When she is finally alone, her mask is placed on the coffee table and she sighs in relief. The tension dissolves from her shoulders; no longer is she in need of it. It is in this moment of authenticity, where there are no eyes observing her, that the particle of what she is can rest. Here, without the mask, her guarded fists are unclenched and the soft vulnerability of a lady in need of unconditional love unfolds. What she must be to the world has no meaning now as she grooves her back onto her bed and closes her eyes to let go of unjust necessity. This personality, so tiring on her nerves, with all the right things to say and do, can be shed of its skin for the day. Tomorrow the mask will be there again, while she, herself, will not appear until the next night.
It is from upbringing and education that what we are is coated with what we are not. There are rules, many of them, and all invented, that clothe our words and expressions so that we are socially accepted. The right sort must do the right things, in the right way, for a path as unimpeded as possible by unnecessary suffering to be earned amidst the ranks. It is this race of the rats, where men must hustle and bustle through every hurdle in order to pass the tests that his invented personality knows so well. One generation indoctrinates the next, where the young forget what is simple and learn what is complicated. Parents know only what they think they do and pass to their children the same rulebook so that they are not left behind.
Marriages endure like flips of the coin, flopping to failure half the time. For these masks are carried into their homes and what is perceived first as love reveals itself to be a counterfeit. Only in rare moments, when people are tired and alone, do they lower this artificial persona and allow themselves to inhale an authentic breath, unobstructed by the silly tensions of social life. People have found themselves so inured by the wants of the masses and the media posted on the walls, that they settle to believe that what satisfies their hearts is bought by credit, cash and base pleasures which numb their wits. Many find themselves so exhausted by the end of the day that the only thing they can be bothered to do is stare at an electrified box while munching on cookies and ice cream.
We ought to be unabashed with fear and without unnecessary restraint, so that we can bring more joy into our lives. Yet this type of fruit can only grow on soils of relaxation to who we are. The masks of inequality, invented by society and its flowing currencies, have no real part to play in our lives. They are a means which people have mistakenly taken to be the ends. Our memory, as faint as it is, cannot truly recall the conditions of our mentality before our education was made complete. Having forgotten the simple principles imparted by the nature of our essential selves, we have fallen into the crutches of the mask without realizing it is a cheap thing made of stiff clay. As such material brittles at every moment and is in need of constant care, there is no time left for realizing it doesn’t even matter!
People are far more empowered than they realize and much less in control then they care to admit. It is one of those paradoxes which at first sight makes no sense, like the tree which falls without sound if no man is there to hear it. When we wear the mask, we have no control. When the man behind the mask tasks hold of it as something apart and separate from he, there is empowerment which accompanies genuine contentment. It is the ‘I am here, and everything is fine’ sentiment which fills the air and comforts him to let loose that strain in his neck. For there is no real relaxation at play when a mask is worn; for to wear it, by that right, always requires effort, even if that exertion becomes permanent without our knowing.