When face masks became this year’s item de rigueur, I was rather slow to join the party. I found wearing one a bit of a nuisance; was forever having to hitch it up above my nose, or defogging my glasses from where my breath had steamed them up. Now, though, I don’t know how I ever managed without one. Now, I wear a mask even in circumstances where I am not required to.
Let me take you on a little journey into the secret world behind the mask.
As well as providing protection from the spread of disease, a face mask disguises a multitude of sins: discrete public belches; contorted facial expressions; entire sotto voce monologues. It is a very fine line between a “Thank you” and a “Wanker” when voiced quietly behind the false front fabric of the face mask.
Behind the mask it is possible to adopt the personality of your alter ego: quiet office worker by day; bemasked maverick by night. I feel the transformation taking place even as I hook the first band behind my ear and begin the process of cloaking my lower face in an aura of mystery.
Of course, the mask has a long history in literature and culture: there are all the superheroes––Batman; Spiderman; Ironman––the villains––Darth Vader; Jason Voorhees; Hannibal Lecter––the vigilantes––V; Zorro; The Lone Ranger––and then there is Andrew Lloyd Webber.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon is saying “Thank you” to all his readers. Or is he?
More of Simon’s writing can be found in This Pedestrian Life and Watching Life Pass me By.