I stand in front of a mirror. My face has a large grin on it, my eyes seem to sparkle in the dimly lit bathroom. Always greet the world with a smile! Indeed I did. My cheeks are full with small dimples showing from my smile, my face is warm and inviting. My teeth are the kind of white you would find in a wedding gown. This is always what I am when I meet them, when I engage with them.

I look down on the immaculate white sink and on the counter is a lone blade. I take the scalpel up and begin to drag its sharp edge across my hairline. Black and crimson blood trickles down my smiling face as I cut from one side to the other, the blade making a perfect line. Reaching the other side of my forehead I begin to drag the blade straight down the middle of my face, slicing down between my brows, nose, and eventually my smiling lips.

Setting the scalpel down I reach with one hand towards the top of my forehead, pushing my fingers between the cut skin I grip the edge and start pulling down. My face slowly peels off revealing a wrinkled and worn forehead, then an unkempt brow and dull eyes. My nose is crooked and my smile disappears. I see my true self in the mirror, worn and ragged, wrinkled and dead. This is what I am.

I never let anyone see this, the world does not allow such things. I wear the face for them. They would never accept me for what I am, for what I feel, for the darkness within. So I put on the face, a glowing smile, playfully bright eyes, smooth skin. I am what they expect me to be, until I reach my silent home.

Tearing the other side of my face down, my full being is exposed, wrinkles, rotting teeth, dead eyes. This is what I am, yet I can never let them know.

I discard the removed skin into a basket filled with many other faces, rotting. I reach into a sealed plastic bag and pull out another mask, tomorrow I must engage with them again.


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