. Resigned, she sipped her wine and laughed where necessary. Suddenly, a large cough flew from Mariam's throat releasing wine across the table and onto Sally's blouse. Both women paused and stared at one another. Mariam began to frantically apologize as she reached for napkins to dab out the stain. Stunned, Sally stared down at her shirt, with a few drops of Mariam's spit under her left eye and upper lip. She couldn't believe how quickly her shirt had been ruined. Mariam’s many apologies were jumbled together with sincere dismay and embarrassment. It was as if the internal needed to be on the external—her thoughts had to be heard, so they launched themselves at the oppressor in a wad of phlem-y rouge.