Uniqueness, Anton came to discover, is a fallacy. Anton did not believe in being a person of himself. Otherwise, how would he live? Otherwise, he wouldn’t be who he was. He wouldn’t have gathered the guts to get Karen, his bae. He wouldn’t have mustered even the slightest of nerves to ask her out. They were in the same Civil Engineering course. And from the first day, he noticed her, how she would keenly try to follow the lecturer in class and how she would take notes in her purple or pink or green colorful pens. And he would look at her, at how Karen would walk in class and sit. And then Anton would look at himself. How small and tiny she made him feel. And she would look away and pretend he wasn’t guilty every time she looked at him after noticing that Anton was staring at him.
To Anton, he believed himself to be a collection of people and voices. A sort of collage inside his head, all tuning to the different occasions that presented themselves to him. A collection that he had gathered over the years. Anton was humble when he remembered and imitated the humility of their CU leader in high school. That soft, patient and listening voice that the CU leader spoke with. Anton was elaborate when he mimicked the school captain and how sureness oozed from his voice when he spoke. How immaculate the flow of his words seemed to capture attention and hypnotize. Anton was stylish when he copied the walking style of Jay-Z on television, and his sense of elegance in fashion. Anton was funny when he taught himself to laugh like the YouTube stars do on the Internet. How, with even the slightest comment, they would turn it into a hilarious piece of comedy, laughing their ass off and falling to the ground, wriggling in giggles like a caterpillar. In essence, Anton filled the empty spaces, those deficiencies in his life, with the voices and surpluses of other people. Until, in reality, Anton was an empty shell without them. Seemingly morbid and lifeless. He was so permeable to other people’s attitudes and expressions that he ceased to become a distinct organism. Every time Anton looked at the mirror on his bathroom, he saw a different person. The person he wanted to be- some celebrity or someone he admired.
Anton believed that he had to do this because the illusion of himself was no longer real in him. Or how else would he have scored Karen? When one day, she asked him “ Are you gonna ask me out or not?” Anton looked at the thin air between them with bewilderment, with such sharp focus that he started feeling light headed. Before he mustered the voice of the most confident person, that of the funniest gait and that of the most animated characters.
He has found himself entangled in a web of inner hollowness, and forcefully filling that with mirrored extensions of others. He is no longer his own but a multifaceted mosaic of others around him.