The thing about society is, no one knows who exactly to blame if something goes wrong. Yes. The beauty of our society is our ability to put up facades. If people greet us with smiles, we immediately judge them to be happy, never knowing the misery that lurks at the corner of a smile. When children are quiet and well behaved, we tend to praise the parents for their parenting skills; never questioning what evil the withdrawn child has witnessed. If people are well groomed, we judge them to be as well as their appearances. But the thing we disregard about society is, things are never the way we imagine them to be.

He looked particularly clean among the men that sat around him. Save a stain on his flawlessly white shirt, he was nothing short of purity in flesh. They conversed in low tones with grave expressions that marked the seriousness of their discussions. Seated at a round table in their stately attire, the men were nothing short of the Knights of the Round Table and him, Lancelot. They had been at this discussion for hours, each man presenting his case to the rest while all ears listened attentively except one. As for him, he had more pressing issues at hand.

As he stared blankly from one face to another, his own revealed tales he found riveting. He imagined the comforts of his own home. The bed that he had left unmade, with scrumptious company under the sheets. He imagined the loose curls his uninvited fingers would run through. The smooth flesh he would leave his mark on; leaving memoirs underneath his fingernails. He imagined the soft cries that would be muffled by the pillows. Yes, as he sat staring blankly at his company, he imagined things unknown to his company. Things, that told tales of the stain on his white shirt.

The gathering eventually ended with the men congratulating themselves for their success. As they shook hands and patted each other on the back, no one noticed the stain on his shirt. Or if they did, they chose not to question. Was it blood? Lipstick? Make-up? It seemed the men had better etiquette than to implore into their fellow’s activities. The men parted ways and headed different directions, leaving him staring after them. For a moment there, he stood and wondered what to do. Then on he walked, towards home, eager to devour his prey; knowing well that no one would question a stain on a seemingly gentlemen’s shirt.

Yes. Society is full of pretentions. We all wear masks to hide secrets. Secrets, that will devastate social norms if found out. But our masks are never limited to one. We wear masks to hide our pain. To hide our desires. We wear masks to hide stains. Stains of momentary lapses in judgment. Yes. Society as we know it, can be a twisted maze of pretention and lies, territory and power. To know your place within society is to know how to be safe.  



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