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Spires: Mask-erade

Spires: Mask-erade

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Only $5 for 5 months

So, I am wearing a mask when I’m out in the public. I’ve noticed something that is happening now that we are always behind a mask.

Let me start by saying what it has done to me.

I’m a gesture kind of a guy. I move my hands when I talk and until I started wearing a mask, I didn’t really pay much attention to my facial expression. I find myself smiling now when someone says something I find funny; however, they do not know that I’m smiling because most of my face is covered up.

Whomever I am talking to have no idea what is going on behind my mask.

I’m afraid we may eventually lose our ability to have facial expressions, especially if this mask-wearing goes on for a long time.

I am now conscious of the fact that folks cannot see what I look like (not always a bad thing) or any expressions that I might have.

People that know me still seem to recognize me; however, on several recent occasions I did not recognize someone that I have known most of my life.

We were in line at a fast food restaurant; they spoke to me, asking me questions about my family and our mutual friends. I was very perplexed at the time, because I could not figure out who they were, so I just kept talking and answering their questions.

After a five-minute conversation I was still unsure who I was talking to and kept listening for some sort of a hint as to who they might be. Had they not had the mask on, I’m sure I would have recognized them immediately.

As I tried to figure out who they were, I thought I was fairly sure at one point that I knew who it was. I didn’t say anything, in fear of being wrong. Probably a good thing since I would have embarrassed both of us.

Two minutes later, I decided it wasn’t that person.

Finally, I heard something in our conversation that helped me figure out who I had been talking with for the last five minutes. Thankfully, it was in the nick of time, as they were leaving, and I was next up for my order.

So, I have started trying to avoid folks I don’t recognize, another reason we need to get this pandemic over with and get back to shaking hands, hugging and especially recognizing our friends.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. Byron has been involved with local theatre having done over 50 musicals, a dozen stage plays and wrote and directed an original play “Splintered Judgement.” He is available for speaking engagements. You can contact him at

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