Art Of Masquerading

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The Art of Masquerading
What seems normal may not be. Anyone can pose as one thing for a minute; that’s why people play dress up, or put on makeup. That’s why models aren’t real. As soon as the picture is taken, everything can dissipate. Nothing is “normal”. No one is who they seem to be in one moment. Any family could pull themselves together every once in awhile and go out to eat, to go on a vacation. Any person can be sobbing one minute and daub a tissue to their eyes and shove down the knot in their throat to face someone they have to face, to go to an event they have to go to. Anyone can pose for a picture. Everyone can put on a mask, but at some point it’s going to come off. The material will get too stuffy and hot, the craving for fresh
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No one can keep it on forever.
Picture Goes Here
That’s why the picture above isn’t real. It doesn’t capture anything. Yes, it captures the fact that the girl (my biological mother) broke her arm, and it captures the fashion of the time (hence the fact my uncle is wearing a black tank top), and it captures the house that they were living in. But other than the obvious things, there is really no meaning.
Yet there is a hidden meaning. A meaning that is unseen by a stranger’s eye. A meaning that is only conveyed with history, personal knowledge. At first glance the photo seems normal. A photo any parent would take. It was a milestone for my mother. Something in her life that she would never forget, even if she wanted to. But hidden beneath it is a message that says that she is a good actor. Even if for a second, she can convey that everything is normal. Even if it isn’t. Who would have guessed that the person taking the picture (my grandfather) had sexually abused her? Who would have guessed that the person standing next to her would turn out to be a druggie? Who would have guessed that she would turn into a druggie, an alcoholic, and die because of it? No one, I would assume. I don’t know that girl in the picture, I know the man just
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I wake up, go to school, go home, do homework, do chores, go to bed. That’s my daily routine. It’s been my routine for so long now, I don’t remember when it started. As long as I keep my days structured the same way, the suffocation is more bearable. I know what to do, and I do it. I fly under the radar, try my best to not be noticed, and keep on moving. My mask is protection. It’s smothering protection. It’s like a mother hugging her child too hard. You’re secure in the embrace, but at some point, you start to pull away. Only, I don’t pull away. Not yet. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready. I don’t have a big secret. I haven’t been diagnosed depression. I don’t think I’m that abnormal. But, I guess, “normal” to an abnormal person is abnormal to a “normal” person. So, I guess I can’t say much other than the routine keeps me safe, and the persona that I create at school and with relatives and in public is not the person that’s me. The “me” that I wish I could be, the “me” that I pretend to be, and the “me” that I actually am are very different, I find. I am polite and shy in public; I am outgoing and fun in my head; I am quiet and reserved in real life. I can never tell anyone how I really feel, I can never find the right words to express them. I can never do want I want to do, I don’t have the freedom. And the mask makes others feel as if I’m okay with that. Except the real me is waiting for the day

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