Auto-Portrait

inspired by this post written by Ms. Conchitina Cruz

In nursery, I wore to my birthday a red dress which I never saw again. In kindergarten, I once went home without an undergarment because I soiled it with my bowels. In the first grade, “constellation” was my favorite word. In the second grade, I literally threw off bills amounting to around 200 pesos in a random backyard. At seven, I religiously watched the lives of our next-door neighbours from our largest windows. Although I never had a friendly relationship with any of the kids of their household, I felt distraught with grief when they left a year and a half after. In the third grade, “twitched” replaced “constellation” in its prime spot. In the fourth grade, I kept a tally at the back of my English notebook the exam scores of those whom I thought stood a chance against me. At ten, I was pretty much convinced that I don’t have a shot at writing after my editorial on “TV violence and pornography” was met with a disapproving speech from my sister. In the fifth grade until the first few months of first year high school, I was dead set on becoming a journalist. In second year high school, I had a small talk with a pedicab driver who drastically altered my perspective on science. In third year high school, I lost two watches. In fourth year high school, I cried nightly for a span of three weeks after being inappropriately felt by a fellow FX passenger. I have something to say about each of my classmates in all the classes I’ve taken thus far in college. I believe that committing academic dishonesty in a quiz is more deplorable than cheating in a long exam. I like discovering pieces of paper inserted in between pages of books. When unsettled, I look at the lamppost right outside our house or stare at the sun until my eyes feel tingly. There is only one topic which I am particularly sensitive about. I would like to think I’m lawful neutral in my character alignment. I am still drinking milk for breakfast to this day. There are three manners by which I eat flavored chips. I never finished my first game on the PlayStation 2 despite having to play through the story twice. When I see a very thin sheet of water, I usually stop by to observe its slow disappearance. The overfilling of the next door neighbor’s water tank always lead me into thinking that there is an actual dribble of rain outside. I always notice where a thanks is due, and remember when it is not said where it should have been. But if given a choice, I prefer ‘salamat’ to ‘thank you’. When someone asks me for direction, I tend to be more verbose than when I engage in small talks with grownups. Thanks to the sharp corners of my desk, there is a constant bruise on my right leg. When I bathe, I sometimes pretend I’m sight-impaired or a Nobel laureate delivering an inspiring speech. Everytime I see a crack on a wall, I feel like I’m one step closer to death. Phone calls on our landline, on the other hand, are what I associate with other people’s death. I believe that respect based on seniority is a piece of nonsense—everyone should be treated with respect by default. I have a habit of scanning my room for any movement before I sleep. I’d rather feel hungry than full. I never forget the faces of individuals I am introduced to, and if I don’t greet these people, it’s because I think it would be too presumptuous. I always mutter at least one curse under my breath when commuting. My preferred mode of transport for the day depends on the level of thinking I would like to adopt. Even though it will cost me my night’s sleep, I have difficulty in holding myself back from reading disturbing Wikipedia articles. But it will take a lot of persuasion to convince me to watch a suspense or horror film—I’ve only watched one and some may even contest that it does not belong to that genre.