From the age of consciousness, I have already regarded myself as a boy unlike any. Because of this extravagantly delusive assumption, I never got to hang out with other kids. I believed they were inferior to me. I didn’t like them but they were quite obliging, too obliging even. They hated me back and worse, they ostracized me in dealings of the class. Hence, I was never class president. But I didn’t care, my classmates couldn’t even pronounce salmon correctly.
I was not bullied but I was not welcome anywhere either. The boys seemed too brute and unpolished and the girls were too whiny and sensitive. I learned later on that they grew up fixated to those attributes. No, my aversion was not instantaneous. I tried, horribly, to ‘belong’ to a group. After each attempt, I ended up more frustrated, unable to comprehend the actuations of silly bipeds that hid behind trash bins and plant boxes. My attempt to mingle turned into a microcosm, later on to paracosm. Plant boxes began to be gateways to a sounder universe, umbrellas expanded into electromagnetic force fields that shielded humanity from raindrops, which could be slowed down at 5 droplets/cm2/min via my time-controlling watch.
I used to go home directly from my last class while the rest of the juvenile corps formed their gobbledygook assemblage. At least there was a best friend waiting for me at home, my mom. She knew almost everything about me except that I led a pretty god-forsaken elementary life. She didn’t know that I basically had no childhood. She knew I had misanthropic tendencies but still felt that I was doing just fine since I aced exams, won all the contests I joined in, and joined every contest I was qualified at. I used to be the “pambato,” the preferred bet. Mine was a familiar face to a bunch of competitive students in the province. I guess I have subconsciously projected frustrations to mankind to my aspiration. I just knew I never wanted to be part of the crowd or be that guy who applauds and cheers. At such a young age, I have already developed a strong aversion for mediocrity. I skipped breaks for visits to the library because I wanted to know more stuff than everybody else. I think I still have a vivid picture of book locations. I have brought this attitude with me year to year, school to school. The breadth of competitions I won expanded and the rivalries toughened.
By the time I was in junior high school my command of the English language was better than my professors’ and most of the students refrained talking to me in fear of epistaxis or just plain incomprehensibility. I had the fortitude to call them idiots upfront. I graduated on top of the class. My valedictory speech was both idealistic and pretentious but there was never a salute to the divine. I thought I was god. Seven years later I still do.
My years in the academe were no different, I was mentally superior and I felt intellectually invincible. I had classmates who didn’t know the difference between invisible and invincible, so there.
I drift back to these moments and realize how great and lonely I was at the same time. It was not until I left the university that the venom of lethargy has irreparably spread. Today, it just seems too late to live again. I am gradually decaying, not even just dead yet. But what can I do when I have brought this curse upon myself, to live greatly and darkly both at the same time? And the only consolation I get is the pronunciation of salmon.