Phantom’s Masquerade

Everyone who knows me knows I have a song for everything. Not necessarily does every person have a theme song, in my head, but many do. With this month’s NaBloPoMo prompt , “mask,” I’ve had masquerade songs on my mind. Today’s ear worm is “Masquerade” from “Phantom of the Opera.”

This particular song reminds me of the family’s last real vacation:  New York City, summer of 2011. We didn’t get a vacation this year because of — what else — Wizard. While we did lots of typically touristy things in New York, we focused our daily efforts and schedule around Broadway. The boys learned when the theaters were dark and when there were matinees. They learned when to line up for the TKTS booth in Times Square and how to read the board. They learned how to make small talk with total strangers, even in the midst of urban chaos — all useful life skills. “Phantom” was probably the second or third show we saw that week. I was prepared to love it again, but I was completely surprised at how much the boys reveled at “Phantom”:  the music, the sets, the costumes, that chandelier. Curiously enough, it was one of their two favorite Broadway musicals that week ; the other one was “Anything Goes,” starring Sutton Foster. While WineGuy, who quite prefers serious drama, was likely nauseated at all the musicals we saw that week, I was secretly delighted that my boys shared my love of musical theater. It was one good memory to carry me through the wasteland of this past summer.

The song’s lyrics really resonate with me right now:

Paper faces on parade
Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you
Masquerade! Every face a different shade
Masquerade! Look around, there’s another mask behind you
Masquerade! Burning glances, turning heads
Masquerade! Stop and stare at the sea of smiles around you
Masquerade! Grinning yellows, Spinning reds
Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you.

Because of the ugly reality of  life with Wizard, I feel like I walk around with a paper face, hiding the stark truth of our tumultuous existence. It’s a constant dance of remembering who knows what and how much, worrying about whom we’ll run into at the wrong time, and how we’ll explain ourselves. It’s enough to make my head spin. I’ve had my fill of Wizard’s spectacle. I need to lock him away in a dungeon somewhere.


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