February 27, 2015
“What do you want to be?” the face painter asks. “An owl,” I answer. She dips a triangular sponge in a small glass of water and drags it against a dry paint block. I feel nervous closing my eyes while a stranger stands in front of me. A paintbrush's thin tip marks wet ovals on my cheeks. A thicker brush glazes a cold V on my nose. The painter hands me a mirror. I'm wearing a mask: yellow around the eyes surrounded by brown feathers with horizontal black stripes. For the rest of the day it acts as my shield.