2 Characters, 1 Mask

In one of my writing groups, we recently did a 15 minute freewriting exercise based on the prompt: 2 Characters, 1 Mask (a real mask). Halfway through, we were asked to shift from writing about the literal mask to the figurative one. This was a prompt provided by playwright and teacher Alice Tuan. It was a lot of fun, and I offer it to you. Here’s what I came up with:

A is waiting for B. B walks in wearing a dramatic mask that covers her/his/their entire face.

A: Interesting.

B: I’m hiding.

A: From what?

B: From you.

A: I see you.

B: Do you?

A: What’s underneath?

B: You don’t know.

A: I saw you last night.

B: And?

A: Did you hurt yourself?

B: No.

A: Did you use a chemical peel?

B: No.

A: Then what are you hiding?

B: Myself, from you.

A: Why do you need to hide from me?

B: I don’t.

A: Then?

B: I choose to.

A: I want to see your face.

B: I want to see your brain.

A: What?

B: Why should I show you my face?

A: Because this is weird and not normal.

B: Well, what is normal?

A: I can’t work like this.

B: I can’t work like this.

A: I refuse.

B: Now you get it.

A: Get what?

B: Do you ever lie?

A: Everybody lies.

B: To me?

A: No. (Pause.) White lies maybe.

B: What’s an example.

A: Can’t think of one off the top of my head.

B: Go inside of it then.

A: Okay, I told you I loved to cook.

B: That one got blown pretty quick.

A: Yes, I fessed up.

B: You had to.

A: I’m an open book.

B: Only in cuneiform.

A: What is that?

B: Ancient scroll.

A: So you’re wearing a mask to prove that I’m a liar.

B: No, for fairness.

A: I hide the truth, so you hide your face?

B: Maybe it’ll make you listen.

A: I’m confused.

B: Embrace confusion. It helps.

A: With what?

B: Growth.

A: Please take off your mask.

B: You go first.

A: I’m not wearing one.

B: You are. You have many.

A: You’re speaking in tongues.

B: Take it off. Just one.

A: Fine.

B: Make it good.

A: I’m scared.

B: Of what?

A: Leaving you.

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