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The Happy Mask
Did I Ever Tell You?
That people DO hate you.
The gloriously disguised and misunderstood thing is, a lot of people seem to think that the ignorance of this FACT will protect their fragile little souls from the red hot hate that comes with this acid-tank that is life. Not letting the reality of this fact into their shallow realities will cease its existence altogether. If you humbly think something is not real, it is not real, for all and everything is in the crystalline eye of the beholder.
However, there are symptoms. Of course there are. Symptoms are everywhere, at varying levels of severity. These symptoms can be collectively described:
stupidly being stupid and acting out like a stupid.
Acting out, these people think (and bear in mind you might be one of them, so no animosity, please) will bring them love and respect. It might work.
But most of the time you'll receive hate. Which, of COURSE, is rejected by you. It's the cycle of life, of eating, of harsh jaws ripping fibers away from the life needing it.
Sometimes, little Jimmy (we'll pluck a test subject from the pool. His name is Jimmy.) will disguise himself. Craftily.
Before I go father, Jimmy is made of two things: an inner layer and a mask. ("Stop it, put it down, please....") His inner layer is who he is, what's still developing like a fetus in an upper womb, and what's mostly out of his control, what he should have aired out so it will grow to its best and worst. But no.
Jimmy lays on his Happy Mask, suffocating himself. The Happy Mask is a glittering, daffodil yellow. Its eyes are the deepest black you find in the best sleep. Its curves are soft and warm, like the touch of a lover.
That Happy Mask is a synthesized personality. It does the acting out. It's the thing that people really DO hate.
Jimmy wears his Happy Mask a lot. Particularly to that barred building known as school. School is the threshold for life. It holds everything. One thing that can have so much hate, so much love, so much importance, is such a valuable thing. Whether a building or a person, Jimmy. He wears it, and wears his cookie-frosting smile, as he walks down the hallways with a false spring in his step. He wears dark clothes, blacks and greys. Pastel? Phooey.
Those colors are for the other brand of Happy Maskers, the prissies people.
He loses his friends to falseness. The people he shuns, as he walks down the halls with the stolen Goth style (oh, but so easy to steal, no? If you are a poser) might have been his best friends. He might have has some connections with them. He might have reached out to them. He might have had a life.
("I know its hard but I love you so much....")
Instead, he sees the ghost of his life through the soft veil of a membrane that is that Happy Mask. He sits in his seat in Math Class, tracing imperfect circles on the plastic desk, and as he does so, sees himself drawing figures on the whiteboard. His eyes grow, compensating for the surprise. He sees himself in clothing he likes. Clothing no one else, or but a few people, surely not his new friends, will like. But he likes them, and they attach to him with a kind of small loving because of this admiration. He knows the answers to these x plus 5y equals 20 equations, but that Happy Mask bars his talent from reaching any surfaces.
He lays back in his desk, and bows to the Mask.
"I don't want to see that happen to you!" The anger rips me. As sharp as a blade. No, an axe in itself. Red burns my eyes, once harmless veins like daffodil roots at the edges of the green. Now they prick at the white, and bring me to dead tears.
"I can't help it!" She yells, and crashes her fists down on the table. If she found remorse for my tears, I can't see it. I see the blur of her soft hair, of the pale skin she wraps herself in, of the black clothes she hides herself inside. The reminder of that Happy Mask-oh, but it only holds a gun to her head- brings me to deeper tears.
As I stagger back, getting away from that hideous thing on her face, my skin prickles for her touch. Nothing comes- she's letting me die inside. But she doesn't know it.
I wipe my eyes, and burn another glare into those eyes, like the deepest black I'd see in the best dream. There should be a separate name for those kinds of dreams. You know, like the dreams that feature my friend free of this candy-man Mask. Seducing everyone with its beauty, false promises....
"You can! You can, just stop using it! Stop wearing that MASK!" I reach out, halfway across the room. I can't see her eyes in the dark. It's a shame. For I've told her so many times, the eyes tell all.
She looks down at the report I've been writing. Did I Ever Tell You? That people really DO hate you.
When she looks up at me, I don't notice. I'm looking into the secret-keepers, shadows, that hold the answers to this dilemma.
"I can't stop pretending," she starts. "I've gone too far with that Happy Mask on. Why do we give it that name...?"
"Because," I say. It's the first word for a lot of my sentences. "Giving physiological tendencies, problems, issues, whatever, a name sets it apart from other problems, making it easier to deal with. Well, I've went far too, and I'm coping. Just give me my best friend back, and stop wearing it! At least try!"
"Can I? I don't think I can do it."
"You will do it."
Park City, Utah
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A psycholoical phenomena in itself. Good work. I don't quite understand how it went from... Let's say Little Jimmy to the story you were speaking of. I suppose its a personal experience, but whatever the case, good job.
Psychology is a gateway to the soul, eh? It can help someone and it can also torture someone. At least that's what I get from this piece. Psycological writings always make things interesting. Personal experiences are also very nice to read, depending on how well written. You managed to capture that. If given the chance, I'd applause this piece.