A Carpenter’s song called “Masquerade” beguiles with the line
“Are we really happy with this lonely game we play? We’re lost in this Masquerade”
Pretending isn’t easy. Pretending to be something you’re not takes some practice. Actors have to use this tool, to be something they’re not, to help their watchers believe in everything they say and do, every action, every reaction.
I get that, I really do. But when you’re faced with something that you can’t quite put your finger on, because you know, deep down inside that the person opposite you is just pretending. And they’re pretending they don’t realise how every word, each movement, every blink of the eye speaks volumes. Pretence has become part and parcel of their lives; it’s the meat on the bone, the cherry on the cake. And it doesn’t seem to bother them at all.
When you see loved ones, dear ones pretend that everything’s “ok”, everything’s “fine”; when you see the pain it causes them to even talk normally about normal things, with a normal air and you know that every intonation makes them wince in pain, makes them gag, because they know that ain’t the truth.
Of course you try to help, guide questions, invent scenarios for them to be able to say “I need you to do something” and, even when they see what you’ve given them, they’re so sapped, so drained that, although they try, something inside them makes them pull back, attack, deflect the picture back to you, to try and make you not see through what you already know.
Pain reflected, injected, into every breath, without any let up, they’re penned up inside their own cage, enraged by their weakness, their meekness, their lack of strength to tell whatever it is to take a long walk off a short pier.
You look, try not to stare or glare but, with a look, a touch, make sure they know their glow has not gone out, that if they need to scream and shout, you are there; you’re not going anywhere.
But, for now, this moment, this second of connection brings an action of unconditional love into the emptiness of pain, the knowing that, once again, you’ll ease, you’ll not refrain from ever being there.