Writing Challenge: Behind the Mask

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We all wear masks, weather their physical, mental or emotional. Or are you an open book? Who we are behind the masks betrays who we really are. Some are more difficult to remove than others. Some we don't even know we wear.

What masks does your character wear? What is behind it? are they hiding themselves from the world or hiding the world from themselves? Do they know they wear them? Are they a superhero? Try to be imaginative, don't be afraid to try something new. Do you agree with what I just said, or do you not? Why? Does your character ask themself this?

This week's challenge: The masks.

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For this challenge, I will have to use: Chom.

The world is a scary place, it's a place that has a lot of ups and downs and negativity that leaks like puss through pores. Like a swelling zit threatening to pop until something breaks the skin and all the poison washes out over the site. To Chom, that's what he sees. But he doesn't show it.

His mask is that of his demeanor. He's dopey, and romantic, courteous and gentlemanly. But behind that sweet, courageous mask he hones, it's truly quite dark inside. He knows what the world is for what is is entirely, and doesn't mistake that for anything else. He self medicates through drinking, and sexing up pretty women. But that's only too keep him distracted from the life he had before, and for the things he has to do.

Chom knows of his mask, and he uses it well for all intents and purposes. In time he knows he shall reveal it, but he won't... not to the world just yet. He doen't question the use of his mask, or why he has it, he just does. He understands its uses. Despite his favoring of little russian glass trinkets, and his love of tea, he's a boiling pit of coal that might just burn those who touch it.
Mask. When I think of this word my imagination offers me a picture of masquerade. I can see colours, joy and light-hearted ambience. Thanks to the modern World, this is a memory of the past though we still wear masks. However, those fake expressions are not as nice as they could be. I don't need to use any of my characters to describe what I mean because everyone of us has lots of different masks. Those ones that say they don't, they are the ones that use them the most. I have to admit that sometimes you need to hide yourself from the world. Especially when you don't feel like being yourself. This situation is suitable for faking yourself. Nevertheless, doing this everyday can have a terrible consequences. You might forget who you are.

In the feudal Japan, japanese samurai's had a saying - everyone has three faces; one for the enemy, one for the family and one for themselves. They became the masters of confusion, acting and pretending. But at the end, did they really know if the face they use for their enemy isn't the face they use for themselves? Didn't they get lost in all the dissimulating?

I am not against masks because without them we will not know how to behave. Hence, we should keep them but deep inside we should sustain the memory of who we are and what is our purpose in living.
Almost like stone they can become. So attached, yet so very light; almost as if they weren't there, but with them, the world can almost be seen in a different light. Though, depending on the crowd, the light can be either bright or dark. No. This is not entirely true. There is only one crowd for this. And only one light. Neither bright nor dark. It is rather mysterious, yet on going. There is a cold center piece with an outer feathery kind of feeling. The atmosphere isn't delightful but it isn't unpleasant.

The masks.

The masks are something that the common person would have never put an exact finger on. They would have first set eyes on the dresses and the coats, the tuxes and the costumes. They would have set mind on the eyes, the eyes peering from behind the masks. They would have even set eyes on the lights; the decorations. While these things are a part of the magic piece, they are not the center. They do not make up a majority. They are small bits. Tiny pieces to a thousand piece puzzle. The center, the majority, and the lesser seen, the lesser attraction... The masks. These are what make up the mood. They are the center and they are the souls. They create boundaries between reality and the non-reality.

They. They are what make up the beauty of this Masquerade. There are many different kinds, each its own soul. Each creating a separate boundary that all together comes into one.

A lie.

Pure lies.

Because in the end, in the Masquerade, everyone and everything, is a lie. Nothing is real. It is a non-reality that can never be undone.

But let it be said: In the Masquerade, everyone is beautiful but everyone is showing what they wish to be. It is, in fact, a dance of lies and wanting. A wanting that no one ever leaves with because the wanting is sucked into the mask. The jewelry. The dresses. The tuxes. The decorations and the ball room. It is a one night fairy tale that by the next morning will all just be a memory and a dream untrue.
I spend my days surviving my own life, dragging myself from bed to the shower to the streetcar to work through shitty customers back to the streetcar to my house to my bed to the internet. I break that cycle for my boyfriend and on a rare occasion some friends. I don't go out and have fun. I don't spend time out my room. I don't love life. My mask is who people see when I am not sitting in bed at home. My mask is what you all see online every night.

Between hating myself but pretending to be confident and hating the world but pretending to give it the benefit of the doubt I am exhausted. I constantly feel like the victim of some sick joke the world is playing. I'm paranoid people don't like me and because of this I annoy them and act strange which only pushes them further away. I have no style and I cannot seem to find one that suits me. I have no grace. No social skills. No special traits. Not much, really. I don't have much that I am proud of.

At work I smile and make jokes and laugh and treat everyone politely, all while my mind focuses on how scared I am that I look fat or that I am being annoying. I over eat at work. It makes me want to die.

Online I make jokes and rule over conversations because I feel as though I can gain some sort of confidence boost from all of it. I have yet to obtain the confidence boost, I'm really just praying it works one day.

To my boyfriend I am honest, though recently I have closed off a bit. I am annoying when I am myself. I am annoying when I am depressed. I try not to bother him with it.

With my family I don't know how to act. I lash out at my sister, then treat her nicely for no reason. I get along well with my mom then want to snap at her for the smallest things. My dad makes me want to throw a fit, but is also very sweet and kind. My family confuses me and is in denial about the fact that I own and wear such a heavy mask.

Alone I am myself. I can't wear my mask in front of me because I can't fool myself. I know what goes on and I will never not know it. I know how much I hate the way my body looks. I know about all the cuts. I know about the eating disorder. I know how scared I am every time I hear a car. I know how much anxiety I get over certain people and situations I have to deal with. How could I not? I know it all. I feel it all.

No mask is strong enough to last forever, unfortunately. I just hope mine doesn't slip before I manage to clean my real self up a bit. I need to lose a few pounds before I can face the real world.

[mine is a more personal post...an incredibly personal post actually. i hope that is ok.]
Behind The Mask:

I can see everything clearly but its obvious that no one can see me clearly. Normally I lurk in the shadows but now it was my time to shine. I swept down the staircase, my deep blue dress billowing behind me in a flurry of airy fabric, catching the gentle breeze as though it were a feather. It gently curled over my bosom, in a sweetheart neckline, before following a ribbed, fitted bodice, one decorated with different stones of many colors. It showed my skin through the sides, however, and then cascaded down onto the skirt, which met the floor at the perfect length, barely sweeping it. My long rave hair was slightly curled and in a half up style. My mask was the same color as my dress and had feathers out the right side going upward.

Many gasped at my beauty but it was fake. This was far from who I was. I felt ugly and like nothing I did ever mattered. The night lingered on as many danced with me. Few threatened my cover up, my mask. To night was not the night I was going to let people know it was me. If I did I would be the laughing stock of the party. Tonight I was royalty tomorrow I'm normality. So no matter how hard they try they will not claim my mask. The thing that covers up all my lies, secrets and myself.