Welcome to The Masquerade Ball.
This is where you dance when the world in your mind is how you want to live, but you are not yet brave enough to make it real. This is where you circle and smile when you are already alone, but you’re still a couple.
This is the place where you walked in to what you thought was love, discovering too late that you were attending The Masquerade Ball.
Everyone wears costumes to cover up the ragged reality, but nobody wants to be the first to admit that something is terribly wrong at this party. The masks help conceal, as best they can, the Sorrow for the facade, and the Wild that wants freed. There is an aura of despair surrounding all those attending as they smile, and nod and bow to public perception.
As you dance by the others in the graceful manner of the top performer that you are, you see into the eyes of those spinning by in this parody of pleasantness. You see heart-break in one, despair in another, numbness and borderline insanity. Once in awhile you catch a glimpse of someone, and as your eyes meet, you see a wildfire burning and it frightens you.
Oh wait. That was you, spinning past the mirror of regret.
You have learned many painful lessons from this endless dance. You learned the hard way that a relationship is where your actions match your words, and if they do not, then what you have on your hands is a Lie.
Pull the costume around you and slap the mask on, because you can’t ruin the party for everyone just because you’re not having fun, right?
You dance on as you get pulled close, and then pushed away repeatedly. Your steps match only because you are watching and making it happen. This isn’t really a couple’s dance is it? Don’t they call this a solo?
The music has long since become a monotonous white noise you tolerate as you just try to get by. The band is loaded with friends and family that want you to keep dancing to the tune they’re playing so no unpleasantness disrupts this celebration of life together.
Occasionally you notice a few people at the terrace door leading into the forest beyond. Their masks are off, and they keep watching you as if waiting for something. They stand quietly while their former dance partners match up here and there without missing a step, because hell, this is a Masquerade Ball and it’s all pretense.
The band plays on, and the floor is crowded. The air gets warmer and starts to smother you behind your mask. Your partner stares at you blankly, even when you start dropping pieces of your costume along the way as he spins you around in an attempt to stop you.
First you quit saying what you should, then you quit doing what you’re supposed to and the band just plays louder. You drop what’s expected of you, quit doing the usual, and start to move to a music all your own that starts a chain of events where everyone stumbles as they try to dance on.
Chaos reigns as everyone comes to a stop and stares as you begin a fierce dance that has everyone backing away, fearful of being caught up in your unacceptable behavior. Every time you throw your arms wide and spin with abandon, another piece or two of the costume you came in flies off and skids across the floor.
The crowd gasps when they see who you really are.
You come to a stop suddenly, breathing hard in exhilaration, and the crowd falls silent. No one meets your eyes. You turn to the mirror and meet your own, raise your hands, pull your mask off, and toss it aside.
Then you meet your own eyes in the mirror again…and smile.