Adjust the Mask

I love convenience store people and gas station people and the person in line in front of me. I love the meter reader and the mail lady and the man who came to empty the septic tank. What sound relationships I have formed with these strangers! How fresh my mask is, how centered, how taut, in brief banter with a bank teller.

Any longer and sometimes the mask slides down under one ear but I don’t notice. Sometimes in my compartmentalized world I forget that my true confessions do not have clearance. I divulge too much, forgetting that beige is the color of acceptance, and neglecting to seal emotional efflux and stick to the script. When will I learn that people don’t find my negativity as refreshing as I would in them? Once again I have failed to measure my words but let them fly unfettered into self-reproach. One of these days I’m going to ditch this mask. But for now I straighten it and make a note to replace the elastic band.

Thanks to Be Kind Rewrite for the prompt ‘Adjust the Mask’
Inspiration Monday

21 responses to “Adjust the Mask

  1. See? Here I am. I’ve just been sitting here waiting for you to show up again. Well, ok – I haven’t been sitting here ALL the time, but I’m plenty happy to see you.

    Love the line about replacing the elastic band. That brought on a time collapse of the first magnitude. Suddenly it was Halloween, and I had one of those masks with the black elastic with the little metal thingies on the end that slip through the holes. I can’t remember which masks I wore, but I remember that elastic. Strange.

    Hope all’s well. We’re starting to get a little twitchy with excitement, watching this tropical system that may or may not develop. With luck it’ll go west instead of north and send a plume of rain into south Texas. If you need some too, we’ll be happy to share.

    • Hi Linda, thanks. I remember the elastic band too–they’re probably high-tech now. But not mine. ‘Time collapse’ so that’s what those are!

      We’ve had an OK monsoon but I’ve seen better. Tore our garage roof off without the reward of serious soakings. Good to hear from you…take care down there.

  2. This is a good piece. I felt identified with it all the way through.

  3. Not a problem with wearing a mask, unless you are wearing too many masks!

  4. GRUNT!

    And the Cowgirl pulls out her sidearm, annihilating her aggressor with a single bullet of poetic justice. Walks over to the lifeless corpse, bends over and speaks into the chest wound. In the voice of Tom Waits says, “Hell just broke, Luce”.

    • Hudson, ha ha I’m not nearly as kickass as you think! I loved what you said in a recent post–that you’re bi-reclusive. Eloquent description for dealing with what is required to survive then turning to trees and dogs for real love. Thank you for not giving up on me in the past year. I’m still in recovery from 2012 but really, it’s time to move on. So many rants bottled up…

  5. Maybe this is why when asked how I am, I tend to always say, “reasonable”. Sometimes it warrants a reply, but mostly it goes unnoticed. This is the gauge by which I know whether or not that person is worthy of further ‘speaks’. Most are not.

    • Well it’s a mandatory but insincere question. We’re not allowed to answer honestly. I say ‘fine.’ I’m never fine, but who cares? Wouldn’t it be much more fun if someone answered, ‘everything sucks!’

  6. Ooo, that first sentence sets the rest of this up perfectly. How much easier strangers are than friends! Reminds me of that line from Hey, Jude – “well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder…na na na na na na na NAAAA.”

    Ah, it’s so good to have you back. I was afraid you were gone forever: I almost couldn’t believe it when I saw your username in my pingbacks. Looking forward to many more words!

  7. Hi Stephanie, thanks. See that, I never even thought of that line from Hey Jude as relating–which is good because it makes me see it in a different way.

    Funny how I wanted to write something and checked in with InMon and found what I needed!

    • Yeah, we have a complex system of surveillance equipment, psychics and computers that figures out what you need to write about and generates fitting prompts. When it’s not suggesting prompts about meetings with tall, dark strangers, it works pretty well. ; )

  8. So glad to see you writing again. You inspire me. But I think that’s old news.

  9. Nice to have you back where you belong! I’ve missed, very much, your raw comments and naked commentary. I’ve always found what you have to say to be refreshing. It reminds me of my mother.

    I wouldn’t adjust the mask too much. You are just about right on. We live in a culture where we have determined that the truth hurts so it is seldom spoken.

    Glad, glad to see you back

  10. Thank you Bill! I let myself fall into avoidant behavior as the frustration of feeling stifled grows. I long to be challenged but not by those who’ll just stamp their feet and tell me I’m wrong—ensuring that no one grows. I envy you your forest and would be happy opening up to the trees, but these damn mesquites here are as dumb as rocks.

    But this is what the blog is for, and your comment has inspired me!

  11. No more ‘like’ buttons anywhere; your choice, so you’ll just have to in future accept these worded I Like~! as a substitute. Or not, but in the spirit offered.

    I too get hacked off with what I call ‘spam’ liker/followers.
    In fact you’ve beaten me to the punch—almost, I did cover it some time ago—and if anyone ever dare ‘thank’ me for a Like I think I’ll forget I’m a gentleman …

    Sometimes as a sentient human being we try to interact with organic robots—the guy who invented the throwaway phrase “Have a nice day” should be taken outside and shot with a ball of his own hamburgers.

    Have a nice day …

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