I had a reflective moment as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror pulling my banana face mask and feeling my skin to know if the mask did any good as promised.
For some reason, half my face still had some mask on it and I had pulled out the other half. And so I thought about the many masks I wear and the different levels there are to taking them off.
There’s my voice mask sometimes. I don’t even have to make a conscious effort anymore for my voice to change when I’m talking to:
- A stranger (especially over the phone)
- A really rich and important figure
- Anybody who generally gives off a I’m-more-traveled-and-way-cooler-than-you vibe.
- An unknown public.
I pull this mask completely when I’m with my people; family and friends. Not necessarily because I don’t want to hide from them but because if I try to, I’ll get replies in fits of laughter.
Then there is the funny mask; the one I sometimes wear over my bad cooking. Cooking mask can come in many ways, but I always opt for the Meat Way.
I have found that you may be able to get away with averagely done or some level of bad cooking if you stuff the eater with enough nicely done meat. Whatever you do, don’t be bad at cooking meat; whether beef or pork or goat meat or chicken meat or snake meat. It might be your exit card from total shame. Plus most Africans round off eating their food by eating their meat eat; so that would hopefully leave a lasting impression on them.
It’s not kind to pull off this mask at all for anyone. Maybe I try to just get better at cooking, but till then, I keep the mask on.
Then there’s also the mask over my attitude. It’s interesting because not everyone would admit this. But in my defense, I think every man is born with a mask by his side and the voice of the society constantly saying ‘Pick that mask up and wear it over your true self’
And so for those who obey this voice (which most people do), we spend the rest of our repentant life taking off the mask slowly. There’s certain ways I behave with the general public that are antithetical to my true character. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it bad. It’s a mask that I don’t notice until upon retrospection. But slowly I’m learning to tell when I’m letting the mask dominate.
The closer you get to me, the more inevitable it is to see through the mask.
And then there the mask over the reality of my emotions – my vulnerabilities, the romance of my inner thoughts and the reaction to my triggers.
This mask is in the form of a deadpan face such that if I find you funny or amusing, irritating or disgusting, adorable or charming, annoying or unbearable, you’d never truly know.
You couldn’t know if I loved you. You wouldn’t know if I didn’t. But you’d most likely always think I don’t.
It’s the mask I wear in a bid not to be figured out because; well, I’m not a mathematical problem.
It’s the mask I wear over the mirror and reflection of my thoughts.
It’s a bad mask which has nonetheless saved me from bad people but has definitely kept me from good people.
I pull it off when I think it’s safe to take a risk to.
Do away with layers. Oh! except you’re a wedding cake. Then keep the layers coming please. – Me, Boro.(23rd August 2016)