Masks... This idea of double realities has been on my mind all throughout this weekend, and I remember clearly that it was also on mind all throughout last year when I lived in Venice; a city known for its two-faceted beauty. A city of masks..
I thought of masks this weekend and lingered at the thought of performances. I was reminded of the saying of how the world was indeed a stage, and we are merely actors in it.
A pleasant conversation, that is how it started. A wooden floor where my feet touched every now and then in an awkward attempt to stay grounded. I lifted my feet eventually and crawled up on a dark grey couch. A pleasant conversation that ended up with a flattering accusation. You know those? The compliments that could easily be twisted in the heart of your mind to accusations. I was told I was a good story-teller; you know the ones you encounter in parties and gather around. The ones that steal all the stars at night and become the centre of light. I was told I was 'always' a story-teller, never the occasional bystander, or the one with feet on the ground. I then lowered my red-manicured feet to touch the wooden floor, only to lift them up again.
I was also told that I was a dreamer, and that the mask I was wearing, was wearing off. I was told all of these and more in one sentence, maybe they were two. I teared a little at the fear of being the party entertainer, and laughed more at the audacity of it all.
How can one not see the great big eyes? How can one miss the huzun that is in my trembling thin lips when I speak of life, home, love and God? How can mistake my laughter with jokes, and miss all the the efforts of reconciliation? How can one not love the contradictions of attempted veils and chocolate-covered almonds next to my training gloves? How can one not understand the complexities behind a gentle smile hiding behind it stories of stolen homes and broken hearts?
And all those implications behind those kind little gestures, how does one mistake them for performances? When has it become that kindness and tenderness are difficult to fathom, and cold shoulders are the norm? What happened to all the lovely cushions that cover our insecurities?
Where is that fascination of her husky voice at night? The night that sees the end of all alleged performances, and signals the beginning of her surrender.
Masks are beautiful, and to pretend that we don't all wear different ones everyday is exhausting. We all perfected wearing our masks, that we hardly notice them anymore. We are the polite, we are the courteous, we are the brave, and we are the happy. Masks! They are all masks.
I left my mask along with a hundred others in Venice long before we had this conversation. I no longer perform any roles but mine, and I lost the script of my life that night in London, when I whispered Hamdula and ran away from my solace and the bench that witnessed the end of who I used to be.
Scene II ends.//
At first, there was one.. Then there were too many. Reconcile my love, there will be only one at the end.