” I really hate masks. ” Melanie told her friend at lunch in the break room at work.
Her friend, Libby, was trying to open a bag of Cheesy Twists and she asked ” Why?”
Actually Libby wasn’t really listening to her friend. What she really focused on was to getting into the bag of Cheesy Twists which was a chore because the stupid bag wouldn’t tear open.
Libby loved Cheesy Twists, she loved to pop them into her mouth one by one and just let that cheesy goodness melt on her tongue. She could make a handful of Cheesy Twists last a half hour because of the way she ate them.
” I guess I hate them because they have that one expression- it’s like looking at the face of a corpse. I don’t care if it’s a scary mask or a cat mask or a feather mask. They bother me.”
Libby got up and went to the counter and started to look through the silverware drawer. She found a fork and stuck it into the bag and tore it open.
” That’s weird.” Libby mumbled as she looked at the previously indestructible bag.
” I know it’s weird.” Melanie said ” And what are the stores full of right now?”
Libby hoped they weren’t full of Cheesy Twist bags like the one in her hand.
” Halloween masks. They’re everywhere and they freak me out Libby. I mean, why do people need to hide behind those things? They’ re hot and smelly and if someone tried it on before you, well…”
” Ugh.” Libby said as she dropped a Cheesy Twist onto her tongue.
” Exactly. It’s to disgusting for words.”
The Cheesy Twist in Libby’s mouth was stale. It was as hard as a cough drop.
” What?” she said as she spat the Twist out into her hand.
” The way people hide behind masks. The way they’re willing to suffer to hide behind them.”
” Oh yeah.” Libby shook the little bag in her hand and dropped two fat, golden orange Cheesy Twists into the palm of her hand.
” I wonder why anyone bothers. I wonder why they just let their real faces show- I’ll bet they’d end up looking just like those horrible masks anyway”
Libby tilted her head back and shook the little bag into her mouth. “Mmmm.”
” I mean. Why pretend to be something you aren’t? Why not just be what you are? Doesn’t that make more sense?”
When the bag was empty Libby wadded up her empty Cheesy Twist bag into a ball and then she shot it into the garbage can.
She made her shot and hissed, ” yessss….”
Melanie looked over to her friend and she nearly cried in relief. “You don’t think I’m weird for hating those things. Right?”
Libby woke from her Cheesy Twist dream state and was able to focus on her friend’s pain filled face.
” No I don’t think you’re weird for hating Halloween masks Mel. And I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening to you at first. All I could think about was my snack. And you’re my friend. I’m a jerk Melanie. So look. If you hate masks so much…
Libby reached under both sides of her jaw with her hands,” I won’t wear this thing around you anymore.”