Silent Madness

I’m mad. Mad at the world. To be more specific – mad at people and how fucking mean they are to each other especially to those who live a quiet and peaceful life. I’ve been bullied my whole life and I know bullying when I see it. At first, I was frustrated of being told to speak up when I already am. There is nothing more frustrating that it waters your eyes than the world telling you to do something that you know you’re already doing. It’s as if nothing you do could ever be enough. It’s as if you’re broken and there’s nothing you do to fix yourself fixes you.

I stand by my beliefs. I am not broken. I am person who happen to have a different personality than the crowd that surrounds me. I am different and I know nothing is wrong about that. I am quiet and I enjoy being alone most of the time. There is nothing wrong about that. I never hurt anyone. What I know for sure is wrong is telling someone that there is something wrong about them just because he or she is different.

Being turned into something I’m not. Being pressured to fit into some type of personality that one boss prefers. Being treated as if I wanted to fit in but can’t when I would really rather be alone. It’s a nightmare. I do my job really well and I speak up when necessary. I joke with co-workers when I’m not too busy. I hang out with them after work occasionally. Somehow none of that is enough. It’s as if it’s a sin to have your own life outside of that circle or not fool around when you should really be working.

People have called me many things. Loner, anti-social, weird. I’ve heard it all before. Recently, I received a feedback from some of my colleagues that I lack communication skills and that I should talk more during meetings. First off, none of these people knew what the words they say mean and yet they have no problem writing it down on your annual review. All of the feedbacks I receive contain “excellent work”, “quality work”, “accurate” and it makes me wonder how one person can provide excellent and accurate work without communication skills. How do you raise issues or clarify something without talking or reaching out? I am confused about what communication skills they meant. More so, I am enraged by how easily they blurt out words that they do not fully understand. Words are weapons and I am very careful releasing them.

People depress me. Sure, not all people but this is one of those days when I feel judged and betrayed for being me. I feel angry but also empty, like nothing makes sense anymore. The more they pressure me to speak when I already am, the more I want to keep quiet. Nothing I say changes anything. No one listens and if they do, they judge or spread gossip about it. Or they simply ignore whatever you say because they are already fixated on their own ideas on how everything should be. Nothing matters anymore.

I still look forward to the day that they all realize that they are very wrong. I still have hope that one day, I will find myself in a place where I belong.

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Silent Madness

Nested Dreams

I’ve been dreaming a lot about an open door lately. As far as I can remember, it started a few months ago. The dream is simple and yet it feels like a nightmare. In the dream, I would wake, walk towards the living room, and find the door to the hallway open. There is nothing special on the other side of the door. All I can see is the hallway, the same view I see when I’m “not dreaming”. I live in a condominium unit on the 45th floor. Anyone can understand why an opened door can be alarming but compared to all my other dreams, this particular dream about an open door is the dullest and it occurred several times before. And yet it still terrifies me every single time it happens.

Last May 22, 2017 at around 4 AM in the morning, I “woke up”. I say I “woke up” because I’m not really sure anymore if I’m still dreaming. The seemingly endless set of dreams occurred to me again. This time, not a friend knocking on my door, but the same damn open door. As if it was not enough to have one set of this dream occur to me several times on different nights.

In the first set of the dream, I woke up in my bed and as I was about to walk outside the bedroom, I found the front door open. Strangers came in to attack. Surprised, I looked around me and there were a few people around me who I believe are my allies. I heard gunshots as I ran towards the balcony. The two groups were fighting each other. The first group was trying to attack me while the other group was trying to protect me. One of the attackers went as far as the door towards the balcony while one character was trying to shield me. The character, I believe, is a man and I do not know what he looks like. Cornered, I jumped off the balcony and tried to hold on to the rails at the bottom so the attacker would not see or harm me. The character who was protecting me shot the attacker while I look down, still holding on to the rails, seeing how far I would fall if I let go. The dream ends there and then I woke up.

In the second set of the dream, the first set was nothing but a dream. More realistic, I woke up alone in my dark room and noticed the shadow of an intruder. Again, the door was open. I recognized the intruder. She was a short lesbian with short hair and in an orange uniform. I went to the fast food chain to confront the manager about her crew. Surreal, she said, “She’s from the province. It’s her first time in the city and she thinks people living in condominiums are rich so she decided to rob them.” I do not recognize these people in real life. The dream ends and then I woke up.

In the third set of the dream, the second set was nothing but a dream. Even more realistic, I woke up alone in my dark room and the door was open. Still hung up on my second dream, I panicked and ran into the hallway. I screamed and went back to my unit. I looked around to see if anything was missing. Nothing was missing. The room felt bigger instead. Confused, I tried to wake myself up and confirm that I’m only dreaming. I sat down on the floor hugging my legs with my head buried between my knees and clenched my fists as hard as I can. The dream ends and then I woke up.

If I’m awake now, I can never tell.

Nested Dreams

Can People Really Think Outside the Box?

I see people as no different from computers. They have varying physical appearances, parts, and source code. As a software engineer, I know that when a computer behaves in an unexpected manner, it is usually for a reason. Sometimes, due to hardware malfunction or invalid user input but most of the time, it’s the developer’s fault. Most of the time, the error is very easy to trace. Other times, you are presented with long lines of nested errors. And under the many reasons leading up to the error, you have to hunt down the source. I must say that computers are not unpredictable at all if you know how to read them. And to read them is to have access to their source code and study the language they speak.

People are very predictable in the same way computers are. But people do not give away their source code so you have to hack them in some way. The reason why we think that unlike computers, people are impossible to read is because most of us are not inclined to noticing small details especially about other people. We notice if the person is male or female, attractive or unattractive, short or tall. We notice what they wear, what they carry, are they sitting or standing? Do they look sad, happy, angry? Are they walking slow or running fast? And other basic observations that we need in order to survive. The rest of the information are given away through talking and most of the time, people will only tell want they want other people to know.

And then there’s the subtle hint. Imagine interacting with a robot that follows the same pattern every hour of the day and then something outside that pattern occurs. For a moment, it seems like the robot is human and it sparks your interest. Same goes with people, people follow a certain behavior and as much as they want to believe that they are unpredictable, they always follow some sort of pattern.

We don’t really have much options. Every decision we make is just one of the options already presented before us. We can only think what we are allowed to think. I’m not talking about society and playing by its rules. I’m talking about our brains and how we’re programmed to be. We can never see beyond three dimensions no matter how hard we try. We invented religions to find excuses on what we cannot understand. Every time we question how an object existed, it all boils down to “God made it” or “I don’t know”. Who created God? Who created the universe? Who created the laws of physics?

We believe that everything has a beginning and an end because that’s our mind’s limit, that’s the way that the environment we lived in works, and that’s the reality for us. When we dive deeper into the root of all things, our guts explode into nothing. The thought that some things simply exist without being created or born is easy to consider but hard to imagine. Which brings me to my question, “Can we really think outside the box?” And what the hell is this box? Our we trapped inside the box to be protected from great concepts that could kill us?

I imagine the box as, well, a box. Inside, it is peaceful despite all the petty violence that humans call “chaos”. But these humans have never been outside that box. Their chaos is nothing compared to the chaos outside the box. If you were to ask an observer, that observer would say that our little box is peaceful. It is peaceful because no one is really free, everyone follows the same rule, and everything is born and dies. Humans are perfect, not compared to everything else in space. Humans are perfect humans. It’s our limitations that make us perfect.

Can People Really Think Outside the Box?

Undone

I never finish anything I do. I wanted to change that but couldn’t. I never say goodbye, I disappear. There’s something about giving closure to things and people that I just find very hard to do. Maybe I’m afraid of the emotion that comes with it. After all I’ve been through, I just couldn’t afford any more surge of emotions. And even if I try, I don’t know how else to respond to them but with despair and anger. Maybe I simply don’t want to make a decision because I know that every move I make opens up several paths to different destinations and I simply do not want to make another choice especially if it leads to the end. My mind is very tired. I don’t know how to make it stop thinking.

I played a lot of video games and I liked the adventure ones that has long story lines but I never finish them on purpose. If I had a hint that I’m about to reach the final boss or the final quest, I stop playing. There was a time when I accidentally finished a game because I didn’t know I was already up to the final boss. The game ended and I cried. I felt helpless thinking that I had no choice. Now all the characters are gone. I wanted them to exist for as long as I live but they are gone. I thought the same for people. I thought that if I just leave, they will stay the same way as when I left them.

A part of me wants to move on, sometimes she takes over. Another part of me wants to burn the bridges, most of the time she takes over. I find myself on the same ground, somewhere at the center, all bridges leading to me are burning. For a moment, I find peace. I’m unreachable. No one can touch me. I can be alone forever. But do I really want to be alone? I don’t know. It gets lonely sometimes. I like being alone but I crave for another warm body every now and then. This is just the way people are programmed and I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is no way to beat the developer when you are the machine.

People compare my disappearances to bubbles. They say I’m untraceable because I change my number, delete my social media accounts, and move to a different office or city. It doesn’t matter who you are to me, I will disappear anyway. When all I need is a break, I will go back but if you caused me too much pain and I know nothing can be fixed, you’ll never hear from me again. It all boils down to the choice I make and I make no regrets. I taught myself a long time ago to never regret anything, to disappear only when you’ve become detached, and to never take people for granted as you stay.

I want to immortalize ideas and people. If the world will end, I want it to end while I’m asleep. I don’t want to remember that any of these have ever happened.

Undone

Fragility and the Power of Suggestion

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Each time I go to the bathroom, I expect to walk into my bedroom and find myself sleeping on the bed. Not “myself” myself but a different me that’s still me. I always thought that time, aside from being the temporal dimension, is a very fragile and unforgiving one. Almost every story we hear and every movie we watch involves messing with time, turning back time, or going forward in time. People have always fantasized about time machines so they could go back in time to fix something or go forward into the future to discover something but hardly anyone dreams about living two timelines at once that are only a few minutes apart.

Sometimes you have those innocent and perfectly human moments where you have to use the bathroom but you are too sleepy to get up. Sometimes, you get up and sometimes, you sleep it off. When I wake up, I split these two realities in my head. Two, because it’s more simple to imagine. In the first reality, I get up and go to the bathroom and in the second reality, I sleep it off. Let’s invent a rule that there’s a certain hour, minute, second, and millisecond that no human is supposed to wake up but for some reason and I did. It causes a glitch where the two realities cohere. The other me got up and went to the bathroom while the other me decides to close her eyes and sleep again.

As soon as I get up, I wouldn’t notice that my reality has split into two. I would walk towards the bathroom, do my business, and walk back to the bedroom. As soon as I close my eyes and start falling asleep again, I wouldn’t notice that my reality has split into two. I would sleep and probably wake up when I hear someone walk into my bedroom. This is a spooky thought to think especially when you’re living alone like me. Sometimes, I peek into my bedroom or the bathroom to see if I am there when I am really “here”. It makes me feel like I’m going insane but I don’t see it as something so far from reality. After all, we don’t get just one.

Timelines can be so easy to mess up or duplicate because we never really notice when it happens. There is something that protects us from seeing the implications of the very small things we do each day. The butterfly effect, I bet you hear it all the time. How small causes can have large effects – as Wikipedia puts it. So let us see an example from a meta-human who sees these implications. The Flash, a speedster, is notoriously known for doing things to save other people and ending up messing the timeline. Every time he makes an innocently small change that causes good for someone, a big disaster happens in return.

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One of the greatest examples is The Flashpoint Paradox where The Flash saves his mother. Him keeping his mother alive steered another timeline into a different direction. The Bruce Wayne / Batman we used to know dies as a child. His father lives and becomes Batman. His mother succumbs into madness and becomes the Joker. Aquaman and Wonder Woman fought each other and lead a war between races which resulted into the end of the world. And it’s all because The Flash’s mother lives when she is not supposed to. That is why I say time is fragile and unforgiving. It takes very little change to make everything go so wrong.

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In the movie “Mr. Nobody”, the main character (Nemo) states several small decisions or little happenings that affected his life and other people’s lives in a big way. He stated losing the love of his life, Anna, because an unemployed man in Brazil stayed home and boiled an egg to eat. This caused a condensation and resulted into heavy rains on the other side of the world on the same day that Nemo receives Anna’s phone number after a long time of being apart. He says that he may have caused the man’s unemployment because he bought a different company’s cheaper jeans. These all lead to that exact moment that he loses contact with Anna. There were plenty of scenes like these in the movie including the part where a fragment of an eggshell dropped into the waffle batter while it was being made in the factory caused his father to stop for a moment when he bites into it which then caused him to lose track over his parked car and this lead to an accident. The car ran into a woman and kills her. In short, the small oversight of an employee from a waffle factory caused the beginning of the destruction of his family’s life, as well as the woman’s.

All these apply in real life and are probably inspired by real life. Most people do not recognize the impact of the little things we do and what more, the power of what we say. I’ve performed some experiments on the power of suggestion for quite some time. You would think that I’m not much of a talker and certainly wouldn’t have the interest in performing social experiments but I am. Perhaps, I’ve had too much fun on the experiment that you would no longer see it as an experiment but rather a lifestyle. You don’t need an army to destroy someone’s reputation and people’s lives, all you need is a single comment uttered at the perfect time and heard by the right people. The thing is, when you say something about a thing, an idea, a place, or another person, it starts to have some truth into it. When you utter the words, you bring those words to life, and as fantasy-like as it sounds, the more people who believe in those words, the more real it becomes.

If we know each other and I make a remark that someone we both know is taking advantage of women by constantly touching them and making it look “friendly”, you will consider the idea that he is. Now, if I say this in front of other women he’s close with, who had “touching” encounters with him, they will consider it too. A few may shake their heads and say “I don’t think that’s true” but the suggestion remains in the back of their minds. Every encounter they have with this man puts that suggestion into spotlight. Every encounter becomes a confirmation of the idea you planted into their minds. Such confirmations become so hard to resist and there will come a time that it is all you will see. Now that it becomes the truth, it will spread through word of mouth. Maybe it will reach the ears of new people who are yet to meet this guy and they will have that initial impression. Most of the time, they wouldn’t give him a chance to prove he’s innocent. Sometimes, they would and the confirmation phase comes to play. There you have it, you just destroyed someone’s reputation. This could lead him to getting fired, accused of sexual harassment, and not ever getting hired at all. If this man was suicidal, he’ll most likely take his already ruined life. In short, one artfully delivered remark can cause chaos or someone else’s life.

So how does this differ from the typical and petty “spread the rumors” that most teenage girls do to destroy each other’s reputation? Typical rumor-spreading does not require calculations. These rumors simply want to reach the most ears they could. They don’t target specific listeners. They could spread through texts or Facebook pages or any possible medium. And they are often first heard from sources that are not credible or people who have been known to be destructive liars. If I had the reputation for being an honest, intelligent, and credible source, people are more likely to believe whatever I say. No new findings there. If I’m the type of person who is private and rarely speaks against anybody, people will assume that whatever I speak about is big and serious. If instead of blatantly telling people something, I let myself be “overheard” while talking to a close friend and I appear to be burdened but not necessary crying or displaying “out there” emotions.. If I placed myself in a position where the people who will most likely overhear what I say are known to be talkative.. If at first interrogation, I refuse to answer their questions.. In short, if I give people the impression that my ideas are private, they assume that it’s important and must be true. After all, there’s no reason to hide something that isn’t true. Another thing to look at is if the enemy has already shown a hint of the reputation you’re trying to give him/her. If he/she does not, create that situation before making your “suggestion”. In the right place, at the right time, and with the right people, words have a powerful impact. There is no violence required to make such impacts and you are less likely to be convicted of the “crime”.

Now before you diagnose me of psychopathy, I’m saying all of these based on my observations and these techniques have become second nature to me. As crazy as it may sound, I perform such acts on good people and I rarely waste effort on revenge unless I need to stop someone that’s causing too much damage to others. You can reverse the intention by suggesting that someone has positive traits but people are more likely to believe the negative – negativity bias.

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For the highly analytical people, the power of suggestion is a subtle weapon of mass destruction. They know its importance and they utilize it. Perhaps, the best example of this evil can be found in the television series “Gotham” when Nygma decides to destroy Penguin after finding out that he ordered to kill his girlfriend. He orchestrated subtle hints that lead Penguin to kill one of his staffs, blurt something out that isn’t good for his reputation as mayor on national TV, make a fool out of him, break his heart, shoot him, and throw him into the river. Intense, isn’t it?

I guess the whole point of this insane article is to never take for granted every little detail. It’s a trait I find hard to find in most people and as arrogant as I may sound, I am amazed of their surprise and ignorance when the outcome of their actions is handed over to them.

Fragility and the Power of Suggestion

Flipped.

This is the sea, so clear that you can see it reflecting the tall buildings and the clouds up in the sky. Its blue is so gentle and peaceful. If mermaids existed and died, this would be their heaven.

Imagine fishes jumping from the waters to the skies. Imagine the birds crashing through and diving in the waters. The birds don’t die, they fly. They fly, not in the sky, but under the water. In the sunset, you’ll see sea creatures of all colors swimming in the sunset. Their colors marries the orange and puple sky. And as they swim across the sun, it’s as if they are getting eaten by this big red orange crystal.

This is not the sea but still it’s clear, gentle, and peaceful. This is a picture of the skyline. The same old view that I always take a picture of except this time, it’s flipped vertically. I lied to you, this is the sky. If I drew fish shadows in the sky, you’ll be more convinced that it’s the sea but I didn’t have to because if you believed me the first time I told you that this is the sea with a reflection of the clouds and the buildings, you probably want to believe that it is the sea.

They say the only way to tell a good lie is for the liar to believe in the lie himself/herself. There’s also a saying that if you kept repeating the same lie over and over again, it becomes the truth. No lie detector in the world can recognize the lie which is your truth.

There are multiple universes, each with a different reality, and we’re always so thrilled to imagine what these universes look like. Our narcissistic selves can’t help but imagine what our other universes’ parodies of us are like. And yet all these universes we imagine look all too familiar. What about the exact opposite of our world? The very obvious tweak – a simple flip.

Who are we to say that the sky is not the sea? Who are we to say that we cannot swim in the sky or fly in the sea? I used to dream of boats and big ships sailing the skies like it’s the norm. It always left me feeling lost but fulfilled. It makes me think that for some time, I belonged somewhere else. I lived in a place where everything was flipped. It was magical and it’s my favorite fantasy.

Flipped.

Life in fast forward

I’ve been spending some time looking for new units to live in. My current rent contract is about to expire in a few months and I’m considering moving to a place that’s five minutes away from work. That means saying goodbye to the view that I love. Every time I think about the day that I will move out, I look around the unit and think, “how can I ever live you?” Then I think about the first day I moved in here. It was a nice unit but it was foreign to me. Everything smelled new and it didn’t feel like home. It took me weeks before I can finally sleep. I must admit that I have developed a bit of an attachment and familiarity to this place. It was my home for a few months and I’m afraid that if I stay longer, it may hold a greater value to me and that’s something I cannot afford.

Lately, I feel like I cannot waste any more time even in transportation. I’m never one who likes games that has time limits but I feel chased through most of my life. I’m on the move. I’m always on the move. Even when I’m sleeping or procrastinating, I’m always one step ahead of what’s about to happen. I do not think that I’m better than my peers because such comparisons don’t make sense. I’m on a different race, a different timeline, and the destination is not yet clear but still, I move. It’s something that I feel is wired to me. I have this thirst for something but have no clue what it is and I’m afraid I’m gonna spend most of my life looking for it.

To most people, what I do is torture. Most of the people I know would never dream of living alone or leaving a familiar home. But what I’ve learned in my years of existence is that everything changes and the people who are the fastest to adapt to different environments and changes are the ones who survive. I’ve been told plenty of times that I’m quick to learn new things and that I’m wise beyond my years. Somehow I managed to be aware of things that matter without making a conscious effort. I see and remember every small detail that most people think is useless and simply ignore. I connect the dots and form a prediction. I don’t even see it as a prediction. To me, it’s common sense, what’s about to happen is what’s supposed to happen. It’s as if I lived in the future, thrown back into the past, and now I’m chasing towards my home – the future.

Maybe I move, leave, and disconnect too often to strengthen myself or prepare myself for whatever I sense is about to happen. I expose myself to difficult decisions to train myself to make an impossible decision that I may be presented with in the future. I do not deprive myself of emotions. I allow myself to feel sad when I have to leave the place I used to call home or the people I spent my every day with. I make peace with the fact that I may never see them again and they will all just be a part of my memory. But I also acknowledge the fact that holding on to things I cannot keep will only hurt me. I remind myself to be aware that emotions and feelings are just that  – emotions and feelings. I remind myself that every person I meet starts out as a stranger and as life goes on, no matter how strong the bond we’ve established, we can go back to being strangers.

Life goes on.

Life in fast forward