Behind the Mask

Masks are like, so hot right now (or I guess, depending on your circles, anti-hot).

I’m one of those ultra-cautious types wearing one almost everywhere, which is to say I wear it at work, and I wear it to the store, and that’s just about it because I’m not going anywhere else (seriously, you should still be staying at home if you can). So I’m wearing it a lot. And because I teach theatre, I’m sort of professionally interested in the things we do with our faces.

And I have caught myself smiling behind my mask more often than I would think I might. Which strikes me as odd, because in normal times, I smile all the time: that tight-lipped, not-quite-full smile (as JoCo would say, “the kind that doesn’t come with teeth”).

The fake smile, in other words. Which is, of course, my mask in non-mask wearing times: the chipper, friendly-but-not-too-friendly grin.

But when I smile behind my mask — and again, I’m doing this more and more often — it’s not the fake smile. Why would I need to fake it? Nobody can see it.

Strange how wearing the mask makes me — comfortable, I guess? — enough to show emotions, even though it covers those emotions up.

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