The Masquerade.

Ahh, one of those wonderful words that make you sound like you actually know something but it merely describes some simple worldly phenomenon.

My last entry was suppose to be titled “The Lost Tales and The Masquerade”, but I was too tired and the initial exitement about writing LJs faded off somewhat (but not entirely), I’ve decided to push off the subject until now.

(Because I’ve figured out another name to add to the friends list, that’s why.)

Which reminded me of how anonymous it can be when it comes to trying to know people online. It took me quite awhile to figure this particular identity out, since she strangely refers herself as the third person when she tries to quote herself, which almost convinced me that anyone whom she quoted is not the writer herself.

Strangely enough, she is also the only one out of my (current) LJ list friends who had heard about the entire ordeal about my misfortune with meeting people online.

Before the story begins, though, I’ve always had a theory about people and masks. Truth be told, I think everyone knows what it is, but they’d probably describe it in other forms… to act in context, to fit in, to blend, the art of making yourself invisible in any social crowd.

And so in time we all developed multiple personalities, as far as outward appearance is concerned; we act in certain ways and respond in certain manners; we make certain assumptions and we never stay out of our specific role in that specific context; in other words, we just switch modes whenever we’re around different groups of people. Perhaps sometimes in a more formal setting you’d feel more like acting formally and in causal settings you become more casual; but sometimes my manners are fixated more than that; the mask swapping is so automatic that sometimes I don’t realize I’m doing it until I’m in a context where I have to wear two masks on one face. For example,

When I bring my friends to meet my parents, or
Meeting with two groups of friends at once and I had a different manner for each group…

But then, come to think of it, the story really doesn’t have much to do with this funny masquerade business whatsoever. In fact, I’ve had this theory for so long that I forgot why I think about it in the first place…

Oh wait, the moral of the story is that “we never show our true self”. Or, even worst, even in moments when you’re alone you can carve masks to deal with yourself… in the midst of making one mask after another to hide yourself you’ve lost your true self, which would never be found again in between all those layers of masks.

Ahh, onto the juicy story. (Actually, the story has nothing juicy in it)

Strangely enough, this story is also a continuation of the guardian angel story. I sort of faded out last time when I was describing that story and started talking about the idea of being a guardian angel instead. So here’s the uncut continuation of the story that eventually leads me to become who I am right now. Let’s take a time trip back to the year 2001, shortly after I parted with Daisy (I figured now that there’s two female leads in the story, I’d probably have to start using names) during my first semester in OCC.

Back at that time, in the other universe known as the internet, I was actively participating in a rather large artist community. I think I’ll let the name slip just so that people don’t get hurt (see, almost everyone I knew got hurt in this incident). Anyway, long story short, shortly after the second semester start I recieved an e-mail from a familiar friend in that community.

Apparently, someone had a crush on me.

Of course, any reasonable human being with a brain to think things through would give a second thought to an e-mail from someone from halfway across the world (actuallly, just Canada) whom I barely know (even if I’ve known her by her artwork for months at that time) and whose face I’ve never seen before (except for a picture taken in a dark room on a cheap webcam), but that, we are taking this trip back in time. I was rather stupid back then and believed in true love.

So, I was rather devoted to this e-long-term-relationship. I took my share of effort to stop thinking about Daisy or other cute girls I happen to come across campus (OCC being the top college in California for swimsuit competitions, whatever that means, made lots and lots of cute girls drop by that campus and take some random classes there. In sheer terms of propability, I was lucky, but hitting someone that pretty was within limits when you’re talking about a place like OCC); I’ve also taken the honest path and truthfully speak about my guardian angel experience with her.

There’s actually a lot of things missing in such a virtual relationship. For one, there’s no human contact; we never even phoned each other for fear that it’d cost too much, and physical contact is an impossibility even though I did promise I’d save up some money and take a super long road trip and all that macho bullshit. In all honestly, even when we’re at the point of calling each other boyfriends and girlfriends, we knew absolutely nothing about each other; which is why, after some thoughtful consideration, that I deny having any relationships in the past because in all technicality, there was none, even though I seem to suffer from its consequence nonetheless.

First of all, this entire ordeal made me abandon Daisy completely. Whether this actually led to her later fondness of messing around with men or not, I’ve missed my chance and it has become one of those choices in life that I have to live to regret, over and over again whenever I bring these memories back to my mind. Obviously, choosing the path less traveled doesn’t really mean it’s going to be heaven – the outcome could have been the same; even then, to have my heart broken by someone worth that effort seems to make me feel I’d be much better off taking that path; maybe I would still be a believer in God should I pursue that impossible but pure dream.

Ahh, back to the part where I was dumb to the point of having the intelligence of some primal ape. There’s a reason for me to mention being a believer – because it was precisely the reason that we “broke up”. Simply put, she’s buddist, I (was) Christian, and that simply doesn’t work out for whatever the hell reason she concieved. This being my “first” love, whether there’s any true investment of life to it, I was hurt, and it made me think twice about the value of having a “soul mate” or an “eternal counterpart” or some romantic bullshit that you usually find in romance novels or shoujo mangas, both of which I’m an avid fan of (actually, not so much for romance novels; I just read whatever I can get my hands on, which isn’t much, since I’m too embarassed to borrow any from the library). After that incident, I took my haitus from the internet and start to rethink about my whole life. I evaluated the entire situation as a simulation gone wrong – and to patch up whatever ideal that I held in order to prevent the same mistake from happening twice, I’ve adopted these general ideas:

1. To never trust anyone on the internet until I’ve met that person in real life.
2. To distrust any girl beautiful enough to attract admirers.
3. To forget about the ideal of romantic love.
4. To abandon the belief that God cares about my well-being.

Then the story thickens. Shortly after I return to the internet, I found out that Shari (funny how I avoided mentioning her name until now) is now with a different person – and it happens to be someone rather concerned about her back when nobody was involved with anyone and everything was fair game. Being a maniac-depressive person and having his life cut out as a miner of sorts, having that emotional tie was really the hope of his life. Well, at least as far as this story is concerned, he got farther than me and he actually got to see her, since he actually do live in Canada.

Of course, this story wouldn’t be complete if it just stops there. Soon enough our traitorous bitch (I think I have the right to say this by now) switched flavor for the third time and latched on to my best friend (whom I also met online). Of course, to me, this is all starting to get repetitive and tiring and senseless – I’ve had enough of this bullshit by the time and just wasn’t going to deal with it anymore – but the kicker was that not only did these two guys meet up, they actually got married (just so that Shari can find a job).

During the summer of 2001 (after the 2nd pass but before the two got married), the aforementioned ex and I have decided to all meet up at Baltimore, for Otakon of 2001 (The sole reason being that I’ve never been to a ‘con before and I want to see how the East Coast looks like). It was not as much a “battle of the ex’es” as it is an emotional trip of finger pointing. Our ex being maniac-depressive means that he’s had his moments when it comes to losing temper, especially since Shari wouldn’t stop acting like a succubus sucking on her new man. In between the exploding tension I’ve actually found my closure; even though it was a risky trip, it was memorable solely becaue my view of life was forever altered, and… well, it was my first anime con.

Recently, I’ve heard that Shari returned to Canada one fine Christmas and couldn’t find her way back to the US because of the 9-11 incident. Currently it seems that she had no intention of going back to her “husband” now that she has an excuse. Honestly, if I were to write a biography about this woman, I can probably write volumes… but anyway, I could care less now. Like how I shared about the forgotten tales (or rather, forgotten emotions), the experiences were clear as crystal in my head but the emotions are, no matter how hard I try to recall them, gone. By now I can only look back and logically deduce some logical explanation for what happened and some logical steps to prevent it from happening again.

As for the third installment of the story… well, you be the witness, it’s happening right now, although I doubt that it’d be as interesting as the first two, since I’ve learned the reflexes and I’d rather not do anything than do something about what’s going on and fail miserably. From what I’ve seen, the outlooks are not good for me. She had no interest in me or anyone for that matter, and I can’t find any common point with her except those shared by almost every living human being. And… she seems rather preoccupied by her life already. I don’t see any logical reaon that I can fit my way into her life.

Perhaps this is where having past experiences show its disadvantages: I’ll never try anything stupid again now, and for all its worth, maybe if I do something stupid this time, it would have worked out. I am actually a pretty lucky person, despite my constant complaints about my life.

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