Monthly Archives: November 2016

A stale inspiration

The computer whirring,
my brain insists the stream be typed
not written.

It is not a stream of water,
for the stream had dried up years ago.

Rather, it is a stream one walks up
and wonders where the spring was once from.

The mesmerizing glow of the monitor,
degaussing the grieving mind away from its memories,
good and bad,
dreadful,
yearning,
distant, yet close,
the prose of the language failing to parallelize
even the most basic of words,

where did the purpose go?

Inspiration has led me to a hidden realm of the mind,
a realm where no language was really learned,
just a firing of electrical impulses.

This will not be the first nor the last.

I remember the first peer from the window
of the new home,
the puffy cumulus clouds against the light
of the evening;

I remember the curious peer from the window
of the airliner,
the clear, crisp sky with nothing to see
except a plain sea below.

I remember the lazy last days of July,
when I sought anything but loneliness;
a task other than a decision, a roll call
to vote for homework or games.

Loneliness. It overtook my life.
“Apparently,” “supposedly,” “allegedly,” “you know,”,
I chose to be this way from the early age.

I chose to begin school a year early.
I chose to favor video games over friends.
I chose to work over enjoy my youth.
I chose to waste time.

Then what is to waste time?
Is it not enjoyment?
work?
laughter?

Waste, then, is spending.

Here I am, at my desk, making what
appears to be
a poem.

Friends did not question,
but instead wondered.

They wondered what I did after the eight-hour segment
of desks and tests;

of how my spirits sustain in prolonged solitude;
of what I gorge on, if not fruits and vegetables
(a generation, spoiled by synthetic food);
of where I live, if so wealthy and privileged
(I never intended it to be this way);
of what I believe, if I am so devout;
of what I hope for, if my life is boring.

They wondered if my life was boring;
I, then, wondered if mine was indeed.

Such questions could not be answered.

When did I ever mention the three stars
which I looked to for comfort
in the night:
Alkaid, Mizar, and Alioth,
the little handle of the Big Dipper?

Now it is time for the stars
to near and cross the horizon,
to be found again high in the sky
three months later;

like the stars,
this poem must end.

The memories will continue; the stream will go on.
The stream will be visited then and again.
It will be seen from a distance.

The childhood of video games will remain in my mind,
unmentioned;
the friends I never knew will continue wondering
how boring my life really is;
the friends that never existed I will continue contemplating
if I could ever have gained them;
the time that moves on will beckon to call me
back to the present.

I look away from the window,
And back to the present I return.

Back to the whirring fans of the computer,
back to the winds of the air conditioner,
back to the clicking buttons of the keyboard.

This is how memories were made.
Perhaps the stream will be filled again.

I still feel terrible

I took a trip today. For some reason, I was very cynical with my father throughout the trip. I must admit, he is getting old and his mind is not very sharp anymore. I have to tell him when the light is green, when he’s about to hit the car in front of him, why rebooting the router is a mindless, knee-jerk solution to a problem, why building PCs is superior to buying Dell pre-builts, and why the mouse is superior to the controller in FPS games, especially regarding his obsession with BF1 even though his KD is incredibly negative, and he can’t aim for squat. I don’t want to speak negatively about my dad, so back to me.

I forgot to bring two big things: my charger and my coat. So I had to turn on Nokia mode on my phone so that it would last through the weekend (and it did). I was disappointed at how easily I forgot the two important items.

I went to a history museum for most of the second day of the weekend. I was interested in the content of the museum, but it felt depressing that I subconsciously kept asking myself “what is the whole point of this? what is the whole point of that?” It’s like why we play sports. Wait, I’m actually asking this? This is depressing. Sports looks fun, but I can’t manage to muster any emotion in a particular game. Basically it all roots down to “why do we live” which is a rather obvious sign that my brain is in need of maintenance. It probably would have gone worse if my brother was here, given my own attitude.

Once during mass, I looked in front of me and saw a kid wearing his letter jacket. It proudly said “Class of ’17” and on the side was patched with some science competition along with the NHS symbol (which reminded me of my NHS officer interview, which I totally bombed: “What are the four pillars of NHS?”) At the moment, I felt absolutely distraught and imagined myself shaking my fist exclaiming, “Why did you bring that here? This is a place of humility, not boastfulness!”But I simply frowned and said nothing. He appeared somewhat Asian and wore glasses; a clear sign of competence. He’d probably beat me to a pulp in terms of chances of getting into MIT. Not that I had any in the first place. And my dad is even more naive adding this condition, “If you don’t get to MIT…” That should be an IF, not an IF NOT!

When I had to go to IKEA, this finished me off. I glanced around the tasteless furniture, the epitome of contemporary urban life and its utter lack of any distinct culture. The furniture had no life to them, and I wanted the suffering to be done with already. I knew I couldn’t buy anything because there was no space at home, but like my dad says for anything these days, the things we were buying were “for the office.” I couldn’t stop myself from looking around; most people were better dressed than I was. The spiffy arrangement of leggings of various colors and patterns and jackets and coats could not be ignored, and there was also a good share of couples, probably dating, engaged and married all in there. Perhaps I notice this because I keep my head down in shame when I walk.

In essence, I feel squarely defeated. I do not feel like I am ready to be a functioning member of society. The streets of downtown are abound with young people in their twenties, and everything, all the business, is directed at them. The college I may be bound to go is located smack-dab in this bustling city. I thought I was ready for my life to begin, but I am not.

Now my father is hollering at me that if I want something, that I need to earn my own money to get it. Basically, he wants me to get a job. But he also wants me to get a simple job, like being a cashier. But I suck at handling money; my hands are usually either cold and sweaty, or freezing cold and bony, and when I converse with people, it makes things more confusing rather than more helpful. My hygiene is poor and unacceptable. I only wash my hair once or twice a week. A simple stroke of my hair sends dandruff and loose hair falling like snowflakes. I only shave when I look at myself in the mirror, touch my growing beard, and shudder wondering how other people think about it.

I may have an extraordinary sense of physical direction, but I don’t have a sense of place in the world. I feel that my relationship with other people is purely passive; that I never really get to know them. I never dated, in constant fear that a girl will realize that my life is purely a one-dimensional dream. And I know people are out there talking about me, knowing that I am a one-dimensional person who doesn’t deserve to be rank number one of the class.

I don’t have anyone I can consistently talk to, or talk to about things other than school. Even my brother has close friends but I never got any. There are some people at school who “wish they were me.” I try to conceal my anger when they mention this in my face, because I wasted my time.

I wasted my time! I wanted to do so, so much. And do you know how much of it I did? None of it! I wanted to make projects, big and small, get to know some friends, learn an instrument, intern somewhere stimulating, tutor people formally, master calculus early, take AP Chemistry instead of some stupid throwaway class, maybe even exercise regularly, but anything other than sit on my desk and sulk about!

Now I will tell you what my mother says, because you have probably heard enough of my father. My mother asks this question, “Do you pray?” Well, yes, I pray! Instant response: “Why are you cross with me?” And she goes and writes it in her diary. She brought my brother to tears basically suggesting that my brother was “not Catholic enough” but without ever saying this. Her standards for being an upright Catholic simply increase and never decrease. You can’t ever be excessively reverent or prayerful, but you can sure get a bad look for not conforming to the new heightened standards, as if intentionally not partaking in something implies a wholehearted refusal of your faith. But if I ever tell her this, she denies it. It is the reason she is predominantly vegetarian, fasts on Fridays, probably skips lunch daily (and later bites on small things like chips and chocolate to stave off hunger), and refuses to go a day without attending mass.

She also stresses that a spiritual director does “just as much” as a psychologist since she thinks that I just want general counseling. But I don’t; I want a real diagnosis and treatment, because my tendencies are unnatural and I obviously show signs of disorder. Neither of my parents want to take me anywhere, in the end, because then it would mean the entire family has a psychologist (“so do family therapy!”) And to add insult to injury, my mother blames it all on the computer, that none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for the computer. Wrong, the same problems would have manifested differently.

Maybe the school’s counseling can dispense decent advice.

Idealism vs. realism

It has become increasingly difficult to write anything in here. Maybe it’s because I just don’t want to, or maybe because it is simply futile to write anything more.

There is absolutely every reason and way in the world I could have done more in my life up to now. People tell me “well, your life hasn’t really started yet.” Then when will it begin? In college, which is determined what I was supposed to have done?

How I felt six months ago is very, very different from what I feel now. Six months ago, I felt fine. I felt empowered to make change, do something. And I know I can still make change and do something. If my life has not started, then certainly it has not ended yet. But today, I feel melancholy because I am powerless.

It doesn’t really matter what project I decide to finish this Thanksgiving because it doesn’t count for anything, not even Internet points. Not in this society.

I know I am risking everything by writing this. I’ve thought it through for a few weeks, and I think I am on the autism spectrum. I feel repelled from other people (for fear of being rejected), I have hardly made friends at all, I’m obsessed with computers, and I have a compulsion to do random projects that sound fun or interesting. Not to mention that I am a perfectionist, which is what catapulted me to the top of my class and led others to respect me in the first place (otherwise, I would have plunged in depression a long time ago). My ritualistic routine hampers my daily life. I often can’t help but twitch my hands really fast under the desk or in front of me in class. I can’t look people straight in the eye. I’ve always stuttered a little and had fluency problems since I learned English.

My parents have laid it down: if I want to pay for amenities of my own, I use either birthday money or get a job. I told my dad I don’t want some boring fast-food job, so you know what he suggests me? Supermarket. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole: you block one hole, but there a bunch more, and you can’t block all the holes without getting yelled at.

I don’t want to write anything more. There is no more purpose in doing so. I just want to throw the keyboard down and forget about it and go to sleep and fix my life.

Game over

It’s time to say game over. I could have done so much with my life during these four years that could have catapulted me to an even greater place that would impact who I would meet, what I would do, how I would change the world. But the flaws in my personality restrained me, and now here I am.

I feel like I’ve messed up my college essays. I didn’t give them to my dad to read. Often I never really edited them. It just felt honest, the metering was all right, and it was ready to be pasted on the text box.

Now I can’t write college essays, because I feel depressed and unaccomplished, and nobody understands what’s wrong. I have this feeling of “optimal solution” – that for every action I take, there is a more optimal version of it that I could have chosen. Over time, I have largely ignored the feeling, but it persists. It makes me feel guilty and frustrates me further.

I broke down in a crucial time. This month and the next are some of the most important ones.

I have nobody to turn to. My friends are of no use, and it would be offending to burden them by introducing my own problems. I look like an average teenager to my parents, so they don’t see what the problem is. The priest thinks there is no problem with me. My peers don’t see the guilt and grief in my face, or if they do, they don’t mention it. Teachers see me as just “too busy” to express emotions properly. Others around me just see me as simply concentrated (i.e. daydreaming) like my brother.

I have a massive fear of failure and I am running out of energy to keep going.

Nothing has changed

Nothing has really changed in 8 months. I still feel terrible for not being good enough. I still can’t get over my lack of interaction with friends, my lack of involvement. In fact, it seems as if nobody wants me to remain ranked number one in my class, as if I was an obstruction.

I feel a little older, and somewhat proud that I finally got my driver’s license. But that’s about it. If my parents want me to be myself, then I guess this is who I am.

I don’t want to be some cool kid, like many Latino kids come off as. I want to sit down and do something. But I can’t, because there is some force that prevents me from doing so. The anxiety chains me to my desk to do my school work, instead of getting up and talking to people. The anxiety immolates me when I fear that my parents or my family may be judging me.

All along I set myself up for failure. I could have fixed this quickly, but I didn’t. Now I failed my mission. Now I will not achieve my dreams and go to MIT, and finish crazy projects and put them on YouTube. I am just a regular person now.

My family says I am already doing my best. But I’m not. I can do even better.

I never documented this, but during the summer, a girl asked me out; so I agreed. In retrospect, it was terrible. She respected me for my differences, but we were undeniably incompatible; so we went our separate ways. Over the past few weeks, I watched as she started a relationship with someone else; today, she got to what I was waiting for: they kissed; and that was that. At that point, I cared no longer. This has nothing to do with me.

I don’t know where I am destined to go. Why can’t everything be simple like it was back then? Now there are problems everywhere, problems I can’t fix alone.

Almost all of my problems have already been documented in this blog; therefore, this rants category has almost served its purpose.

If my future is not interesting or exciting (because the present isn’t interesting or exciting either), I will lose hope and perish. There are people better than me who don’t have pangs of stress every 30 minutes that require them to close their eyes and sigh deeply. Natural selection will get rid of me. Where do I belong? In the backend? Am I the groping fat sysadmin? No!

Please. I don’t want to face this hell. I could tell you all about the Z80, systemd, upstart, 6to4, SteamPipe, Amazon Glacier, Expression 2, special properties of FILT in Powder Toy, the G1 garbage collector, and so much more! Why is my knowledge going to waste?