Masks

The mystery is gone, my dear and I have lost interest. We sport our masks of flesh and bones and emotions held in place by well practiced muscles of self control. We do not read each other very well, I’ve learned. We only have the throngs of words that tumble down our tongues, words of ambition and of love and we have no evidence but we listen and take to heart. We are puppeteers and makers of games, playing each other for fools. 

And there’s always a moment of weakness. I saw past your mask and it was a mistake for both of us. It’s dark in there, you know. There’s not much but your blood and your pain and your swirling mess of dilemmas and self conflicts and your unfair insecurities. It’s very dark in there. 

And the mystery is gone. 

I now know what that sultry smile means and the tug at my sleeve. I know what the purse of your lips as you look ahead avoiding my eyes means and apparently, so does everyone else. That ever inquisitive lurch in my stomach as you asked to see me alone; our friends knew what it meant and they patted our backs and giggled on their way out and you and I were left alone. We talked and talked and lay back into the comfortable silence and then we talked some more and we didn’t want it to ever end. 

I asked what you were thinking about and you said, “The stars,” and I believed you and you asked what I was thinking about and I answered, “The wind,” even though I was thinking about only you. I wondered at the feel of your finger tips and the swirls of vapor at your mouth and the rise and fall of your chest. Yet, I answered, the wind. I lied to you but it didn’t occur to me that you may have lied too. 

After I saw past the mask, oh well…. It was a whole different perspective. You weren’t as devoid of flaws as you led on and I had already loved you without the flaws. I prefer to have known and loved you with them. It made me wonder if I had hidden mine as well as you had, if my mask had stayed on straight. It probably hadn’t. And you’ve probably seen past it the moment you laid eyes on me even though I try my best to keep it intact. 

I have been deceived and perhaps I have deceived in return and now we are looking at a whole new world. I don’t know this dark creature with the broken pieces irregularly held together by thin, thin threads. And I certainly do not love him. There was another and he did not have your mask of indifference. He smiled with his eyes and he knew of the world. But now here you are, stranger, standing where he stood, dangling his face his your hands and showing me…nothing. 

 

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