The Masquerade

The Masquerade

Shifting colours on display. All the grey hidden away. Masquerade—playing a part. Don’t be afraid to bare your heart. ~My younger self

Will people love me less if they know who I really am?

I hide behind so many facades
This is the masquerade
Do I even know what is truly me
Or is it hidden beneath layers of deception
And created personalities?

The mask falls off.

I try to contain myself but I burst out awkward
Laughter too loud, stories too long.
I feel obnoxious and want to stop—
But I can’t.
My tongue carried away by a train of sound
Brakes failing until the train grinds to a halt
Or crashes in an awkward disarray.

I feel your judgement.

When you whisper, do you whisper about me?
Probably not.
You talk about your weekend, the cute guy you met
But I can’t hear your words
So I project my self-judgement into your whispers
And with every glance and giggle I feel the scorn I cast upon myself.

The mask goes on.

I’m surrounded by a thousand Aphrodites
A thousand Adonises
Turned in my mind’s eye into a pack of wolves
Hungry for my confidence and dignity.

Every glance, word, and gesture analyzed—
Yours and mine
To build up my defenses
Hone my image and

Keep myself behind the mask.

I feel so awkward as I struggle to present myself as perfect.
I feel like an elephant
Like I’ve expanded to fill the entire room.
Every eye must be on me
I feel the stares prickle across my cheeks
A thousand flaming arrows.

Nothing is out of the ordinary to you
But I create a world where I am singled out for inspection.
Every misstep
Every imperfection
Every difference
Paraded by the unseeing eyes that I feel as lasers
Inspecting all my layers
Dissecting every fault.
My heart closes, a hidden vault.

This is not who I really am, but it is who I see.
I imagine myself a monster
Until I believe the lie.

If people saw me as I see myself, would they love me any less?

I do.


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