Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a thousand masks. Masks that I am afraid to take off, and none of them is me. Pretending is an art that’s second nature to me, but don’t be fooled, for Heaven’s sake don’t be fooled. I give the impression that I’m secure, that the water’s calm,
I’m in command, and I need no one. But please don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.
Beneath this lies my complacence. Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, and aloneness. But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant, sophisticated facade, to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation. My only salvation and I know it. That is, if it’s followed by acceptance, if it’s followed by love. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself, that I’m worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I’m afraid to. I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance, and love.
I’m afraid you’ll think less of me that you’ll laugh at me, and your laugh would kill me.
I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing, that I’m no good, and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate game, with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within.
And so begins the parade of masks, and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk. I tell you everything is really nothing, and nothing of what’s everything, of what’s crying within me. So, when I’m going through my routine, do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully and try and hear what I’m not saying, what I’d like to be able to say, what for survival I need to say, but what I can’t say.