I have memories of cheap, black masks lying around the house. My dad would buy these Lone Ranger looking things, some 40 cents a pop, from the local drugstore. To him, they were as styling as a pair of sunglasses… I’m not sure if there’s any way to explain it. It just suited my dad. It made sense, that we had them.
“Your dad was a superhero?”
I answer instantly and honestly, “Yes.”
My mother was cleaning out cluttered places today, and tossed an old mask into the garbage pile. Dad stood outside the accumulation of Goodwill and trash, sorting anything he might want to hang onto. When I came walking by from my 3 mile jog, I noticed that Dad had discarded the old thing, as well…
I snatched it up out of the garbage bag and took a pair of scissors to it. First I sliced off the bottom part that covered the nose, and then I made the eyes larger. Dad walked in while I had it on and was playing a video game.
“Hey! Nice mask. I had one a lot like it…”
“Dad. This is the one.”
“…but today I threw – what?”
“I just cut it up a little.”
He stood there and beamed a huge smile, “I thought I’d put that on for the last time, today…” I imagined my father standing outside while sorting the junk, having put his mask on to say goodbye.
No, Dad. I didn’t want to see a part of you go.