The Mask of the Red Breath

Kathmandu, Nepal

"No Timmy, I don't think there are any more Mickey Mouse or Lone Ranger masks left in the bin, like the other children are wearing, sorry. But quickly now, go over and get the last one left, and remember -- this is why it's important to ALWAYS GET TO CLASS ON TIME...."

I don't have any children, but I often think of fun ways that teachers or parents could teach them little lessons. I collect masks from around the world, many of which are quite macabre, but even I couldn't bring myself to buy this one. I did think about it though. I was carrying it around the temple marketplace, and looked down at my finger hooked through its smeary red mouth, like it was sucking on my knuckle, and thought... No. Best to leave this one here.

Now I wish I had purchased it, because I look back at this photo, and I now know exactly what this is, it’s the face of the one girl who's failing Geisha School, the girl who just can't cut it.

"I hate to give you another F in make-up class, Tina, but can you at least pinpoint on your face -- here in the mirror, just show me, maybe you can point to it -- where you suspect things might have went south for you? Just give it a guess, eh? Remember, there are no wrong answers..."


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