When You've Got Nowhere To Turn, Turn On The Mask, originally published 12/1/2009
Now I'm profaning Truman Capote's diabolical quote, "When you've got nowhere to turn, turn on the gas." I prefer my more passive(-aggressive) adaptation. It's less immutable, but no less fatal to the Self.
I have a hard time with masks, meaning they won't stay on my face for more than the blink it takes me to have a contrary thought. I once worked for an attorney we'll call "Sir Knowsalot." He sought to help me by instructing me that I was "so smart I should be better at playing dumb." [Insert gigantic pause here.] Hmmmm. Yeah. 'Not sure if his eyebrows have grown back yet for the scathing look he was given for that remark.
He felt he was right to instruct me thusly. After all, his mask was hereditary, like the buckteeth or insanity often seen bestowed upon the privileged, or on royalty in particular. I guess by then, age 25 or so, I should have learned to never leave the house without a mask or the majority opinion well in mind, thus securing my place amongst the obscure. But something kicked within me, and it wasn't Sir Knowsalot's love child. It was rage at being told to play dead. It was my not-so-inner jackass that braced its feet and brayed "Kiss my hairy cruppers!!"
Twenty years later, I say aloud I don't wish to be obscure. The obscure turned on Capote's gas years ago, failed to light it and don't yet realize they're dead from the neck up. F--k obscurity and f--k the attorney who told me to play dumb.