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masks

THE MASQUERADE

THE MASQUERADE

It was late October – Halloween morning – and by 7:30 AM, I’d already seen four guys (including my Vice Principal) dressed as Superman.  The troopers from Reno 911 stopped by and I posed for a picture with them before they entered the Journalism class next door.  I caught a glimpse of a girl in the distance wearing a classic yellow raincoat and holding an open umbrella over her head with stuffed dogs and cats dangling off of it – she was the walking manifestation of it raining cats and dogs – while two bananas, twelve babies in pajamas clutching dolls and pacifiers, the entire cast of Scooby Doo and someone besides me who was also dressed like Cookie Monster rushed to get to class on time.  I was wearing a royal blue tutu the color of my favorite character’s fur.  I’d affixed chocolate chip cookie-shaped pins along the hem of the skirt and paired it all with a matching tank top, a little black sweater, and a sequined black belt to give the whole thing some definition. I completed the look with four-inch heels. The other Cookie Monster wore a plush onesie that zipped comfortably up the front.  Her costume had a hood with Cookie’s eyes affixed to it while I wore a headband topped with eyes of the same style.  That headband was squeezing my skull like a vice and giving me the closest thing I’d ever had to a migraine and it took maybe everything I had not to approach this stranger and persuade her to switch clothing with me right there in the middle of the hallway.  But head throbbing and foot clenching aside, I liked my costume. I’d gone way more elaborate with my costumes in the past. There were years I was up before the sun, applying the darkest eyeliner and the blackest lips I’ve ever walked out of the house wearing to look like a goth-y witch or a fallen fairy or something equally as ridiculous just so I could have an excuse to experiment with makeup.  Not all of my experiments went well.  Once I caught sight of myself in the rearview mirror and, for a sudden shocking second, I thought maybe someone wearing a statement ring on every single finger had punched me in my sleep.