Thursday, January 7, 2010

In Syncopation

She looks like her name should be Katie.
Or Tatiana.
One or the other.
Nothing else... No name in between.
Something about her seems foreign or exotic.
Maybe it's the way she seems to soak in everyone's stares like it's common practice.
Everyday occurrence.
Just a normal Thursday night.

And I'm sure that it is.
I'm sure that she usually rides the L in a glitter face-painted mask on Thursday nights.
No big deal.

I mean, it looks like it took hours... at least.
Seriously, it's very well done.
So I'm not sure what to be more impressed by: her mask or her confidence.
Or the irony of the fact that she wears both so well.

And maybe that's why everyone is staring.
Not because it's hot pink and sparkly or because it creates such a confusing contrast between her khakis, but because none of the rest of us on the train are willing to wear our masks nearly as loud.
We've hidden ours so well that most times we don't even see them and forget that they're there.
But her display has reminded each of us of the things we try so hard to forget and we don't know whether to be appreciative, terrified, or confused.
So instead, we have all silently agreed to just stare and let that be the end of it.
We look at her as if she's the strange one when really, deep down, we are all burning for her courage.
For the ability to show each other our own masks that we have worked on so carefully for more than just hours, but years and years and years and then all at once remove them.
In syncopation.
As in a silent symphony of glitter and colour and fear.
And we smile, sincerely, maybe for the first time in our lives at each other, once strangers, now an odd kind of family formed in the second to last car on this train to who really even knows where.
And she smiles too.
Knowing that her job is done, her mission completed, her experiment finished.
The creation and removal.
The confusing and disarming.
The renewal of souls.

No comments: