A smile as a Mask

I’ve grown quite adept at hiding behind a smiling, comical mask. I’ve gotten so good at it that it frightens me. Granted, there are times when this mask falls off and the weight of all the things that are bothering me comes crashing down. During these brief periods, close friends have told me how the veins on my forehead pop out and throb like angry, inflamed pythons. At times, my eyes turn red and turn me into a freak show.

People hide behind laughter all the time. In fact, the people who laugh the loudest in the room and appear to be full of good cheer might turn out to be some of the most miserable people around. The one thing I’ve come to realize is that no one really cares about your troubles. They have their own problems to deal with. I’d like to wallow and revel in the feelings of despair and hopelessness. But this life does not allow me (and you) to.

It is never easy to rise above the negative emotions that can suddenly put you down. I usually laugh when I feel bad. It seems so much better than crying about it. I use laughter and smiles as a defense mechanism. It might make me look like a clown, but it helps me to internalize the hurt and the cold loneliness that comes like a thief in the night. I feel the fear that comes over me when I have to face the dark, gloomy thoughts swirling around, looking for a weak spot to capitalize on. I counter this by making myself extremely busy, always doing one thing or the other, avoiding the simmering tensions beneath. But this is not a perfect defense. One can only be busy for so long.

I smile when I see her walking, writing, talking with others, smiling and laughing. I’m not sad about her anymore. Live and let live is the motto we must live by. Instead I gaze into the air, looking at nothing and everything, pondering the workings of the human heart. Thinking of how  a girl can make you lose all reason and logic. Thinking of how bittersweet it is to know what you could have together but not have it. I’d love to be immune to cupid’s arrow, but some part of me knows that if this were the case, life would be bland and boring. Not worth living.

As much as I smile and laugh to keep the sadness at bay, I do face it head on. There’s no other way to resolve the cold, clammy thoughts that will infect you. This world will not allow you to wallow in your grief and sadness. We must continually rise up, get hit by some deep sh*t, wipe our faces clean and continue. It is merciless, unrelenting and unyielding. From love to education, to money and all other things in life that we deeply desire, disappointment will follow us for most of the journey. Till we reach the top of the mountain and finally rest six feet under. Till then, I shall have a smile on my face.


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