Faces Underneath the Empty Skies

My Symphony: World Spins Madly On by The Weepies


It always fascinates me that people tend to act differently with different people. Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

This was a thought that crossed my mind when I was reading a message from a dear friend of mine this morning. Here’s what he wrote:

“Last night I was so lost, but there was this time [an] old acquaintance told me to accompany her and a friend. I did, and I was different. I made them laugh and I laughed with them. I was wittingly cynical ,jokingly sarcastic, and comically smart. And I had to leave. Back to being silent, serious and sad.”

Oddly enough, I get what he meant. Perhaps, in that moment, he was surprised by who he was or who he could potentially be. Maybe while he was laughing, cracking jokes, being silly and behaving like yet another goofy guy, he got confused as to who he really was.

This happens to me, too. A lot, actually. Especially here, every time I’m with friends and classmates. Or with strangers. I often feel like a part of my face is covered with a portion of a mask. This is not easy to admit, especially in a kind of world that worships glamour and doesn’t even tolerate honesty, but all of my wonders and curiosity about this “phenomenon”, if you would, has led me to say this: Sometimes, I stare at the mirror and see a stranger wearing my clothes. I feel nothing like myself. Well, at least not the kind of self I was so used to before; the self that I chose to believe was me. But I’ve come to realize that it’s always different. I’m not saying one is better than the other. It’s just that, I see this happen to everyone I know who’s close to me. And I see it happen even in society, amongst other groups of friends. It’s interesting, yes, but its also scary. Feeling and knowing that we’re different with different people? It makes me wonder which one of me is real.

In high school, I started to develop this thing – this sort of “obsession” with observation. I’ve never been so much of the Fashion Police, or the Grammar-Nazi-slash-braniac-know-it-all type, but I always get this high feeling upon watching kids at school interact with each other. I watch them small talk to each other, or hang out during fifteen-minute coffee breaks. I see smiles and embraces, I hear laughter and giggles. I hear conversation after conversation involving several personal deep, “dramatic” stuff. But what I don’t see, hear or feel is this: ease. Underneath those smiles, laughter and embraces, none of them seems to be completely at ease. I don’t know if it’s the excessive laughter or the excessive drama, but the overall loudness that is always present in schools is the one thing that makes me just wanna sit still and be quiet. And it’s a good thing sometimes. To just sit there and listen to the noise before you. I love silence. I think it says a lot.

So maybe that’s what it is– the loudness of it all. I am beginning to notice that the world never stops talking and laughing and raging anymore. So maybe that’s what it is– the absence of silence. Everywhere I look there’s a person standing, thinking to himself that he is obliged to be loud because those who aren’t are considered as weak, outcasts or shy (which is a word that is earning more and more derogatory connotations as our stay here on earth progresses).

If we could all just spend one day in silence, please? That would be my belated birthday wish.

All of us. Just being here on earth. Listening to our own breaths, and to the sound of animlas other than humans. For the first time in our lives, let us listen to the earth, to nature, to life.

Maybe then we’ll discover, no, REMEMBER… who we REALLY are.


P.S. My pet cat Dunkley has been listening to the sound of my laptop keyboard this entire time. Hmmm… *meow

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