I was humiliated this morning by my drunk French boss who doesn’t have an inkling of how Filipino humor works in these parts. I will not go into details anymore so as not to glorify his misdemeanor. All I can say is that he made me experience one of the most embarrasing moments of my adult life. For one, I didn’t react, I didn’t retaliate (that’s just not me, I promise). Secondly, it was done right in front of my officemates who didn’t deserve to see a shameless display of infantility and sugar-coated “chivalry”. And third, I should’ve left abruptly afterwards. But I didn’t. Because I tried to avoid another scene. And some civil voice inside my head told me not to leave. Because if I did, that would’ve marked him as an instant villain, a party grinch, a grouchy clod. And in all honesty, I really didn’t want to put this antagonist in a bad light amongst people who shouldn’t look down on him (good grief, I’m a nice chap after all). So I didn’t, much to my chagrin.
I shouldn’t have accepted that drinking invitation in the first place. So shame on me. But are we given a glimpse of what’s about to happen to us if we made this or that choice?
Shame on him for having bruised my pride. As far as I’m concerned (and as far as the recipient of my innocuous raillery is concerned), I did nothing wrong. People I work with see me as a comic relief (a new guise for me) to everyday work worries. It’s disturbing at times, especially that I’m much of a chronicler. A jester I am not (a walking pile of sarcasm maybe, LOL!). I find it enjoyable, nevertheless. In the first place, as a chronic depressive, I do need to have an atmosphere of fun. I just can’t stand it that people around me are being dead stiff toward each other, throwing back blank glances and exchanging perfunctory smiles. But sometimes, I have to admit that my sharp tongue and usually offhanded witticism go overboard and out of control, all for the sake of a fun environment (atmosphere, environment… hmmm… what’s next — climate?).
Shame on me for not having retaliated. Keeping mum against an aggression toward myself is simply not Pepe Alas. Admittedly, I am a vindictive person. Bad for my mental health, yes. But good for my character. And good for those who look up to me.
Shame on me for allowing a foreigner to trample on my brownboy being. I’ve been fighting the foreign WASP invader since I was 17. But I let this one go? My antagonist may not be Anglo-Saxon, but he’s a white boy nonetheless. Shame on me for not having castigated his immature sensibilities.
Shame on me for allowing my disgraced butt to remain with his enterprise after humiliating me. I was actually planning to shove a bye-bye note this Monday right onto his head where he “hit” me, albeit softly, the way an ailing nonagenarian grandmother sluggishly thumps an empty teacup on a decrepit table. My family’s been to hell and back. We don’t fear joblessness anymore. But to pacify my wife (and perhaps myself) who learned of my abrupt plans and told me to stop being a rebel once and for all, I’ll opt to stick it out and give this guy one more chance. Anyway, whether things get better or not, I will never ever for the life of me join him in any drinking session for the rest of my life; and that’s final.
Maybe I’ve been acting too much of a comic, thus the reason for the disrespectful attitude accorded to me by some people. I’ve tried acting “normal” quite a couple of times already. And the more I try to “condescend” to those who couldn’t fathom my ideas, the more I get alienated. I try to be nice to everyone, but many people abuse this kindness. I wonder where I should stay put. That’s not the real Pepe Alas. That’s not supposed to be me. I am not supposed to be your friendly nice guy neighbor, seriously. But that doesn’t make me evil.
It’s funny and ironic how I have figured out what our national identity is, but I do not know my personal one.
Right now, I’m trying to balance my rage on the scales of my Moro-Christian temperament.
Oh me, I am such an actor.
My identity (and temper) is on the precipice of crisis.