George had never been to this part of town. The buildings and open spaces seemed incongruous to the world he typically inhabited. George didn’t feel out of place rather he felt that the area was absorbing him, making him invisible. Feeling invisible was a common occurrence for George. George was never the brightest or fastest or most outgoing person growing up, neither was he the dullest, slowest or shyest either. George was normal.
Normality meant many things to George. Normality was safety. Normality for him was like being in the middle of the herd protected from the predators as the herd proceeded to the watering hole. Normality was an invisibility cloak. George considered himself an expert on normality. Everything George did from his house to his car to his shoes was carefully chosen to not stand out. Aside from his Dad, his mom had disappeared when he was too young to remember her, nobody could actually describe George well enough for a police artist to make a usable sketch. George just didn’t capture anyone’s attention in a way that they would want to remember him.
George slowed his car and turned into the entrance of the parking lot. The party was being held in a posh building at the entrance to the harbor. George assumed the building was some kind of yacht club as the invitation had only provided an address and no name for the building. A yacht club is a place he wouldn’t normally step foot into let alone drive from the suburbs to visit. He parked the car in the first available parking spot and shut the engine off. He looked at the invitation and re-read it for the 100th time to verify the requirement of wearing a mask. George wasn’t surprised about receiving the invitation to a party for the top internet personalities. George didn’t stick out in real life but on the internet, he was more than 6 sigma beyond the normal. George had a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram following that dwarfed most actors. Virtual George was quite visible.
George took to the internet at a young age. The cloak of anonymity that the internet provides its users was like a comfortable pair of shoes to George. Like a mirror image, the effort he put into anonymity in real life was reflected and flipped on the internet. George spent an enormous amount of time trying to be visible on the internet. He never used his true image, name or location and not a single one of his legions of followers could describe his physical appearance but many could provide inordinate detail about dozens of his meme’s or animated GIFs. When the party invitation had arrived in his in-box and he had performed the necessary authenticity verification, he was intrigued. The requirement of wearing a mask gave him the impetus to break out of his day to day routine and try something new, attending a real life party for high profile people. Looking down at his Guy Fawkes mask, a mask he was sure that would be quite prevalent at this type of party, he started feeling safe again. As soon as he put his mask on, he imagined he was back in the middle of the herd, protected from predators.
George got out of the car and locked the door. He double checked to make sure his mask was completely secure and he started walking to the door. There was a line at the entrance as the door man checked party goers invitations and welcomed them into the club. He smiled as he noticed the sign over the door entrance stating welcome to the Harbor Yacht Club. He was in line behind a person who didn’t have on a Guy Fawkes mask like 50% of the other attendees he had seen so far. He couldn’t quite make out the mask at first but the person turned around and he saw that she was wearing a Richard Nixon mask. George locked eyes with her. Her eyes were alive with excitement and interest but once they traversed up and down George, her eyes went dead much like how the real President Nixon’s eyes had been described. She turned around and forced her attention elsewhere. To most people, this act would evoke muttering and possibly a confrontation. To George, this was the best thing that had happened all day, his normality was confirmed. He was invisible. George smiled behind his mask. He just might enjoy the evening after all. It was his turn to verify his invitation and, after a moment, the doorman extended his arm towards the open doors and welcomed him to the party.