Jan 16th – She was nothing but common until she donned the mask

January 16th – She was nothing but common until she donned the mask


“Are you sure you want to live like common people,
You want to see whatever common people see,
You want to sleep with common people,
You want to sleep with common people,
Like me.”

                                Pulp, Common People

She was a strange one.

Everyone agreed on that point, at least. And she seemed to like it that way. No-one was really sure who she was, or where she came from, but what was clear was that she presented very different versions of herself to the world. Neither of which were who she really was, but that was her decision.

From day to day she was, as on the outside at least, what your grandmother would call common. (Because, let’s face it, no-one like a snob, and no-one uses common to describe anyone unless they are (a) your grandmother, or (b) a wanker. But for the purposes of this little meandering narrative we’ll go with your grandmother’s version.) A shellsuit, or something in velour. Slippers in the street. A cigarette on the go. Sustenance from Greggs. Mouth like a sewer (as your grandmother would probably say.)

A gin and tonic in the pub, or a pint of mild, or a Babycham if she felt like it. The fact that money was never an object, and that no-one had ever seen or heard of her working, was a clue that maybe she wasn’t everything that she seemed. Whatever the case, if she had happened to have passed your grandmother on the street, and your grandmother had noticed her, then the word common would probably have dropped from her lips. Your grandmother’s lips, that is.

So, if she was playing a game, she was playing it well. Hair scraped back into a brutal ponytail, eyebrows plucked and re-arched well above their intended landing zone, enough makeup to bury a horse, and gold hoop earrings that would tempt a seal. She looked the part, at least.

And then there were other days. The special days. The days when she donned The Mask.

She wouldn’t be seen for a few days. The air would crackle with anticipation. Something was going to happen.

And then, when you least expected it, she would appear. Gone was the shellsuit, or the velour. The ponytail didn’t pull her face up, if it was there at all. She would stand, confident, exuding class, an original VHS case of the 1994 classic The Mask (starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz) open on top of her head, fastened under her chin by a piece of gold elastic.

Sometimes she was naked under the VHS case, in which case she would be swiftly ushered away and wrapped in whatever surplus clothing or material was to hand. Sometimes she would be in a cocktail dress, or full military uniform, or a chef’s outfit, or once, famously, in a dinosaur costume with articulated tail.

Whatever the case, once the open original VHS case of the 1994 classic The Mask (starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz) was strapped to her head with a piece of gold elastic, even your grandmother would have been hard-pressed to call her common.


Inspired by a prompt from here

One thought on “Jan 16th – She was nothing but common until she donned the mask

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s