I would like to start with the story of a man howling behind his mask.
“The other day, while waiting for a subway train, I suddenly heard a soul-cracking howl. I looked around and there he was, a man in a winter hat, howling like a wolf, from behind a mask that covered most of his face, howling over and over from the bottom of his stomach.
He said nothing, asked nothing, was not violent, just stood still, bothered by whatever was on his mind, howling like a wolf behind his mask. After a while, someone else on the other side of the tracks howled in response.”
People would say things like, “Oh, it’s New York, what do you want?” And I thought about how that scene was a reflection of what we’ve become after three years of biological poisoning and mental abuse. Howl from behind the mask as we wait to be taken somewhere, that’s where we are right now.
Many years ago I married an abusive man. He was very cute at first, and then—gradually—then suddenly—he turned into an irrational lunatic who would mess with my head, behave physically violently, and then frantically apologize, yell red-faced, gas me and ignite me mad. then get violent again, then beg me not to tell anyone because they were so embarrassed, etc. etc.
Ironically, the marriage had a very handsome facade, good in-laws and all, and I was ashamed to tell the world what was behind the facade, or even to admit it to myself. I just steadily faded into a shadow of my former inquisitive self. I was afraid to do things like go to the store and buy a can of juice because I thought I would end up buying the “wrong kind”. I was only nominally alive.