Friday, November 1, 2013

Thankful, 11/1: Mask Optional

Yesterday I watched a friend’s three year-old son while she helped out at his older brother's class Halloween party. We laid down wooden train tracks in the living room, colored pictures, emptied jars of crayons onto the floor and sorted them. He presented me with the leaf he found in our yard and had been wearing, hidden, under his hat. I made him a mask, which he wore briefly. It didn’t fit right. Got in the way.

My favorite part about Halloween has always been the costumes. The chance to be anything or anybody for a few hours. All you need is the right disguise.

The problem is that the mask or the make-up, the costume, even the fake nails I put on in seventh grade—they never quite fit. The mask was sweaty, the eye-holes were in the wrong place. The makeup dried out and itched maddeningly. The costume was never warm enough for trick-or-treating. The fake nails made it impossible to pick up or do anything.

The only thing that ever fit right, that didn’t get in the way somehow, was my own face.

Such a relief always, to get back to it at the end of the night.

I’m thankful for the chance to try on different faces. I’m even more thankful for the way my own skin fits.

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