Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.
The Silence in the Crowd
“I want my life to be ironic and full of metaphors.”
By: Russel King
The First Letter
The first book that really caught my interest and made me really eager to finish it until the very end was this book called ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D Salinger. The fact that I somehow relate into the main character’s emotion as the story of that novel goes on, I came up with the realization that, if I ever want to read it all over again after I finished it, I will. I love how it inspired me in a very mysterious way, you know what I mean. If you have already read that novel, and you somehow relate to Holden Caulfield, and how he finds his life so boring, and the people around him makes him sick.
Because of that book, I literally had an idea about writing something because, I want to create something similar into what that novel made me feel. I want to write something that, when I read it, I will came up with a concrete reflection about my life, and about how things just goes on because, it’s life, it’s not easy to live and it’s not hard either, you’re just stuck and have to deal with it.
This is a work of fiction, though, some events here were based on my real experiences as a teenager who is also stuck, tired of everybody’s existence. I also wanted to write this to express one of my thoughts regarding to mental health issues; that it is not a joke, that we all need to be more considerate of others. Not because you’re not struggling with it, it doesn’t mean that you can actually tell them that “It is alright” or whatever. Some of this people who struggle with such conditions doesn’t want to be ‘heard’ but, they want us to ‘listen’ to them. At first, I thought about the difference between those two, and I told myself that I don’t understand the difference and I can’t see any, and then, I also realized that I can’t find any similarities too. Maybe, just maybe, it’s because I feel fine, that I’m not suffering like these people. But, unfortunately, I became ‘one of them’, for a reason that only myself knows.
I wrote this because, I had my own struggles and the only way for me to ease my over thinking mind is by writing. It was hard at first but, I overcame it, though, I will never say that I’m totally fine now because, I believe that it will never be ‘fine’ now. I am damaged, scarred and all, but, the important thing for me is that, I’m trying to survive and I think that is the best thing I can do to heal myself every time I struggle in this never-ending loop of human life. It might be scary, to think that if you have mental-health issue, it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, when it attacks, you’ll just be in that moment, begging it to stop.
Today is Saturday and I decided to buy a new book. It was a fine day, and I thought that I’ll just walk under the sun until I reach the bookstore. I was walking for just about five minutes now until I realized that this is gonna be a long-long fucking walk for a very fucking bright day.
I was really bored- I am always bored. I don’t know why is that a usual thing for me now. Maybe because, I’m just growing up? Adolescence, I suppose. I woke up this morning, feeling good and all that stuff. I had a coffee and a good breakfast, I played mobile games with my friends and all that shit but, something happened that made me do some stupid walk-trip by myself.
I remember asking my best pal Jonathan- I call him Jon -to come with me as I do this tiring stuff but the bastard just laughed at me. He thought that I was insane. He told me by a chat, “Are you out of your mind? Walking under the heat of the sun in a Saturday? You got to be kidding me?” Fucking idiot, he did not believed what I just told him. I was serious about it and he thought that I was ‘out of my mind’. Well, yeah, maybe I was. Maybe, I was out of my goddamn mind for doing this but boy, I needed this walk and I will fucking walk until my feet can no longer take a single step. From what Jon said, I was much more eager now to finish this walk-trip, with or without him.
Oh boy,it was surely hot today, and the sun is too fucking bright for my eyes. Does the sun really shine as bright like this? Or I spent too much time inside my dark room, isolated from every shit that happens around me. No, I just realized that I was not really afar from what happens around me- I have my goddamn mobile phone. This fucking little thing called ‘mobile phones’, everyone is addicted by this devices. I think every individual have one, people even consider it as ‘one of the most important thing in life’, I agree though, but, I will also agree to the man who is willing not to use it or stop using it forever- I will kiss him on the lips or maybe, I’ll just marry that man -believe me, I surely will. I use my phone a lot, I won’t deny it. It’s the main source of information (real and some trash hoax) in the 21st century.
Anyways, I have my phone with me because, I needed music and I have two-hundred songs saved in my device. I played a song and pressed the shuffle button. I actually told myself some rules for this walk-trip- dumb ones. First is, I must never do something about the shuffled playlist, whatever the song is playing, I must listen to it and not to skip it. Second, I stopped by in a small mart and bought an energy drink because, I set up some checkpoints for me where I could only have a sip from that energy drink. Third, No cheating; I must follow those two rules that I made for myself because, It will be dumb for me not to follow these rules that I actually created.
Five songs has passed and I’m already sweating like all the water from my body was just coming out of a faucet. I grabbed my towel inside my bag and wiped my face, my torso, and my back. I also felt my skin burning like hell. I thought about using my umbrella to protect myself from the deadly sunlight. But, I just kept it inside my bag. That’s the only thing that I have right now; the baseball cap that I borrowed from my dad, my small bag (the kind of bag that you can just hang in your torso and look cool because that is the trend) with other five valuable things inside.
Then, I finally reached the street where a Mormon Chapel stood with its neatness and all that stuff. I took a picture of it and then send it to Jon. He immediately replied “I’m not in there. I’m at our house right now,” His mom always go in this street because they have relatives that live in that neighbourhood. That guy, he thought I send that photo to him because, I’m supposed to pick him up and ask him to join me in this walk-trip. That is when he was wrong. Maybe, he had that idea because, he always do this thing- annoying thing, where he will persuade you to come with him because, he wants to go somewhere and he’ll say, “Come on now pal! I’ll wait for you in front of your house. Just come with me! You don’t have a choice man, I’ll be at your house and pick you up.” He never succeeded though, because, I’ll always tell him to go bother someone else. I’m a tough introvert guy, you know?
Well, that street was one of my checkpoints so I took a little sip from my drink and just started walking again. I was kind of running out of breath at this moment. Boy, I really did some heavy smoking last night! So I did this thing that I do whenever I feel the consequence of smoking cigars- I close my fist and hit my chest with it and say ‘Hoo-Haa!’. I may be sound like a stupid fucking gorilla but, I remember seeing Matthew McConaughey did that in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street- well, kind of similar to that one. To be honesty, I don’t like to smoke or the idea of having a lung cancer and all the bullshit but, whenever there is one stick of a cigarette, I can’t help myself but to smoke some. I hate it, or maybe that’s just what I thought. Some people say that it will kill you soon or that your life span is reduced when you smoke, and some people say- especially my friends -that smoking helps you to be calm, to be somehow ‘at ease’, you know what I’m saying? If you ask me what side of this statements I believe, I must say both sides. Yes, smoking kills you, it’s true, but, have you ever considered why these people smoke? Let us ignore those people that smokes because they’re addicted to nicotine, let’s focus on those people who smoke because, they needed the feeling that one stick of a cigarette offers. Maybe, they had a bad day, a tough one, so they lit one stick to somehow not to think about it. You might think that my reason about smoking is ‘unethical’, I think that too, but, consideration in both side (smokers and non-smokers) could be a good idea- having ‘your’ life to be worried while also having fun is a good idea.
Finally, I reached Jon’s street, where he lives. I took a picture of one sign that says Carsadang Bago and send it to him. He replied with “Saturday is your ideal day to be stupid?”, I replied with “What time do you think I’ll reach the mall?” while still walking. I took a sip from my drink again while I wait for his respond. Then he finally said, “Four? Four. I’m sure ‘bout it pal. Anyway, what came into your mind that you’ve decided to do this all by yourself? Did your parents kicked you out or something?” I chuckled and began typing, “I asked you to come with me haven’t I? And you said no. And maybe, just maybe, I am alone. I’m just walking all by myself.” I took a photo of me and send it to him. The conversation somehow ended at that point.
Let me tell you something about good Old Jonathan. He’s my best pal in school, he truly is. He somehow annoys me but, that guy is a good man. He really is. I can’t remember how we became close but, we went through some shit together, him and I. We’re friends for almost four consecutive years now, boy, that is one hell of a ride. Truth be told, we’re actually different from each other. In what way? Well, Old Jon is a very sporty man. He plays basketball very good, he do know how to play volleyball- fuck it, he’s really good at physical activities and all that shit. The guy was also good at women, oh boy he is! When I first saw him, I thought that this guy is a gentleman… yeah, kind of. But then I saw his ways on women, and immediately doubted my first impression on him. He’s quite handsome, that’s why many girls in our school and from their neighbourhood was really attracted to him. Based from his stories, I think that Jon knows how to handle relationship. The problem with him is, he always have this weird infatuations with girls that he like. It annoys the hell out of me. I remember Old Jon having a crush with this girl in our school when we were still on senior-high, and the man, goodness-gracious, he’s madly in-love with her. But I ignored his weirdness because, I thought, we were only seventeen and it’s normal for us to have this strong feelings to an opposite sex and all that bullshit. He even asked me to write a poem for the girl and he decided to read it in front of her- the class and our Filipino teacher included -with matching music to be more… romantic, I guess? I kind of felt odd when I heard him reading the poem that I wrote. It almost felt like I was the guy who have feelings for this girl that I barely even know. I also remember telling Old Jonathan to court that girl but he just told me, “She doesn’t want to have an intimate relationship at the moment. I know her, she wants to focus on her study first.”
Anyway, the next year, we found out that she now have a relationship with a guy- ‘An intimate’ one. Boy,that crushed Jon’s heart. But I know him, he’s a real tough man. That’s where our differences makes an entrance. While Old Jonathan is a hunk and all that, here I am, an introvert-freak, a fragile person, I don’t even play any known sport. I suck at physical activities unlike Jon, but when it comes to academics, I can say that I’m- somehow -good at it (Not in mathematics though, not that stuff). We might have our differences but, we both believe that ‘No man is an island’. He’s good at doing while I’m good at thinking. Just imagine us doing a prank to our classmates and then laughing are asses of.
I’m starting to feel dizzy and hazed, and my knees felt like it’s going to fucking break in any moment now. So, I decided to sat down on one of the benches near Villa Esmeralda which is my current checkpoint. While taking a break, I took my time to observe the place. Suddenly, I just realized that I’ve been walking for almost thirty-minutes now and I was walking beside the road that I always take to go into school every single day since we moved in our new house. Well, a house that we rent actually. We once have a house that we can all our own. I was so young back then, when we were still living in this neighbourhood near the river. My parents had the money to actually build a house for our family. I was the only child back in those days. I was only four or five when we had that house. It was a simple one, a very simple one. My mom also had a small business and I always help her to go shopping for items to sell. We had a good life there, you know? Many Christmas’ have passed, New Year, Birthdays, and all the happy moments that I can barely remember these days. I had my whole childhood in that house, I even remember this very huge tree beside our house, a creepy one. I still remember some stuffs that my childhood friend- Antonette - and I do whenever our parents are doing some gossips in one particular house. Good Old Antonette, she’s the only friend I knew when I was young, and we played a lot, especially every afternoon, after we slept, we’ll go play tag, pretend-cooking, and all that childish stuffs. I almost thought that we will be best friends until we grew up but, she turned into something different when we became teenagers. She… She became one of those teens that the society considered as the ‘wild-ones’. It’s a bit corny but, that is what she is now. One of those cool and famous kids in high school. My childhood, those were the days that I wished that lasted a little bit longer. A house that we own, a best friend to play with, and more memories to come- fuck, I’m being sentimental right now. I’m so corny.
I thought about taking a picture of me and then send it to Jon while I rest, but then, a white van- those kind of long white van that can accumulate seventeen? I don’t know. Well, the problem is, it stopped just across the road, in front of me. It just stopped there and did nothing- or it was just ‘waiting’. Then, I remember that some shitty people use this kind of vehicle for kidnapping people even in broad daylight. I was startled by what I’ve just realized so, I started walking again. That shit scared the hell out of me. Boy! If I must tell you, there’s a lot of shitty things happens here in our country. Kidnapping people so they could sell their organs, that idea itself was terrifying. Just imagine when you were actually kidnapped?
I felt unsatisfied from my rest back in Villa Esmeralda so, I stopped in a school near at it and sat one one of those long thick-metal seats where parents wait for their kids after school. But today, there was only me and there were kids from far distance who is also sitting on the metal seats. They were far from me though, so, their noises won’t bother me that much.
If there’s one thing that is weird about me, it’s doubting about some stupid ideas. I was just thinking, ‘what if that van was actually one of those ‘van’ and I let myself be taken by whoever the fuck who will kidnap me?’ It might be fun isn’t it? Perhaps, escaping from those son of bitches could be a good challenge for me? Something new? Maybe, it’s something that I really want? See, this walk-trip was already a cheap thrills for me at the moment, and it felt really odd for me to crave more of these thrills in life. I hate how fucking bored I am- how bored my lifestyle is. I just hate it, I really do.
I started walking again and I walked passed those kids I was talking about a while ago. They were laughing about something, a joke, I guess, because, I noticed one of them was just smiling while the rest of them was laughing. Maybe, that smiling kid told a joke and the joke wasn’t that funny for him anymore because, he’s the one who made it and he told his friends about it and then they laughed. I somehow relate to that scene I’ve just saw, especially to that kid who wears a cheeky smile on his face. I see myself on him… I really do. I can say that, when I was at his age, I also have a cheerful circle of friends and I always make them laugh about some stupid jokes or some dumb thing I did. I remember being funny as a kid and how we’re just laughing from the most simplest thing in life. God knows how I wanted to have a seat with them and chat with them, laugh with them- I can really use a company at this moment. I just wished that Jon was with me now, or anyone, just to talk to while walking on this road that seems to be endless.
I reached the part of the road where it’s actually peaceful, with the trees and huge and quiet houses. It almost felt serene at the moment while a Hozier song played. I started to imagine myself being on a music video and all that corny ideas. The song was called Shrike and it was so beautiful and so calming. It have this sound of some folk-like tune that offers some calming vibes, and singer’s voice was deep and very manly and so pure. I cannot describe what is the song is really all about because this man, Hozier, is a great poet, he write words that is out of my vocabulary and he always he amazes me with the lyrics and compositions of his songs. The only thing is, this man is a little bit underrated which makes me so upset. He’s a great writer, his voice is very rare and pure, and his works are very meaningful yet, people still choose to listen with some songs about- I don’t know, trash? Yeah, trash. That is also the problem in our reality. It makes me puke when some people are known to be assholes and phonies, but look at them, they are much more appreciated than those who deserves it. It’s very unfortunate to realize that, those who deserve a recognition are the most humble and the most quiet ones, and the people who have the guts to lift themselves are boastful and cocky and… What I’m saying is, why are we like that? We chose to focus our attention to the people who knows nothing but to show-off while we just nod to those people that actually have something ‘real’ to offer. Why can’t we appreciate things fairly?
Oh boy, am I being weird again. Thoughts, opinions, rants, all the bullshit inside my head is nothing but unnecessary and bashful comments that will never be heard by anyone else but me. Another weird thing about me is, I talk to myself… a lot. I’m just lucky that no one has ever saw me do it because, damn, I might look like a psycho when I do that- and I sometimes realize it even though I’m alone. I’ll talk to myself, create some scenarios inside my head and then realize how insane I look whenever I do that. But, I know that I’m not the only one who does talk to themselves. They say it’s a way of somehow, increasing your self-confidence and all that psychological crap.
When I reached the Cathedral in Binakayan, I felt really fucking tired. Literally fucking tired, like I could collapse. The heat in the back of my neck was burning my skin like a steak on a grill. My sweat, goddamn it, my sweat was all over my body like I just dipped myself in a pool, and I was thirsty, so, so thirsty. Once again, I took a sip from my drink and shook my head. ‘I’m halfway there.’ I told myself. When I passed by the Cathedral, I did the ‘Sign of the Cross’ to show respect to our Creator. It’s funny though, before I went out of our house, I was thinking of, you know, remove all the faith that is left in me, yet here I am, asking Our Lord to give me strength because I thought that if ever a heat stroke kill me in this walk-trip, it’s fine, it’s absolutely fine but, now, I am afraid that my head will just explode because of all of the heat gathered inside of it and from that, I’ll die.
Luckily, I was still alive for walking under the blazing sun for about one hour and forty-minutes, enduring the pain that I feel in my knees and ankles, the heaviness of my skull in this heat, the thirst, and all that suffering. I thought about quitting, you know? But fuck, God really knows how to give His children some motivation. I had mine when I encounter an old man, a laborer. That man sells a ‘taho’ and he carry this two gallons of soft and wet tofu, one on each side of a thick bamboo that hangs on his shoulders. Imagine that, I fucking complain about this stupid thing that I wanted to do because, the weather is hot and I worry about me, reaching my destination, while this old man carry two gallons that worth the money that his family needed for everyday living. He doesn’t even have a destination, he’ll walk and walk and walk until what he sold every drop of that taho. I suffer because I wanted to, while that man suffers because he needed to. That shit really hit me hard in the core.
It was already three-o’clock when I sat down in one of the empty benches inside a small mart in Binakayan point. I thought that I can now remove my ankle from my toe for it feels really fucking sore, and the skin under my feet- good God, It almost feels like I stepped over a hundred sharp nails. I felt the literal exhaustion that I’ve never felt before, believe me.
Luckily, this mart have an air-conditioner so I felt at ease somehow. There were few people inside the mart; two young girls are sitting in one of the chairs, eating some huge Ice cream in a cone, there were also three person who is in line in the counter to pay whatever the fuck they bought. Beside my bench was a guy, at my age, I guess. We’re both wearing a cap, a short, a plain-colored shirt and a small bag. He may be waiting for someone or he just sat there to take a rest like me. I don’t know.
Then the glass door swung open and a girl- a cute one, entered the place. She’s also wearing a cap but she removed it when she was inside. Her hair was short and she have a fair skin and all that stuff that I like from a girl. Honestly, she’s kind of my type, and that sort of thing. Not so gorgeous, not so intimidating- she’s just, cute and average. She went into the the Beverage Section and disappeared from my sight. Anyway, I checked my wristwatch because, I told myself that I will rest for ten-minutes, and ten-minutes only. Also, the rules says that ‘No cheating.’ I also stopped the music playing because, I don’t want to waste song while I’m just sitting here and warming my ass.
‘Seven minutes’ has passed since I sat here and my legs won’t stop bouncing like it was bored or something. Then finally, the cute girl from before sat beside me but, on another bench. She now have this hotdog sandwich. Before she actually sat on the bench, we had an eye-contact. Oh boy, you don’t know how startled I was when our glances met for a second or two. She also said something about her sandwich being hot and all that. I grabbed one of my legs that won’t stop bouncing- I don’t want her to felt weird eating that sandwich while a nervous stranger sits near her. I really want to take a clear look on her face from our small distance from each other but, I can’t. I’m shy as hell whenever this kind of thing happens, especially when I’m all by myself, out in public. If Old Jonathan was here, boy, his sight will linger on this girl until she finishes eating her ‘hotdog sandwich’. He can do that, Old Jon, believe me, he can.
I wanted to stay a little bit longer, sitting there, so close on that cute girl. I could ask her name, have a chat with her, tell some of my corny jokes but, I can’t. I must proceed on my walk-trip. So, I went out of the mart, not giving her single glance even though I really want to take a look of her just one last time. It sucks you know. Maybe next time, or in the my next life, I will have the confidence I desire and go talk to her. Maybe next time.
Not so further from the mart, I now saw this girl, a gorgeous one or… how would Old Jon say it? Oh yeah, she’s hot as fuck, with all the curves from her body, long wavy hair, fair skin that actually looks soft, I almost thought that she was a model or something. She’s with someone, a woman, older than she is, I suppose. But, I guess, I was staring at her for too long that I forgot that I was now walking in a crowded road, almost near the highway so, it’s quite dangerous now- I almost got hit by a motor-bike, and my soul was startled when a honk from the speeding bike came from behind. I almost jumped- I almost die, actually. Luckily, I’m not that dumb yet to be killed in the road. Shit, that woman’s beauty wasn’t to be blames (because, I’m about to), I was spacing out because I saw a chick. That shit is so fucking dumb as hell of me.
Before anything else, let me tell you a story though. A story of a man who was enticed by another woman’s beauty. I remembered this story because, I felt so embarrassed about what just happened. Anyways, this man I was talking about was in a relationship, he’s happy and all that. But one night, when he was not with his partner, he got drunk, and high, and all that party bullshit. His friends introduced him to a girl who he thought was much more beautiful and better than his girlfriend. They were both drunk that night. They became intimate with each other, they kissed, they touched, and later that midnight, they ‘did’ it. Yes, that guy cheated. That jerk chose a one night stand instead of staying in his relationship. He apologized to his girlfriend afterwards but, he also said to her that he will stay with this another girl because this chick gave him what he wanted that night. But, a week later, the chick told the guy that it was just a one-night thing, there’s nothing special about it. The guy felt confused, why? He asked. He was making love with her that night, it was supposed to be special and all that bullshit but, for that chick, that was just a sex. The guy was so upset that he tried to reach out from her past-girlfriend because, he needed her comfort but, she ignored him. That is when the guy realized something, ‘always prefer the thing that gives you something that you need, that makes you feel longing for something real, and neglect those stupid things in life that will only give you a temporary feeling because, you might not know that this thing could destroy and could be the end of you.
Why am I embarrassed? Because, I chose to stare into a hot chick beside the road and almost get myself killed rather than admiring the cute girl inside the mart where no vehicle can hit me or kill me. Well, that’s what they say, ‘being a fool is the nature of men.’
Do you now imagine how long has I been walking? For me, I tried to ignore the time but, if you imagine it, that’s hell of a work, isn’t it? I kept walking and walking and walking for almost two hours without even realizing that I was now walking in much more wider and much more dangerous road, where buses and huge trucks blow their polluted smokes, small cars go speeding like they were on a race or something. I somehow see some people riding the bus, with their face-masks and all. It’s all because of the virus that is spreading right now. It’s all over the fucking news and media. It came overseas, China, to be exact.
I found this really stupid, to blame someone because of sickness but, humans are nuts when they think it’s fucking cute when you fucking sip a soup with a dead bat on it. I mean, how dumb does humans can be? A bat? In a soup? That shit cracks me up all the time but look at us now, panicking because of a plague that we also acquired by our own actions. Who is the one to blame? The Chinese? Fuck them, though. Right now, I don’t care about a fucking disease, humanity itself is a disease in this world and I’ve already accept that fact. I’m not even wearing a face-mask myself but, I bought a hand sanitizer so I can smell good after this long walk.
While I was walking the high-way, I met this man with his wife- beggars. They live in the corner of the road, where grasses grow as tall as a man. They look dirty but that’s now a question to be asked, they’re fucking beggars, for fuck’s sake. But, when I looked at them, I felt really depressed again. I thought about those people on the bus, wearing masks and all to be safe, rubbing alcohols on their skin to be cleaned and all that hygiene. What about these kind of people like them, the beggars? Don’t they have the rights to be safe from this disease too? Does the government only care about those people who can give them profit? The ones who live in a house, those who works to pay taxes, and all that shit that I don’t know yet? Remedy is for those who can afford it but, salvation, boy, salvation is for those who deserves it. That’s what I put inside my head when the man looked at me, directly into my eyes while he laid himself in a sack placed in the wet concrete ground. I convinced myself with some psychological shit to somehow reduce the depression I felt. I’m glad that it helped.
Finally, I reached my school. A place where I go to sit, yawn, and pretends to listen. I’m not a good student myself, believe me. But, when does a student can be called a ‘good student’? I always wonder about that. Are they a good student when they have good grades or when they have good morals? I once had this teacher, he’s a very good one, a professional but fun teacher but, he’s now on the military. He told us that he really wants to serve the military and become a soldier himself, so he somehow applied an authoritarian way of teaching which I found really effective in some matters. Honestly, he’s my most favourite teacher- no, person on that school when he was still working there. He doesn’t know a lot but he’s willing to learn. He’s not like the others who brags about their knowledge and think that they are much better person than others because I have ‘this’ or I know ‘this’ or I own ‘this’ or because, I am ‘this’. To tell you the truth, that place is just full of phonies, believe me, it does. Boy, I could get on any trouble right now but, that’s how life works- when you tell the truth, people will get mad at you. I won’t tell you, though, why I say that. I’ll just say that, I am an observant person and I see things clearly that anyone else, I have my own point of view about things and stuffs.
But, I’m still thankful because, that place introduced me to some people that taught me some life lessons rather than academically. There’s no such thing as good school or bad school, it’s with the people inside it, what they show you or what they makes you feel about things makes it good or bad. Besides, I’m still learning in my own way and they still provide us with their service because we’re paying them to do so. I might not have the position to tell all of this stuff because, am I a good student or a bad one? I mean, I always spend my time wisely. I go fooling around sometimes but, I when it’s time to review some lessons for a test or a quiz, I do work my ass of. I stay up late at night, writing my own reviewer and all that shit and voila! The test has come and I did my best to answer the questions with the information I memorized last night but, the cheaters always have the score higher than me. Ah, isn’t that great? Wasting your time, actually studying for the test when you can actually persuade those soft-hearted students to share their answers to you. I know some people and they annoy the hell out of me. They’ll be like- ‘share your answers with us and don’t be a jerk.’ It’s not my fault that they spend their time doing some other stuffs rather than studying. So whenever they persuade me, I’ll just smile at them and let them call me a selfish jerk, which I got used to. I tried to discipline myself with, If I’m going to fail on a test, I’ll fail because I forgot the answer, not because I didn’t know the answer. It’s very unethical though, how they got much more higher grades than what I got and then they’ll laugh at me because of that, It’s depressing and all but- Oh boy, I did not want to look like a fool like these kind of shitty people.
Not afar from our school, there’s this street where some of my close friends lives. One of them is Eve. Well, let me tell you something about good Old Eve. Well she’s one of my favourite friend ‘cause she’s not a party pooper, she’s always down for fun trips and she can actually accept sarcasm which is very rare here. Anyways, we both went to some small party last night where we drank liquor from three in the afternoon until evening. We were at a house of one of our friends and we all gathered there as a ‘squad’ and all that shitty-social stuff. But, I gotta enjoy those little moments because, to tell you frankly, this past few weeks was exhausting as hell. It was exam week and we also need to pass all of the required output for the semester and good-gracious, I was tired as a coal miner! And I needed that unwinding because, I must help my mind to wander off of something. Boy, the fucking pressure of being alive is such a burden for me, believe me, it is. Especially now that I’ve got some mental issues with myself. I don’t really know how people wreck their minds but, mine just broke and so, it adds the confusion with my anxiety and all sorts. At first, I thought that it was just a small deal, you know, like it’s just for a short period of time but, I was fucking wrong. I don’t want to speak about it- yet. It’s all depressing and I don’t want to stress out because of my stupid illness or whatever.
Anyway, speaking of Eve, I kind of forgot my wallet with her last night so, I decided to message her by a chat but, she’s not online so I did not bother to have a chat. Besides, I am so, so close of reaching the mall where the bookstore is. Then, I’ve got an idea. I wanted to invite her to hang around with me after I buy the book in the food court area inside the mall where two of our other friends always hang out. That’s a good idea because, good Old Eve is a fucking good listener. But, that will be awkward though. Just the two of us? Nah. I already typed the message for her but, I then deleted it. I just changed my mind. Maybe, we could hang out the next time? If there will be another one.
A miracle? I can’t feel the skin underneath my feet. It’s fucking numb. Oh my God. I see it. I see the mall- I can see the fucking mall! I’m not even tired and the sun wasn’t that bright anymore. I look into the almost-empty bottle of my energy drink with great joy. I can already feel the success flowing into my veins. I claimed it already, the small-sense of achievement! For other people, it might be just a ‘small-sense’ of achievement but for me, wow! It feels great to do this for fuck sake!
I walked a little more further, and little more, and more, and finally, I’m here, in front of the mall. Before I went inside, I, of course, wiped-dry all of my sweat- boy, how wet the back of my shirt is -and drank the last remaining drops of my drink. This is it. I am so close in the end and I must face it with… without fear.
You know what I love about bookstore, it’s every people inside of it is looking for something. They’re not just glancing, or admiring something like what other people normally do when they’re in a mall. They’re looking for a book to buy that express and define what they feel. There might be people who went here because someone told them to but, there’s a lot of them and then, there’s these people like me- A person who went into that place to have something to buy that links to what they feel at the moment. I think, it’s time for me to tell the truth, which is- I do not know what book to buy at this moment. I’m just walking around from shelf to shelf like a moron. I went into the classics, nothing that I liked and when I saw a book that somehow caught my attention, it’s six-hundred-fucking-pesos which is the double the price of my dough right now. I only have three-hundred-pesos, no more and no less, just that. I went into the modern-fictions, and I did not see something that I like. I’m just walking around circles now, which is depressing because, I’m starting to get sweaty, and that only means I’m panicking. Oh boy! I am such a fool. I am already panicking just because I can’t find a book. I walked for almost five-kilometer under the blazing sun to buy a book, and now, I don’t fucking know what fucking book to fucking buy! I’m such an idiot! I can’t believe myself. I should have decided what book to buy before I left the house.
It’s just… I wasn’t thinking straight when I left the house. It’s embarrassing. I’m getting tired of thinking what book to get so, I just grabbed the first entry of the Percy Jackson and went into the cashier to pay for it. It’s still quite embarrassing when I went into the cashier, all sweaty and hands shaking a little bit. The cashier-lady in front of me looked at me with confusion, mixed with a hint of pity. She looked at me with her concerned eyes so, I looked at her in the eyes and smiled at her- although, I felt a bit of sting on my lips when I smiled. She finally moved her gaze and did her job. After I gave her the payment, she gave me the book, wrapped in a brown paper bag, and then we both exchange smiles, and then I left. This is what I hate about having this sickness inside my head, it’s destroying me. I over-think every single thing which is now a serious issue for me now.
Now that I’m trembling and all, I decided to go into the food court myself. I went into the elevator because, my legs felt so weak after what happened in the bookstore. I stepped inside, smiling with the attendant inside the lift. After I went in, people started to come inside too, lot of them so, It’s now crowded here. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. It was quiet, always quiet when you’re in an elevator but, when I’m with Jonathan, he’ll start to laugh about something stupid that he certainly saw to one of the people inside with us, and he’ll look at me, trying to contain his laughter but, whenever I see his face, trying to fight his stupidity, I can’t help but to chuckle and so, he will too. So, people will start to look at us, annoyed, while we try our very best not to laugh at each other… But, now, I was searching for Jon’s stupid face, or Eve’s face with some toothy-grin on it, just to ease what I feel right now. The quietness, it’s… haunting. I felt a bit nauseous so, I shut my eyes but… I just saw her face, crying, so, I open my eyes again closed my fist as hard as I can… and then… the elevator’s bell rang, we arrived at the food court now. I pushed myself over these people in front of me, they might get mad, or they will look at me with their judging eyes, questioning ‘what’s with the rush?’ but, I don’t care, as long as I don’t look back at them or apologize, they won’t see my face.
I can’t believe that I’m in a mall where a lot of people will see me, will look at me, at my face… I just… I just wanted to buy a book, that’s all. I walked with a rushed pace into the comfort room, eyes on the floor. Luckily, I didn’t bumped into someone until I reach the comfort room. It was only me, and a guy who works for advertisement of one of some mobile-phone models in the store. He looked at me while I stood still, slightly annoyed because, I was expecting to be alone here but, who am I kidding? It’s a public place for fuck sake. I walked into one of the sinks and washed my hands. The guy looked at me. He noticed the heaviness of my breathing. I ignore his judgmental stares as I focus on cleaning my hands. I noticed that he’s wearing a face-mask like everyone else here in the mall. The news said that people should just stay at their homes because of the spreading virus and if you decide to go out, at least wear a mask. It also stated that do not go into public places especially malls- and boy, here I am, in a mall, not wearing a fucking mask.
The guy finally finished whatever he’s doing and left. Thank God no one is around with me anymore. I sighed, a tired one. I looked myself in the mirror… and then I see it, the bruise, in my face and a small cut on my lower-lip. I am foolish enough to punch myself in the face, but I think my foolishness wasn’t that enough that I decided to go into a public place like this. I never though about this; yeah, now that I bought a book, what’s next to it? I fulfilled the purpose of my walk-trip, now what? I should have make a plan at least.
I touched the bruise with my fingertip and felt a sting that startled my whole body. I looked at myself in the mirror again- God, how terrible my face look right now. I now decided to remove my cap and brush my dry and curly hair with my fingers. I wet my face and my hair… Oh boy, I almost cried while washing my face, I really did. I thought that I was going to burst into tears at the moment. Damn it! Why does this ever happened to me?
Do you know that there has been terrible things happened into this mall? I don’t but, I heard some stories about it; people jumping from the edge of the big circle in the middle of the mall. Oh yeah, it happened. I felt terrible about those people, I really do. It’s just… depressing when you try to think about it. Imagine that even in this kind of place, in a place where there’s a lot of people around, there will be some instances that a one person will jump off of that height and crush their skull in the ground- for what? Why did they do it? Why here? It’s odd, really odd but, I do love odd things, peculiar things and all sorts.
Speaking of peculiarity, you won’t believe me if I tell you about what I think when it comes to ‘our’ reality. Sometimes I hate my mind for being such an over-thinker but, I admire it most of the times. Why? Because, there’s a lot of shitty things happens in here- shitty but good ones. I spent most of my time in my room all by myself, all day. So, I had a lot of time for thinking. I had this theory of mine that this reality that we have right now is just a dream. That we’re all dead- wait, no, sleeping, rather. While we’re asleep, we’re dreaming this reality that we now live in. That when you die here, in this fake-reality, that’s when you wake up in the much more real world. Just like the matrix, you know? And, the government knows about this and some people there wants us to actually wake up and that their main platform is the media and entertainment… Ugh, shit, I am crazy as hell. I sound like a total idiot.
Anyway, I kinda felt little bit better now. No more shaking, no more heavy breathing and all, and finally, I am now sitting in one of the table-for-two here in the food-court. It’s so lively in here, people talking with other people, eating foods. There’s some gang of teenagers, some couples who looks like definite shits, the staffs here who looks tired as me, and there’s this one family- the only family that I saw in here, eating their food, laughing at each other, the Mom was feeding her little daughter, the father was telling something into one of his boys about… I don’t know, and the other child was just eating his food like a normal person while still listening to his Dad. Finally, a good picture to paint.
I looked at them from a distance, not so far from me but boy, was I jealous of them. They’re eating some fucking good-tasting food while I’m stuck here with my book, laying flatly in the table, behind my small bag. But, it’s fine. I gotta convinced myself that it’s fine. I love reading and a good story to read. But, of course, there’s nothing much better than to have a dinner with my family like that. We do that sometimes but… I don’t know, it’s different. Or maybe it is just me who kinda felt different when we eat together. February, April, May, August, and December, we always go out, my family, we go out to have some fun… My parents and my siblings do have some fun but, I was with them, and all I do is to look at them while they’re having fun, quiet as always. I hate it, you know? That trait of me, being quiet when I’m around with them.
“Do I really need to mess up everything?” I mumbled silently to myself. If I must say, I love them, my family, I really do, especially my Mom. It’s just… It’s just that I’m quiet, so, so quiet. I am so unlike my siblings who’s both outgoing and socially active, my parents too, they have so many friends and they always talk to each other with genuine closeness as friends. Then here I am, mouth always shut whenever I’m with them, silent as the cosmos.
Whenever I ask myself ‘why?’, I always end up with my past- my childhood. My mother is tough woman, indeed she is! One time, I remember that I cried my ass out when she ordered me to buy rice for dinner and the plastic bag just slipped into my hands and fell into the ground and damn it, the rice was all over the ground. It was night back then, and I’m all by myself, scared that my mom will find out. I started picking up, gathering all the the raw rice from the ground while tears just flowing down into my cheeks. I was so scared because, I know that my mom will be so, so mad at me at me that she’ll hit me with dad’s belt. While I was crying, kneeling in the ground, my aunt and her friend helped me to gather the rice and put it back into the plastic bag. My aunt hushed me and told me that If I won’t stop crying, my mom will hear me, and crying won’t get the work done so, I stopped crying and wiped all the tears in my face. I also remember when she tried to kick me out in the house, I forgot why she did it but, I was already outside our house (the one that I told you about earlier) with a plastic bag full of my clothes. I was crying, again, and I remember asking her where should I go, and then she looked at me, with guilt and just pulled me back again inside our house and hugged me. I was seven at that time, and I was scared of my mom, that she would leave a welt into my skin whenever she got mad at me, kids aren’t allowed to perfect at everything they do, you know? And my mom doesn’t know that before.
She’s always mad and upset back when I was kid. Maybe because of dad, oh boy, my dad can be one hell of a jerk sometime, especially when I’m still the only child. They always argue because my dad won’t stop doing stupid things! And so, that’s why my mom is always angry and grumpy, maybe that’s why she always try to beat me whenever I made a mistake and tell her I’m sorry. That’s all in the past now, I grew up like this, with her guidance and all. The thing that my mom does that I will never forget was not giving up on our family even though she had the chance. She loved a man who have cheated on her multiple times just for our family to workout. She never leave us even though I can see it on her, how tired she is.
There’s this one time, when I overheard her and dad had an argument and my dad made her cry and that was first time I ever heard my mom cried. I never saw nor hear her cry, never. That;s why, that night, when I heard her sobs, I promised to myself that if my dad make her cry again, I will punch him in the face as hard as I can. My dad never made her cry again, than God with that, so, I punched myself in the face as hard as I can five hours ago because…because I made my mother cry.
Lies. I’ve been lying to myself ever since I started walking five hours ago, after I left the house. I never really wanted to buy a book. I was scared, that’s why. I was scared of me… or whatever I was doing to myself. I tried to ask some help from some of my friends but, not directly telling them that I ‘need’ help and no one does ever responded or tried to ask why. I messaged Jon and he just thought that I was insane. I tried to ask this one girl who told me that she’ll be there whenever I need help but, she was busy hanging out with her friends so, I did not bother her anymore. So, I was walking alone, by myself, with my own thoughts, telling me to hurt myself because, I fucking deserve it. That… just proved to me what a fucking phonies they are. I can’t blame them though, we have our own lives to live and own lives to stress about.
I lied to myself that after I finish this walk-trip, everything will be fine. My mind will be back to normal but God… It won’t get out of my head… her face, my Mom’s face, tears running down on her cheeks, sobbing like a child, afraid of her own son… It’s like a nightmare, except that it was true.
I remember, earlier that day, everything was fine. I did my chores and all that stuff that needs to be done but, when she came home from the local market, she’ll be shooting me all of these endless complaints about the house and how imperfect the household chores was done- nothing is perfect for her or good enough for her, except her ‘pride’ I guess. The lioness of the house keeps roaring until she hit the spot where she spoke about me, slacking around with study, procrastinating, hanging out late with my friends, getting drunk and all, not knowing about my hellish week of reviewing lessons, answering tests, taking responsibilities on my outputs and all that shitty-fucking-non-sense stuffs. I got mad of course, just one day for me, a day for ignoring all the problems and I’m irresponsible piece of shit… and now, we’re both mad…. then we had an argument about her pride and how she hurt my ego and all that stuff… but… I wanted to tell her about me, about what I’m suffering right now… my anxiety, the sleepless nights, how I lose weight, how I can no longer taste my food, random panic attacks, trouble of breathing, and how tired I am with studying… But no, all I said to her- yelled to her… was, “Have you ever asked how I’ve been?! What I’m feeling right now?! Or what’s wrong with me?!” and then she asked me, holding back her tears, “Then tell me! What is your problem?”
I wanted to tell her…
I really do…
How tired I am…
How mentally unstable I was…
But I just sat there, and said nothing…
And then she started crying…
I thought about it. Why she cried. Maybe, because, she have realized it, that I failed her. I should have not raised my voice to her. I should have just… tell her that I’m sorry if I came home late that night, drunk. It’s my fucking problem. I always shut my mouth when I should have said something, and I always open it with vigorous voice whenever there’s an argument… and I always have an argument with my mom, and that was the time when she looked at me, waiting for my answers from her question, and did not get any words, but a face of his oldest child with tears flowing down on his cheeks. She cried because, I made her see not just my failure, but also hers. I can’t truly explain why she cried, but that’s not the point here. The point is, she cried, and she cried because of me. I can never forgive myself with what I’ve done. Never,
I ran into my room, hopped into my bed and buried myself in the pillow for them not to hear my cries. I wanted to scream as loud as my lungs can. I was pulling my hair so hard, and then there it was, my mind began to whisper to me. It told me how insignificant I am as a person, and that my existence is no longer need in this place… and then other thoughts flows into my mind like a river. I was tired about everything around me, that everything I do wasn’t good enough to achieve something good, that I’m surrounded by fucking phonies, and that my mind will kill me soon enough so, I tried to punch myself several times, I punched my cheek so hard, and my lips that it left a small cut in it. I tried to push my long fingernail into my wrist, I push so hard but it won’t penetrate my fucking skin, so I went into the bathroom and took a shower… then I started punching my face again… then the wall, I started punching the wall as hard as I can and at first hit, it landed in the flat wall and I felt nothing… I remember smiling while I’m doing this terrible things. I wanted to cry but, it wasn’t enough, so, I decided to tire myself out. If I walk under the sun, and worn myself out, will I die? Or I’ll die in any outdoor unfortunate circumstances?
I tried to cut my wrist that day, with a knife… but my little sister almost saw me. I also tried to overdose myself with pills but, we only have kid’s vitamins and vitamins for skincare…
I remember all of it now. Why I started this stupid walk-trip. Now, I know what to do.
The security guard was just walking around like a moron. Boy, the security here will be the death of me, I’m certain of that. I stood up and walk over into one of the attendant and borrowed her pen. I went back into my table and open the book and wrote something on the last page…
“Every life has its own meaning, and I want mine to be ironic and full of metaphors.”
You’ve heard all of my complaints in life, it’s dumb I know. You might think that I’m insane, go on then, just think of it, you may be right, you may be wrong, besides, it’s just thoughts. So, I open my bag, removed everything inside of it, a towel, my umbrella, hand-sanitizer, my empty wallet, and the knife I took with me from the kitchen. I told you, the security here will be the death of me.
I felt eyes judging me at the moment. Some people were confused, so… I took a deep breath and stabbed my stomach with the knife twice, simultaneously. I didn’t quite felt the first stab but there’s a sting, and the second one, Oh God the second one, I felt the blade in my flesh, and then I heard screams everywhere, women screams. I managed to look around and see if they’re still here, the family, but they were gone, and I am thankful that they are not here anymore, they won’t see me bled, and I’m happy for it… and then I started to shed tears… I started crying… oh boy, how wrecked my mind is, to do this thing. I was expecting someone who could just come over and try to help me but, when I looked around, they were just standing there, yelling ‘Help!’, no one dared to come over to remove the… this fucking knife in my belly. I finally saw the guard running towards me, so I did my best to pull the knife out… and stabbed myself into my neck… and then it was blurry… and then I was scared… and… and then it was silent, as always.
When I was just a kid, I would just sit in a chair in front of the TV and just watch cartoons whenever I am bored but, now, I’ll be sitting in a chair and could just stare blankly, do nothing at all but still, my mind is filled with a lot of things- good things, terrible things, naughty things and some fucked up ones. It just won’t stop. At some times, my mind will think about punching someone in the face, or jumping from a cliff or from the top of a building… or stab myself while in a public place- it’s either I kill someone or I kill myself.
I cannot imagine how fucked up my mind is right now. How damaged it is. I am totally losing it. After all what happened hours ago, I am truly scared of what I can do, to myself and to the people around me. I just sit here in silence of my own, staring blankly into nothing, people won’t stop moving around, talking with each other, munching their foods and all those stuffs. No worries, no sorrows, no pain to suffer, they’re just there, doing their businesses.
Boy, I am so upset right now, about the fact that it is so unfair- that this is unfair. Why does life suppose to be this hard for some people? Why is there suffering? Pain? Sorrow? Regrets? Why does it need to be part of our lives? Can we just live without those? These questions are not for me, nor for other people to answer. It’s just… It’s hard you know. It’s hard to accept that we live in a reality where you cannot be happy all the fucking time, there will always be some bad days- for fuck sake! Why?!
You must not cry…
You must fight it…
I told myself those words while I sit here but it didn’t work. To imagine that I am the only one who can uplift myself in this kind of situations, even though I needed someone to be with me right now is more sadder than Jack Dawson’s death in Titanic. I grabbed my towel and wiped my whole face with it, just to hide my tears and the emotion so that other people could not see that I’m crying like a little girl.
I wanted to kill myself, right here, at this very moment. I really do. But all I could do is imagine, just picturing myself with the knife on my grip and stabbing myself as hard as I can… that is all I could do for I am scared- damn it, I am scared. I could just do it right now, I have my knife hidden in my bag, wrapped under a thick cloth but, I didn’t. A part of me wanted to leave this screwed life of mine while the other wanted to stay because it was scared, afraid yet there is still something that I feel; a tiny hint of hope, here, somewhere inside of me… I just gotta look for it and when I find it, maybe… maybe I will grab it and hold onto it.
Yeah, maybe I’ll do that…
I am in a very dark place at that time and I also feel so far from others, like I’m in a very high place- a cliff, let’s just say that I was in a cliff and I have the opportunity to jump off and just kill myself but, like what I said, it is dark, yet I know that I am on a cliff, standing on its edge. I have the will to lift myself and toss my body willingly and just fall, ‘L Appel du Vide’ is the thing that came into my mind on that particular situation. It is also known as The Call of the Void in which you feel that jumping on a cliff is a good idea. In my situation, I could just easily stab and kill myself but, I was scared- scared of what I did not know yet. I was scared of the unknown. If I kill myself, what would happen? If I did not kill myself, what would I do? What happens next?
You see, I would love to jump on this cliff but, I should see what is underneath before I do. I cannot see clearly what lies below, that is why I decided to put my new book inside my bag, stood up, and began walking. I went home and decided not to kill myself, for I am coward, a foolish man who tried to defy his own belief and faith for himself.
Yes, I made a mistake…
Yes, I am sick…
Yes, I have mental problems…
Yes, I consider myself ‘insane’…
It is amazing how life could be a hell for some people sometimes, it’s just like that. I do not understand some things in this reality and I hate it but, you see, I am broken, and my perspective would be different from how it’s supposed to be. I walked for miles and miles that Saturday and almost killed myself but, I do understand some parts of it- one of them was life is not meant to be easy nor perfect, there will always be ups and downs included in it but, it is not for us to suffer or to be punished, it is because we need to learn and to know some part of ourselves that you haven’t been seen or discovered, without our sufferings, we will not see the true worth of our lives, we will not know how to live it or to cherish it. To know some of our own weaknesses can be one of our strengths in some point of our lives.
I know that I am a different person now. I have my own personal issues. I get anxious, depress, or feel like a complete psycho and I will never recover or be healed, I know that. There’s a wound inside my mind and it will never be fixed, not by anyone or anything but by myself. When I decided to go home- alive -I got into our house, knocked on the door three times like I always do and the door was opened for me and my mom asked me about what book I bought and I told her and went directly into my room. My little sister was a bit jealous and wanted to buy her own book too. My brother was fixated on is phone. I had my coffee and took a shower… and felt totally fine at that moment. I went home because it’s my choice… after all, you just gotta choose the cliff where you would want to jump and take a risk just to see what lies underneath, even if you do not see it at all.