Fault Lines

'Wake up, try on your new disguise. Would they recognise you anyway?'

We're all strangers, even to ourselves.

It's unnerving when this thought runs through my mind. We know people, yes, but we don't really know them. Masks are all we see. Everyone wears an imitation personality, a synthetic shadow that casts doubt in my eyes on who they really are. We all portray ourselves as someone better than we actually are, and like makeup our masks highlight our best features while subtly veiling those all too familiar blemishes. It's a facade we accept because no-one is exempt. All we can do is imagine those fronts as a reality. That, and trust.

Trust isn't real though. It's just an imaginary bargaining chip, a forced trade where the outcome isn't even confirmed to meet our expectations. We have a word for when it doesn't. It's called 'disappointment'. Why we rest so much hope on something so flimsy as trust, I'll never know. I guess those masks that people wear look real enough to be believed.

Maybe that's what love is, isn't it. How I cringe at some people's views on love. That it can be bought with money, with time, or with words. That it must be expressed everyday in the most public spaces available. That it needs no effort, that 'true love' just is how it is. To me, love is the chance to bring down the masks we've all grown so accustomed to wearing for others. When our shadows give way to what we really yearn for others to see. It's probably the only time when trust feels real.

Please, please, please, please forgive me for that cheesy monologue on love. I just had to say it, and when you talk about love it always sounds like a greeting card.


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