I covered his face with liquid Vaseline, passing my fingers over his tight skin and soft angles, bristles and nylon-covered eyes. He was lying on a table, so I could make his mask without much effort.
I damped plaster gauzes in water, and placed them gently on his face, tightening each one with my fingertips and adding water where the gauze wasn't smooth. The first layer covered his face from his high forehead over his high cheek bones, bony nose and sharp chin. The gauze opened little square pores, so I dripped water over it.
I felt the frame of his face, the ups and the downs underneath my finger, the growing anonymity of a man under a mask.
My fingers slid back and forth along the white lines of the plastered face. He could be a mummy, but I left him two holes for breathing.
The gauze solidified, pressing down, drying over each feature. His arms were crossed, as were his legs. He wasn't enjoying the process.
"You'll have to wait now," I told him through the four layers. "Don't smile, don't speak, don't change your position. Just be."
Then, I peeled off the mask, and wiped his eyes with a dry cloth. He rose slowly, like dreaming. I poured liquid plaster into the mold, as he stretched his arms and legs.
"Look now," I said. I had half a head in my hands.
He glanced at it, then at me, and put his hands to his face. "This is not me," he whispered. "This isn't me at all."