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  • Daniel Francis

Behind the Masks

Halloween is tomorrow night. Children may or may not be trick-or-treating, depending on your local ordinances or parents' directives. Maybe it's me, but it seems as if people were more than artful in putting up decorations this year- and they started earlier than ever. Most of us are used to the macabre recreations of zombies, mummies and front yard cemeteries. I have to confess a particular appreciation for the more creative epitaphs, such as "I told you I was sick" or "Here lies an atheist all dressed up and no place to go" or my newest favorite "Don"t make me come up there!"


Where we shop for groceries, we know or at least recognize most of the employees. With their masks on, you can still see them smiling by the squint or gleam in their eyes. Similarly, when I talk to a customer representative by phone, I can hear their patience with me and joy when the issue is resolved (or the opposite!).


Once, when I was too old for trick-or-treating but still gluttonous for Goobers, I donned my younger sister's Casper the Friendly Ghost mask and went down the street. It didn't fool Mrs. Sheehan, but she still gave me some candy.


"Mask" comes from the word to cover up or fool; mascara is a related concept. No one can fool Covid and you can't ultimately cheat death, despite the masks we wear outside and the ones we sometimes wear on the inside.


But what we can do is look into the eyes, truly listen to the voices of both the people we love and those with whom we disagree. Yes, I say this as we face not only All Hallow's Eve but Election Eve. Stay tuned for a special message from Alice and me about November 3rd.



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