A Chameleon of Identities


A metaphorical shot to the head.

I went to my usual grocery store to buy my groceries for the week.  In the midst of all the rows of cereal, canned food, and items for personal hygiene, I was taken outside of myself. I saw that my life has been defined like a product. It has a superficial skin to it. It has packaging that desperately cries out for people to notice it. See me. Pay attention to me. I need you to see me.

It’s pathetic.

I met this girl who loved to smoke Marlboro Reds. I’d see her in the designated smoking area in my university campus. And from afar, she looked perfect. A mix of controlled chaos contained in an orderly packaged human being. It was a black hole to my soul. I knew she’d be trouble. Yet, there I was, entertaining the thought of being friends with her. Started to smoke Reds because I knew she’d have gone through her pack by the time I get there. She would bum a cig from me and we would start talking. It only ended when I started to feel intimidated or when the bell for class rang.

She would possess this cool, uncaring aura that could destroy your ego. And it didn’t bother me at all. I could look at her forever and ask how the chaos of universe managed to conglomerate so many attractive features on a less-than-good personality. And I knew I shouldn’t like her. With every fiber of my being, I knew I shouldn’t like her.

Human beings are such improbable and irrational things.

I possess the insurmountable desire to change for the mere purpose of pleasing someone. I would think of ways to find out what they like and devise ways to convince myself that I like them too. It’s a problem that I am not willing to address.

A chameleon of identities of undefined proportions.

I finished buying my resources for the week. I approached the queue for paying. The grocery store had cigarette boxes lined up behind the check-out counter. Colors were utilized to differentiate each one of them, each of their characteristics, each of their strengths. “One pack, Reds.” Handed in the money for all the groceries, and went on my way home.

I met her on a beach. She was gorgeous. Around 5″6 to 5″7 in height, model-esque in every visual aspect, yet down-to-earth and funny. She left an impression of lightheartedness within me, which I realized I needed at that time. That image of her only lasted that trip. The longing for her remained with me for months.

I went out to places with her as we talked about more-than-the-average conversations. We would talk about happiness, sadness, dynamism and static, about reality and ideals. We talked about the future. And I knew I could see myself trapped within the words that guided our relationship, never free to be like how I was before. And that idea never seemed to bother me.

The movie felt horrible in a way that it was impossible to finish watching it in one sitting. But that movie pulled on the heartstrings, conducted how my heart should beat or how fast I should be breathing. It was a depressing movie. It was what she usually watched and she told me to give it a shot. I was watching the movie for her. And I was starting to love it.

I read on different things, political and socio-cultural topics that I never bothered to read before. I did it in the hopes that we could spend hours talking about it the next time we see each other. I was changing for her and somehow, I didn’t care. And somehow, the fact that I didn’t care stressed me out.

A metaphorical shot to the head. I craved for a smoke. But I didn’t have any. I scoured my cupboards, displaced every thing in every nook and cranny of my dormitory room. No cigarettes. No food or groceries even. Weird.

I went to school that day knowing that I’d see her again. We worked for the same school organization and it was weird. Her glance could tear your soul apart. Her frozen heart sent chills through my spine. Still, I looked forward to attending those organization meetings. Maybe I can break through to her and see how she really is.

It was a challenge that cannot be done in one day. Her disposition towards me was less than welcoming. She never laughed at my shallow musings nor did she ever smile when we were in our organization room. But sometimes, when she lets her guard down, she slips. She smiles for a little while, enough for me to catch a glimpse of it. It was one of the most glorious things I have ever seen in my life. That was a success for the day, even if it was a simple thing.

I went home remembering that I had a movie with me that my friend wanted me to watch. She told me it was heart wrenching, enough for it to be her new go-to movie whenever she was down. I walked home from school, knowing that I’d probably end up feeling sad or depressed because she’d never look at me the same way as I looked at her. And I’m going to be depressed after that movie and it’ll be all her fault.

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Picture was from a Tumblr Post I found years ago. I had failed to take note of who posted it.


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