The Mask Behind the Mask

The only thing certain about her is her unpredictability. She might appear in the middle of the night, as quiet as a cat, or arrive suddenly in a rainstorm with not a drop of water on her. She vanishes as unexpectedly as she appears. There’s nothing about her I understand, except that she is mischievous and she disdains clothing. Also, she refuses to speak.

I wonder what attracted her to the balcony. Sunlight and a warm wind from Africa blowing across the Mediterranean ? An echo of the bells that used to ring from the broken towers across the bay? She glances at me with customary amusement and holds up the mirror.

The Mask Behind the Mask – Watercolor – 9 x 11 inches.

Then I remember the only time she ever spoke, many years ago. I had asked her for her name. She came close and, unless I am mistaken, she whispered: “Names are nouns. I am a verb.”

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