(This is for my creative writing class under Professor Wendell Capili)
He’s been called many names before. Strange, serious, introvert, shy. Perhaps the one that marked the most was eccentric. I never really understood why. I’ve known him for a few years now, but I couldn’t see anything different about him. He talks to people, hangs out with friends, and listens to music. All the things every other adult does. But he does seem to be a bit private so stalking him can be quite a challenge. It probably has something to do with his daily routine.
In the morning, you can tell when he’s awake because you can hear the sound of dropping coins. It always happens at around 7am. He’s probably counting how much money he has left. I like to count my money too, because I once had to skip dinner when I found that I had no more money for the next day. It’s a natural response. Probably the same experience happened to him. Between 8 and 10am, there’s no sound coming from his room. I go back to what I love to do for my morning routine, which is to watch a movie. I do like watching my own collection of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Toy Story. They bring back fond memories of my childhood. Halfway into the movie, he’s pacing in his room. Maybe, he’s preparing to leave. Quite odd that he doesn’t leave in the morning for breakfast. He must have stores of food in his room just like me.
Then he goes out at around 11 am, just in time for lunch. We seem to have the same taste for clothes. He always wears shirts that complement the color of his pants. Often, he has on a blue shirt and grey chinos. But I can also see him with white shirts and brown pants. I have similar clothes in my closet, although I sometimes wear light-colored shorts to match my dark-colored tees. He never leaves our apartment without cologne on. Just like me. Anything eccentric yet? Not for me.
He’s back in his room before noon strikes, always with takeout food. I don’t know how he manages to return so quickly. Maybe he buys his food a few blocks away. I go out, too, to buy food from the shopping center. Lola Lita’s carinderia is my favorite because they always cook ampalaya and sometimes fried fish. Going back, I have to ride a trike and an Ikot but we always arrive at the same time. Probably just a coincidence.
Perhaps his eccentricity lies in his afternoon routine. He laughs so loudly when he eats. He probably watches comedy shows on Youtube. I wonder what it is. It doesn’t bother me, though, because I laugh so hard at Vice Ganda’s jokes while I’m watching It’s Showtime.
Evening. Probably this time, I can prove that he’s really an eccentric. I can hear him watching The Big Bang Theory on some days. I know it’s a popular TV show and I have a complete collection of episodes myself. I watch it when I’m bored. When he’s done, he goes down to get some water and leaves his room slightly opened. He then writes something while listening to a podcast. I wonder what that is. I have my own favorite podcasts. I listen to podcasts on politics, religion, and feminism. Maybe that’s what he’s listening to. I also love writing for my own blog, just like millions of other people. There’s nothing eccentric about any of those, still.
Could the answer lie in his social media accounts? Should I add him? Personally, I don’t like adding people I do not know. He only has 228 friends so he probably follows the same rule. His Twitter is curious, though. Ten thousand tweets and only 4 followers. And we both started in 2009. How can this guy be weird when he goes along with what’s popular?
Evening passes and I’m left with no answer. What is it about him that makes people say he’s eccentric? We both use social media and we both have the same taste for clothes. We both count our money and we both watch the same shows. We both love to write and we both listen to podcasts. After all this time, I see nothing eccentric. Could it be that we are both eccentric or have I simply been observing myself?