Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bleeding mask

She spends many hours looking at her hands, her slim, pale hands. Skin so thin you can see the blue streaks and whiteness of the knockles when she bends the tiny limbs in her fingers. Her fingers, short and stump, yet at the same time long and thin, almost graceous. Her nails never seem to be the same length.

She stares at her face in the mirror when she goes to the bathroom, a small chamber, almost prisonlike, hidden in the back of the staff warderobe. Small, round, childlike. Pale, even when the spring sum creates freckles over the tiny, straight nose. Her cheeks small, marked by a couple of birthmarks. No big ones, only small, almost tiny ones, giving her face a characteristic look - a look like no other. Her eyes, wide, dark, insecure. Often, she finds herself realizing that her eyes wander, even when talking to somebody. As if keeping the still, fixed, on one point, would cause her to be stuck. Dark eyes. Dark, as none others she'd ever seen. Her lips, a pale shade of red. Natural, perhaps with a touch of moisturing lipgloss, but no lipstick. That goes for the whole face - no makeup. But still, there's something there.

Others see her as intelligent, open, witty and smiling. That puzzles her. How can they think that? Where do they see that? Is it really her they talk about - or someone else? She can't help it. It's a role she's playing. The one on the outside, looking in on the creation of others. Somehow it's safe. A distance. But at the same time frightening. If she doesn't know who that is, then how can anyone else?

Her insecurity is a burden she shares with noone else. Noone else would understand. Stepping outside in the morning, her face is ready, steadily holding on throughout the day, until the evening, until coming home. Unlocking the door also means letting the defence down. And she hangs her mask up beside her coat, ready for the day arriving past the night.

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