Everybody wears them.
To work, out with friends, at their place of worship, in the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, etc.
The masks of polite civilization.
The friendly stranger, wearing a slight, polite smile that also quietly says “I’m just passing through, trying to get my shopping/walking/lunch/whatever done, so leave me alone, thanks”.
The “I’m actually terrified what you’re going to tell me, but I’ll pretend like I can blow it off” patient at the Dr’s office.
The calm & friendly professional office worker, who has all the time in the world to help the customer at the desk/on the phone.
The mom, who looks as though she’s got it all under control, when really… she just wants to go to her room, crawl into bed, and stay there for a week, crying & sleeping through all of it.
We all wear them.
Some are tighter than others, and some slide naturally off our face at the end of the day, tossed onto the coat rack to be used again tomorrow.
And some, well, they only slip now and then, worn under all the others at all times for protection. To keep others from seeing the raw truth that lies beneath, and to keep us from having to explain- well- shit that has no real explanation.
No one gets to see the true face that lies beneath…
but sometimes, it slips, and you catch a glimpse.