I always had the best masks when I was small because my uncle made them. At 16 he was obsessed with mold-making, magic, hypnotizing his niece and he made wonderful, scary ugly masks which was good, because at Hallow'een I could never be a fairy princess or snow white like Debbie Briggs.

My grandmother, after all, made me wear a snowsuit under my costume every year... even when it made me sweat.  So I was a monster by default. It just would have been more hideous if I had tried to be Athena, Goddess of wisdom and warriors (my first choice) over the padding.

Every year I was a monster with three rows of eyes... expensive wax grapes from the wax fruit bowl (who came up with that?). My uncle made the masks by pouring rubber on the plaster cast of poor Mr. Kennedy who died under mysterious circumstances in Dalewood Park.

Mrs. Kennedy made that cast. She sculpted and swore and smoked cigars and didn't have children in the 1920 (and the 1930s and the 1940s) and now her ghost haunts this house. It's weird.  Sometimes I think I see her hands on the bust, my uncle’s over top, unafraid, pouring the hot rubber placing the grapes making hideous facial angles made from foam.
“Do you want lots of hair on your face, Tracey?”

Oh sure, what the hell, Neil Williams will never kiss me anyway, I think to myself. Not with Debbie Briggs in that swirling skirt.

Every year the same kind of mask


Underneath, the snow suit.



Under that – Athena.