Honestly, right from the start I kind of liked all of this. As soon as I first put on a mask, I realized that I could pull any faces I wanted, and no-one would consider me ridiculous. So I pulled faces left, right and centre. I rode empty buses standing up: “Look mum no hands!” I used to love doing this as a child and now I can do it again, riding the bus as recklessly as Ben Hur, grimacing all I want.
I didn’t like the tight, latex glove as much, though. But I came to like the loose, transparent plastic ones – they make such a nice, rustling sound! In the shops, I rustled them all the time so I didn’t have to listen to what people were talking about. Oh, no complaints there. Rustling gloves and a distance of two metres – this was enough for me to almost stop paying attention to other people. Sometimes I could hear scraps of conversations, so I switched to online shopping so as not to disturb my positive outlook. But as soon as I bought this simple, yet magical item online, I was able to go out again. An invention to end all inventions: a visor!
To think I never knew such things existed! After all, it is one of the human mind’s greatest inventions. When you put your visor on, just say the word and that’s it. Normally – i.e. without a visor – if a word is spoken, it disappears, melts away. It ceases to exist. This is probably why people started writing. In the Middle Ages, it was the scribes who dealt with writing, while knights in their visors did not even think about letters and messing with ink. That’s because they had their visors. Because when you say a word while wearing a visor, the sound penetrates your entire body; the entire world! With such a word under one’s visor, one can run ahead without thinking about anything.
And once you pair the visor with a mask, the possibilities become limitless. Here’s an example. I am walking through a park and see some people talking. But before their words can reach me, I swap them for other words. The others may be saying: “It’s hard to bear it all” or “When will it end?” Meanwhile, I create my own dubbing for this exchange: “The birdsong is beautiful this year!” says one man, while the other responds: “Indeed! Have you read Coachinger’s latest column?” The mask hides the fact that I am speaking; the visor amplifies my words, directing them straight into my ears. And I go home happy. One doesn’t often meet their fans in the park.
Translated from the Polish by Joanna Figiel