The Mask Behind The Man

In Promo by The Dead

We have something in common, us 3. Those who walk the same hallowed halls as we… They know not what we really look like. Under the masks, under the facepaint… The human underneath remains obscured. While society may deem it bizarre, it hits closer to home than people like to admit – everyone wears a mask – a smile in troubled times, a held tongue, an averted gaze… Our faces are used to obfuscate just as much as they are to reveal. Is that not as deceptive as a veil of paint or plastic? In fact, isn’t it more so? To cover up in a noticeable way is to be honest about one’s intend to deceive. I chose my face paint as a symbol, of my surroundings, of my intent… Even a little bit of unintentional honesty seeped through, because you can tell about someone’s personality by their tastes.

The important thing, however, is when ‘The Dead’s business is done, I take a wet flannel or a make-up wipe… And I look Kendall Smith in the eye, and I smile. Our masks are a mechanism to allow us to play a role… But where we differ is I am no method actor. I take time for the man behind the mask. I acknowledge who I am, I do not preoccupy myself with trying to BE the mask for every waking moment. I am at peace.

It must be tiring to always be on that stage, never taking respite behind the curtain. To never be… True. You see, when you put so much time, so much effort into being someone else, into becoming the mask and not the man, you never realise just how well you have pulled it off. All there is now is Seesaw, Andrew Fish is locked away in a toybox, stowed away in an attic, out of sight and out of mind, destined to be forgotten. Legion bellows his will, and nobody can hear the whisper from behind him. For all intents and purposes, ironically enough… Those two men are dead. Kendall still lives.

My sympathies are extended to you both. Mistaking personhood for shackles, you have cast it off, not realising you have shed a power you cannot hope to recapture whilst you still hold this facade above all. The masks are no longer about fooling others… You now target your deceptions towards yourselves. You say “This mask is who I am”. You prioritise an identity imposed upon an image, not realising the head that wears it is withered and putrid.

I used to think upon my chosen mask as armour for the soul. How can one know how to defeat what one cannot comprehend? It affords some protection, that much is true… But construction is vital. If you lay it on too thick, you are left with an iron-clad coffin, devoid of light, air and sustenance. No room for growth, no prospect for survival. I have instead opted for chainmail. I am not bulletproof, yet I thrive.  May the upcoming masquerade ball show you the error of your ways.