I worked long and hard to make it all seem effortless.
Hell if I know.
At this point I’m not sure what’s real and what’s not about me.
That mask, the one we all wear whether we mean to or not, it’s stuck, melted on my face like a still from some grotesque horror movie.
It’s a part of me now, like it or not.
I like it.
It makes me feel powerful.
But I can be touched because the mask, it doesn’t cover my heart, my hands, or anything else.
Just my face.
While covering my eyes so I see through a jaded lens, or filtering my words so I speak like some hardened-by-life veteran, it leaves the rest of me all too open to attack.
Just a few words sent spinning toward my chest can crack the mask from the inside out.
Except, it’s melted, remember?
So they don’t just crack it, they crack me, and that is ug-ly.
Awkward, prudish, innocence?
Sure I could try to play it off, pretend it’s a fashion statement, defend my cracks and shatters with all I’ve got.
Sometimes I do.
Sometimes it’s the best feeling in the whole damn world.
Often times, I don’t.
Often times, I hide until the cracks have sealed over.
I wait and when I come back out, I try and make it seem like my mask covers EVERYTHING.
If I play it right, people just might believe it.
And I pray.
I pray, I plead and I beg God to never let it show again just how unarmored I really am.