Going Ghost, or the Perils of Being a Non-Presence

There are times when I enjoy working in the background, doing things on my own, and blending in with the crowd. I find that I get stuff done quickly without the distraction of small talk or just dealing with people in general. Of course, it can’t be helped that in most cases I need to work with a team, and I’m okay with that. I don’t even mind covering for people who are remiss in their duties or functions so long as I have an understanding of what I need to do, how to do them, and I have access to necessary tools to do whatever needs to be done.

That said, I still want to keep my face-to-face interactions with people as minimal as possible. I still prefer communicating through text or email, since I have some form of paper trail that I can go back on for whatever reason. Conversations over the phone has its benefits, but without any written proof it’s kind of difficult to back track unless these conversations were recorded. Also, with the written word, people are somehow compelled to read through the stuff you wrote before they respond. Not always though; there are some people who skim through haphazardly, then reply with a knee-jerk reaction. But at least it isn’t as bad as having difficult conversations that have people wanting to get their points across by interrupting others who also want to speak their minds.

erasing myself from the narrative

“I am watching it burn.”

Meanwhile, there’s something to be said about having a presence, something akin to relevance. It doesn’t bug me when I don’t want to be noticed because it will be on my own terms. What bugs me is when I choose to be noticed and nobody doesn’t, especially in the workplace. Apparently, the habit of ghosting has reached work. This is especially irritating when I’ve sent several emails already and my contact doesn’t respond for whatever reason within an acceptable time frame. I understand some queries may take time, and the timing of the response would depend on a bunch of different reasons. But come on! How hard is it to reply with a non-committal “this is noted” or something similar if you don’t have the answers yet? Is it really that difficult to say “we’ll get back to you” if you still need time to sort things out from your end?

Anyway.

It’s a different case when you get ghosted face-to-face. Like, when you’re treated as a non-presence. When people are deliberately ignoring you, doesn’t invite you to work-related gatherings. When they either forget you unless they need something from you. I guess this is one of the perils of choosing to blend into the wallpaper, to be unobstructive, when you become too non-conformist to office politics to the point that people are surprised when you pop out from their periphery.

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Why Hakai

Jpeg

Walking home: Seeing a spot of red among the greens.

So.

I’m aware that my brain is wired a little differently for as long as I can remember. Like, since I was 3 or 4 years old. Yes, I was already self-aware as early as that, but that’s not the point. My mom was always astounded by the fact that at that age I was more interested in newspapers and magazines instead of playing with conventional toys of that time. And whatever toys I had, they always ended up broken not from disuse but more of the need to find out how they worked. Case in point: I had a die-cast and plastic Voltes V robot when I was 6 or 7 that I unscrewed and broke down into pieces because I wanted to know how the five component vehicles “volted in” and why it didn’t look anything like what I saw on TV. Obviously, my parents weren’t too thrilled by it.

As I grew up, my curiosity moved on to other things but invariably stayed the same I think. Playtime with Lego wasn’t about building things but more of how to break them down and reassemble the same things but with different pieces. I learned sewing and carpentry partly because I was interested in why clothes get torn and why our old wooden furniture creaked so much. The simple act of lighting a candle captivated me because of how the wick in the middle consumed the wax as it slowly burned. In short, I was fasacinated by entropy even before I realized there was a word for the concept.

By the time I was 3rd year high school I’ve learned to be wary with what I say out loud. Apparently, some of my interests weren’t aligned with what the average high schooler was into at that time. Sure I also into “mundane” things, like going to the mall or some such, but it did not preoccupy my time as much as my schoolmates did. It was also around this time when my brain maintained at least two levels of thought. The first is what I personally call the surface level, or what I choose to show outwardly. These are the things I thought of that make me “blend in” with the rest of my schoolmates. The second layer is more like my internal train of thought, or inner monologue/dialogue that happens at the same time as the surface level. For example, I see a donut and I would say, “I’m hungry and I wanna buy that donut.” But my internal monologue would be something like, “I think I want to strip that donut of its buttercream icing, then soak it in alcohol and burn it on a pike.” Yes, I’m that sort of kid.

So yeah, I had a full-on Queen Elsa thing going on with the whole “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know” deal. Sometimes though, I let my inner layer become tangent with the surface level. Like when I window shop for kitchen knives, or watch horribly gory movies alone, or interact with customer service representatives. When I joke about not being able to do stuff is because it’s illegal, it is partly true. I remember a few years ago when one of my former officemates was concerned for my safety while commuting to work in the middle of the night, and I told her that I was actually more dangerous than the other passengers in the jeepney that I was in. She laughed because she thought it was a joke; I laughed because she had no idea.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Instead of commuting back to my new rented place after work, I chose to take the scenic route and walk home. As per usual, I was walking on the left side of the street, counter to the motor traffic, music blaring on my headphones. As I walked, I noticed a man on a bicycle coming towards me on the sidewalk. Instead of moving out of the way I just strode on ahead, meeting his eyes with my own blank stare. He left the sidewalk and proceeded to ride his bike on the road, which was good for him. By the time we crossed each other’s paths (me on the sidewalk and him on the road), I had already thought of more than half a dozen ways to end him. Some of them while on his bike, and some of them using his bike. A few minutes later, I came across an old discarded sheet of plywood. My brain went immediately to hacking, slashing, and basically turning the said plywood into bits of kindling. Meanwhile, to the rest of the world I was just another guy walking on the street, casually listening to his music.

This is a part of me that I have long since acknowledged and accepted. While I never profess to be a good person, I will never carry out these acts of destruction and violence. Not because of fear of repercussion but more out of respect for law and order. I am at peace with this side of me. This is partly the reason why I have chosen Hakai / ハカイ / 破壊 as part of my name. Destruction is a part of creation. One cannot exist without the other. Order and chaos. Darkness and light. Science and magick. Apathy and empathy.

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REJECTED DEBATE QUESTIONS

The Professional Heckler

THE NEXT presidential debate will take place in Cebu on March 20. Here are some suggested but #RejectedDebateQuestions.

1Debate
1: Kung mawawalan ng wallet ang isa sa inyong lima at isa rin sa inyo ang kumuha, sino ang una mong paghihinalaang nagnakaw nito?

2: Nagbulsa ka na ba kahit isang sentimo man lang mula sa kaban ng bayan? Kung oo, magkano? Kung hindi pa, kailan mo ito balak gawin, and why?

3: Sang-ayon ba kayo sa pahayag ni Manny Pacquiao na ang mga lesbian at bading na gumagawa ng “homosexual acts” ay “mas masahol pa sa hayop?” Demonstrate.

4: Kapag biglang tumirik ang siksikang MRT na iyong sinasakyan one rush hour Monday, do you expect us to believe you’ll take the MRT on a rush hour Monday? Bonus question: Saang station kaya titirik ang MRT? Cite statistics.

5: Matapos ideklarang unconstitutional ng Supreme Court ang ‘pork barrel,’ sino sa mga kakilala…

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Sunlight/Moonlight (or No, It’s Not What You Might Think)

So.

Nintendo just announced its latest offering in the Pokemon franchise.  It’s called Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon.  Here be the announcement video:

I’m sure I’m going to enjoy these versions as much as I enjoyed the earlier editions of the games (and in the cases of X/Y and Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby, still enjoying).  But right now, all I can think of in relation to all this is THIS:

Pokemon Sun – “Kapangyarihan ng Araw!

Pokemon Moon – “Sa Ngalan ng Buwan!

Yes. I know, my strong inclination for magical girls is showing.  But who cares anyway.

Fight like a girl, by all means!

EDIT:

Just spotted this over at Tumblr.  IT JUST GOT BETTER.

tumblr_o369hx9wro1qi2w19o1_1280tumblr_o369hx9wro1qi2w19o2_1280

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BURN!

The Professional Heckler

AVID SUPPORTERS and defenders of Manny Pacquiao scored the media for uploading a shorter version of his controversial “Masahol pa sa hayop” interview. The shorter version, they claim, made it appear that Pacquiao was completely ignorant and bigot – compared to the longer version which showed that Pacquiao was completely ignorant and bigot.

1Nike
Torched
Members of a Born Again Christian group in Cebu City torched a pile of Nike shoes in protest of Nike’s decision to drop Manny Pacquiao as endorser. When sought for reaction, Nike said, “We’re really busy right now. But we promise to ignore them some other time. Thank you.”

Reports say a pastor led the burning of a pile of Nike shoes in protest of Nike’s decision to sever ties with Manny Pacquiao. This latest development has saddened local Nike employees, LGBT groups, and Brian Poe Llamanzares.

1LynRillonINQ
Presidential Debate
The first presidential debate was held Sunday…

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BOO!

The Professional Heckler

1PDI
Booed
Last Sunday, Vice President Binay was reportedly booed after he was introduced by suspended Mayor Michael Rama at the formal opening of the Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu City. Binay almost stole the show.

Reports say the booing prompted the Vice President to just greet the crowd instead of delivering a prepared speech. His decision to cut it short got the loudest applause.

Platform
In September 2015, Vice President Binay met with Nationalist People’s Coalition leaders and presented his plans for his first 100 days. Last Monday, it was the turn of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte to talk about his platform. He met with NPC leaders and detailed his plans for the first 100 bodies.

1Interaksyon
Guia for Mar
San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, partner of former president and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has endorsed the presidential bid of Mar Roxas. The five other presidential candidates are not worried…

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My 2015 Year-End Review: A Playlist

Here’s looking back to my year that was, and hoping for the best for the coming year.


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