Who Is That Masked Woman?

They were in Hadley Joy Morris-Whitfield’s apartment on the third floor of Meadow Lakes Retirement Community.

Robinson Leary was poised behind the ironing board, iron in hand, brilliant patterned fabric flat on the board.

Marge Aaron was at the table, carefully folding hems in to what she hoped would turn out to be a face mask with a daisy pattern. The daisy pattern was safe. The outcome of the mask was what worried her.

Hadley was seated behind a sewing machine.

Mary Rose McGill was behind another sewing machine.

“I don’t mind getting old,” Robbie said as she pressed her fabric, “but my body is taking it badly.”

“I know,” Marge said. “I look in the mirror every morning and say, ‘Well, that can’t be accurate.’”

“I just miss the 90’s,” Mary Rose added. “That was when white bread was good for you and no one had ever heard of kale.”

They were making masks.

“We’re going to be wearing masks for awhile,” Hadley announced the day before. “Let’s go to Mangelsen’s, get some fabric and design our own.”

Mary Rose had her own sewing machine and she had borrowed a second from a friend on the second floor.

Mary Rose was an expert seamstress.

Hadley had trouble finding the needle.

“Marge,” Mary Rose said. “You have to make the hem rally tiny. Like this.” She flattened the daisies, rolled up a tiny hem, and it flew into shape beneath her needle. “And the elastic goes inside the side hem, not on the outside.”

In less than five minutes, the mask was done.

“I’m a cop,” Marge replied as way of an explanation.

“I think wine would help this situation,” Hadley suggested.