Friday, October 22, 2010

Hanshan Skipped Town

When I began wearing the mask, I stayed indoors to get used to the fit. Public mask adjustment is distracting. People are anxious enough.

Before long, the mask became my face. It gave me confidence -- not insane confidence, where I'd chase departing flights down a tarmac, but feelings of pride and security. It blended well with my wardrobe. The eyeholes were large enough for peripheral vision, but narrow enough to preserve the mystery. I got rid of my beard, because masks and facial hair simply don't mix. You look like you want it all. But when you commit to a mask, choices must be made. Basic mask balance. Some mask wearers never achieve it. They're usually the ones leaning against public buildings.

Most people accepted my mask. Sure, there was a transition period where they laughed and made cruel remarks. But you can only laugh at a masked man for so long, especially when he isn't laughing with you. No matter how absurd it looks, a mask eventually defines its space. That's when the laughter stops.

I own five identical masks and keep them in steady rotation. Cold water wash, then tumble dry for 10 minutes. Air drying helps slow the masks' wear and tear. I have a laundry mask as back up in case I must wash all the masks at once. But I rarely wear it. It feels cheap and obvious.

Will I wear my mask to the grave? I intend to. Though I prefer cremation, the thought of my masked corpse in a casket amuses me. Of course, I won't be able to stop those intent on pulling off my mask. That's a given. The real test is, which mourner will wear it?

Oprah recently confessed to inspecting her shit after each dump. It's reassuring to know that some religious figures give their flocks permission to explore themselves. Still, Oprah is too calculating to simply say this and move on. There's an angle here, but fuck me if I can see it. Oh, you're good Oprah. The best. I slowly applaud your genius. Finding a new marketing approach in your feces is perhaps your deftest move yet.

Oprah's admission made me imagine how other notables take craps. Think of Donald Trump straining, sweat moistening his comb over. LeBron James' power shits, enough to choke a mule team. Paris Hilton snorting blow off her forearm while launching blackened missiles. Sarkozy. Putin. Obama. Hillary! Celebrity dumps create their own music, pop tunes from pampered bowels. Paparazzi camp near sewer openings, hoping to get shots of famous shit. What's Lindsay been eating? Is Angelina's as elegant as her profile? Is stress causing Kardashian diarrhea?

Maybe that's Oprah's plan: creating demand for A-list turds. It's what we deserve and secretly desire. Shit happens, but only if you matter.