Life

Take a Breath

Something else about masks …

I promise I’ll shut up about masks …

maybe …

eventually …

We went to our neighboring city’s Wal-Mart last night, (we go grocery shopping every Friday night after we eat – it’s one of our “date” nights – I know, we are ANIMALS), and it was so nice to see nearly everyone without a mask. It seemed so normal! It was nice to see people’s faces again.

Then, today, I went to my local Wal-Mart to grab some chocolate, (don’t judge), some Wheat Thins, (I’m OBSESSED with them right now), and some darker foundation, (because it’s summer and I tan very easily), and nearly everyone was wearing a mask!

*cue sad, dramatic music*

SIGH

Kevin and I are having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we live in a liberal city. In fact, let me prove it:

Do you see that one white spot?

Yeah, that’s where we live and it’s the ONLY county in the ENTIRE state of Missouri that has NOT entirely lifted restrictions. Really? Really?!? What the actual hell? We’ve been in denial for a long time and it’s time for a reality check – we are surrounded by liberals. And the frustrating part, (among many), is that we had an opportunity to vote these mo-fos out of office but did we?? Nope. Why? Because most people are not paying attention to what’s going on around them and didn’t even bother to vote!

AARGH!

*deep breath* Anyway, Kevin and I refuse to wear a mask and people can just bite my butt because WE ARE OVER THIS PANDEMIC CRAP. It’s over. Accept it!

However, it got me thinking as to why people still choose to wear a mask and I’m betting the reasons go way beyond COVID. And this article caught my eye:

A number of women have come forth asserting they would prefer to keep wearing masks, even after the general public has discarded them, with some of the women offering explanations such as a mask functions as an “invisibility cloak” or acts “almost like taking away the male gaze.”

I found this fascinating. It never really occurred to me that people would WANT to continue wearing masks for reasons outside of COVID. But it makes sense to me. Masks hide your identity, they, in essence, make you invisible to people. Some of the reasons given in this article:

“I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable.’ It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”

I can definitely relate to this reason. There are days the last thing I want to do is smile at people, or put on my happy face. People are exhausting, especially when you work with the public. You have to pretend so much when you’re around people, the good and the bad, and it gets old having to pretend something you’re not all the time. It’s also a great way to disguise my expressions because sometimes, I listen to patients and it’s all I can do not to grimace or frown, or whatever, and wearing a mask helps to hide my true feelings. My face is very expressive, (so I’ve been told), and I have a MEAN resting bitch face, the mask is great for covering that up.

I’m not sure what this commenter is saying about the “man gaze.” Does she mean the look that men give you when they think you’re attractive? As a woman, I understand that look and I agree, I don’t necessarily like it, but I would rather endure that look than continue to wear a face diaper.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous. It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me.’”

I don’t know what being a New Yorker has to do with this comment but I agree, masks were a way to make you anonymous to the world. You blended in and in a lot ways, it did make you feel a bit invisible. I can relate to this sentiment because when I’m out in public, on my own time, doing my thing, I want to be left alone. I’m on a mission, to get what I need, or do what I need to do, and leave. Blending in was a perfect way for me to remain under the radar and not draw attention to myself.

“I just stare at that little box with my face in it and pick apart my appearance. My double chin seems six times larger, my eye bags are too deep of a purple, etc … Even when there’s a heatwave and my apartment is close to 90 degrees, I’ll wear a turtleneck that I can pull up. I pack on thick makeup that makes my skin peel. I 10,000% plan on wearing it for the foreseeable future. After a full work day of worrying and not being able to focus on my actual job, it just feels nice to blend in. Simply put, I’m sick of being perceived.”

This comment just makes me sad. I feel bad that people are so self-conscious about how they look that they would prefer to wear a face diaper than allow people to see them. I’m sorry some people feel this way, however, that’s even more of a reason to get out there and live your life instead of hiding from it. Take control, do something about those insecurities, whether that’s make different lifestyle choices or seek therapy – no one should want to wear a mask simply to hide physical imperfections.

I’ll never forget the first time we were FORCED to wear a mask. It was a trip to Wal-Mart shortly after this pandemic started and they wouldn’t allow you to come in without one. I was so furious the entire trip that by the time we got back out to our car, my heart rate was 160! I felt faint and JUST PISSED OFF. To me, wearing a mask is dehumanizing and humiliating. It does something to your psyche, at least, it did to mine, and I furious that they were taking my right to choose away from me. To me, I was being forced to abide by someone else’s fears. It dented my fierce sense of independence and I was resentful as hell.

(Still am).

I, for one, FULLY EMBRACE the fact that we’re doing away with masks. If you want to continue wearing one, go ahead, but I will not be participating any more.

I choose to breathe freely. Always.

Fiction Friday

It All Started With a Cough

“It started with a cough.

I don’t know where it came from but it was annoying, loud and croaky. I could control it at first, take a drink of water, suck on a throat lozenge, but I could feel it start to take hold in my lungs. It felt like a sea monster had a hold of my chest, it’s long, slimy tentacles wrapped around my body and slowly, slowly, squeezing the breath out of me.”

After about two days of this, my cough started to go away but I was having trouble taking a full breath and before long, I found myself panting like a dog just to try and fill my lungs and the simple act of walking across a room was too much and I had to sit down and recuperate before making another trek to the next room.”

I lost my sense of smell, taste, and I started feeling dizzy and disoriented, likely due to lack of oxygen. I had no idea what was happening to me but I’ve never experienced these types of symptoms before. I’m scared. I don’t know what sort of nasty cold this is but I feel different, I don’t feel myself. “

I know it sounds crazy, I feel crazy, but something, some darkness, is taking over my body. There are times I find myself doing something and not remembering how, or why, I’m doing it. There have been times I’ve been ACTIVELY trying to resist and yet, this darkness inside of me forces me to move my limbs and participate in simple activities against my will. My brain is screaming no, my body ignores me.”

That’s why I wanted to write this down. I don’t know where this is going, or why this is happening, but maybe someone will read this one day and learn from my experience. I know this sounds dramatic and I’ll probably laugh my fool head off when I read this back someday, but I feel like I’m dying. Not my body, my body doesn’t feel sick, but my mind, it’s slipping. I feel like I stepped off a cliff and I’m free falling, helplessly watching the world above me get smaller and smaller and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.”

Am I dying? I don’t want to die. I want to live! I want to graduate from college, travel, fall in love, have babies – is that too much to ask? Why is this happening to me? I feel like I’m writing a suicide note and if you’re reading this, I DON’T WANT TO DIE!”

I’m tired. I don’t want to write anymore. I want to sleep and I want to wake up and feel better. But I’m scared to sleep, what if I don’t wake up? Please God, let me wake up.”

Detective Gomez lowered the note and looked at the young girl on the bed. She was small and so very thin. He guessed the girl hadn’t felt much like eating at the end and if whatever sickness she had hadn’t kill her, malnutrition would have.

“How long has she been dead, Kingsley?” Gomez said, carefully placing the note in an evidence bag.

Doctor Kingsley paused in his activities and glanced up. “I would say, judging by the rigidity, about an hour. But I can’t be sure, I need to …” he continued to rummage in his bag. “Damn it, I forgot something in my van, I’ll be right back. Don’t touch anything.”

Gomez raised a brow and watched the man shuffle out of the room.

“An hour?” he mumbled to himself as he circled the girl’s body. She was laying in the center of the bed, her legs pulled up toward her belly, her arms over her head. Her long, dark hair was splayed around her. Her face was hidden.

“What did you die from? Talk to me,” he continued to mumble while studying the girl’s clothes. And why was there dried flowers, or weeds, whatever they were, he wasn’t a horticulturist, lying next to her. Did she inhale something that killed her?

She was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, like something you would wear under a blazer, definitely something you would wear to work, and shorts. Did she get home from work and kick off her skirt or pants and change into shorts? Maybe go outside and pick the weeds?

Her skin was smooth, young, flawless. She couldn’t have been more than mid-twenties. The soles of her feet were slightly dirty as if she had indeed just come from outside.

He clasped his hands behind his back and stared at her. “Talk to me, sweetheart,” he said quietly. He knew, if he stared at her body long enough, he would begin to pick up little things, little clues, as to what happened. He knew, from experience, that dead bodies spoke, you just had to pay attention.

Continue reading “It All Started With a Cough”
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I wonder when these so-called news media broadcast the daily COVID cases if people are not seeing those numbers as deaths, not cases? Is that why people are so freaked out by this virus? Because now that we know more about it and we have medications that have been proven effective in treating COVID, why the panic? You’re more likely to die from a meteor crashing to Earth than you are from dying from COVID – 99.9% recovery rate. Why does the media insist on keeping everyone fearful and in a state of panic? Listen for our thoughts on the latest madness ….

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Take us on the go! You can hear our podcasts on the following platforms:

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We upload a new podcast every Sunday. Thanks for listening!

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Take us on the go! You can hear our podcasts on the following platforms:

Anchor.fm

Spotify

Overcast

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We upload a new podcast every Sunday. Thanks for listening!