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