Do you find yourself having awkward micro chats with strangers about masks? I mean, they don’t know if you have been injecting Formula 409 or having general organ rejection drama.

Does your mask–or lack of mask–define you? Perhaps it does nothing more than simply announce: I know which county I am in.

This reminds me of a digression, in which I know which story I am in. ARGH. I am just fine with the occasionally dangling preposition: sometimes they have no where to go to. Other times they are a silly last resort of someone writing a rhythmic verse in a hurry. Honestly, if you need one more word, why not just say, “Word!”

So back to the thread of masks and maskless chit chat with persnickety persons of no account whatsoever. If you would like the solution to your awkward encounters, just ask me! I am utterly confident that I can give you a better reply, although the grammar may be nothing to get excited about.

Here is a typical exchange:

As I enter the elevator, two younger women hang back as if they don’t see the shiny wall open for me. I hesitate, they hesitate. My assumption is that they don’t want to share my shiny box, but no, they ask me if they can come aboard. Of course they can and I hold the door. They leap into my shiny box, awkwardly. “We never know if we should share when people are wearing masks.” I notice then they are not wearing masks, while I am wearing the serious mask which makes me look like I am muzzled.

“Ah, I only wear my mask to be polite,” I say. They take a moment to nod and wonder if I am implying that they are not polite. “I’m doing you all a favor… because I am very ugly.”

They laugh with relief. I know I can seem a bit deranged — it’s very useful for comedy purposes. It also helps to have zero compunction about seeming ridiculous. Had I had the time and energy for mischief, I could have kept the whole thing going until they reached their destination, alternately looking offended and giggly.

Not many things are as easy to tip toward humor as vaguely uncomfortable stranger chats.

After that encounter, a man with a mask on his chin became very excited to tell me about a crime. He was a lot more concerned with the imaginary crime than he was with his actual crime of waving his face around in a mask-mandated location. Whatever. At this point, leaving a face exposed feels about as criminal as a bad wig. Choices. Make ’em!

If you struggle with
a sticky situation
leave word below. Word!


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