Layers of Me–Life of a Mascot Character

Pikachu alone

“OH MY GOD, it’s Pikachu, how cute! Can I have a picture?”

“I’ve played Nintendo since I was a kid. Pikachu means so much to me!”

Petting, kisses, hugs, leaning.

People’s affection almost knocks me down.

Layers of fur, battery pack buckled into a vest to keep me inflated, leggings.

Seeing light-up sneakers through mesh circles covering the costume’s eyes, I crouch and move my hands inside padded holes to wave stubby arms. A toddler runs away.  

Inside, I’m mute, mostly blind and partially deaf.

Underneath, I marvel, in solitude, at how much excitement and joy appearing like this creates.