I would like to invite you all now to join me at a very peculiar party. All the other guests in attendance are wearing masks. You get the sense that such a thing is expected at this party. You feel the pressure to fit it in—to stand out. And yet . . . to not stand out at the same time. The desire to feel normally unique just like everyone else.
There are all manner of masks, and many have gathered about into groups—according to color, according to theme, according to size, etc. You sense a rivalry between these groups. You notice how rarely they exchange dance partners with each other.
Other. Because there are others here. They fail to notice that all alike wear masks. All alike play false rolls in the silence of the shadows.
*Cue creepy music*
They are staring at you like you are naked. You do not have on a mask. Different groups quickly offer you one of their own in an attempt to “save your dignity.”
As if your bare face were something to be ashamed of.
They call it a “covering.”
It is at that point that something rather curious happens.
*Cue party music with balloons*
With a loud, bleating “baaaaahh!,” the goat runs into the room with a pack of little goat friends, knocking people over. Masks fall off, and people freak—scrambling for their beloved face-covers.
It is at this point that you recognize a couple of your old friends—people quite dear to your heart. They are scattered across separate groups. You know that these people belong together. They are not meant to be as they are.
Everyone is suddenly united in one cause: catching the goat & company—and getting them under control. They must not be allowed to run about like that. It is too dangerous, too disruptive.
You decide you rather like the goat. It is a bit annoying and obnoxious to the ones who want to maintain the order and status quo, but it is cute and fuzzy and helping you see people as they truly are. It also nuzzles you affectionately and looks adoringly at your bare face.
And amidst all the “chaos,” people are starting to see each other’s again . . . despite their best efforts.
*Cue overly dramatic music*
To be continued . . .