Peer Pressure

I’m molding a mask for myself out of aluminum foil.

Peer Pressure
Photo by Oleg Cloes / Unsplash

by Bethany Jarmul

I’m molding a mask for myself out of aluminum foil. Reflective, crinkly, but the perfect fit—with a hole for my nose, my mouth, for two of my eyes. The third eye, the middle one—cursed to stare at silver, crinkled darkness both day and night. Of course, without that eye there are things I cannot see—yellow eighth notes dancing from the radio, the orange aura of rosemary chicken wafting from my tongue, the pink cloud that lingers after a mother’s hug.

I don’t miss them much—the colors of my life. I don’t miss them much, I swear, but they visit me in my dreams, echoing off the foil, bouncing in my brain. The colors falling from the sky. I open my mouth wide to catch their fruity sweetness on my tongue. Alas, my aluminum mouth hole will allow me to taste just one.

Bethany Jarmul is a writer, editor, and poet. Her work has appeared in more than 40 literary magazines and been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Spiritual Literature. She earned first place in Women On Writing's Q2 2022 essay contest. Bethany enjoys chai lattes, nature walks, and memoirs. She lives near Pittsburgh with her family. Connect with her at or on Twitter: @BethanyJarmul.