This month’s topic of masks really resonates with me. My first post related to the masks of writing under a pen name. This post will relate to the many masks of modern life.
We all wear masks, not to hide behind, but to cope with the demands we put ourselves through on a daily basis.
This has been a bad year for my cats. My eldest, Starlight, died in my arms on New Year’s Day. Fred hadn’t been quite right, but we thought he was in mourning. Cats do that. Just like humans. And Fred had been close to Star. In February, we took him to the vet who discovered he was in the terminal stages of kidney failure. His only hope, daily subcutaneous hydration and EPO injections (the stuff that disqualified Lance Armstrong) given every other day. Home Health Care mask firmly in place, I made sure Fred had what he needed. While that was going on, I had minor surgery. Patient mask enter, stage left.
Last week started as usual. Sunday was devoted to final edits of my newest book Death by Doubloons. Have you heard about those edits before? They do seem endless, but really, I am almost through and ready to send the baby off to the publisher. Wish me luck. That was my writer mask. Which manages to switch seamlessly with my wife/cook/housekeeper masks.
On Monday, Fred wanted to spend the day out walking. My husband took him out on his leash (see photo – he loved to walk on a leash) at least seven or eight times. I spent the day working at my day job and thinking we were making real progress and would have him for a while longer. That was my self-deception mask, but I didn’t know it then.
On Tuesday, Fred let us know that he was ready to leave us for the Rainbow Bridge and we took him to the vet. I can’t lie. I spent the day in tears. No matter how prepared you think you are you are never prepared enough. I was heartbroken, and it wasn’t a mask.
Wednesday, I had to work all day and then leave home to travel to Miami to spend two days working in the office there. My day job is paralegal, and spending the next two days in tears was not an option so I hid behind my cheerful professional mask. I am lucky to work with a great bunch of people. My co-workers knew of my loss, and they were sensitive to it.
Friday saw me leaving my office and making the two and a half hour drive home. Being tired to the bone was not a mask either.
Saturday was amazing. I took part in Beach Reads in Clearwater, Florida. The Clearwater Library hosted us. The day started bright and sunny, which was good since I had a three-hour drive ahead of me. Clearwater is a wonderful town. It’s celebrating its 100th anniversary and is very quaint. To celebrate the anniversary, the town has commissioned dolphin statues and they turn up everywhere. Best of all I was on a panel with Katheryn J. Bain, Susan Santangelo, and Wendy Dingwall. Three of the best mystery writers in Florida. The turnout was fantastic. It is always an honor to meet readers. We had a great time. Then it was off to drive home.
Sunday completed the week, but this time, I was too tired to put on my writer mask. Instead, I indulged in my laze about the house in jammies mask and took the time to recuperate from the emotional turmoil of the week.
How about you, readers. What masks do you wear?