BATANG MINDANAW: The big bang sans theory

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/31 Jan) — I have been asked quite a number of times to describe myself in one word – and I’m sure others have been asked too– and I never really had an answer for it. I would always say “I don’t know” because, well, I really didn’t know. I can describe myself in many words, but I really wanted to find a word that would sum it all up. In the summer of 2013 though, I finally did. I am an interrobang.

According to Wikipedia, “The interrobang, also known as the interabang, is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark or the exclamation point.” If I hadn’t been reading fiction continuously during the summer, I would have never known that “?!” which I use sometimes when texting and writing for a long time now actually had a name. After I finished reading the story what came into my mind –aside from thinking how nice the story was—were the times when I was asked to describe myself in one word.

I wouldn’t describe myself as pretty because that just talks about your physical characteristic and I don’t want to be “a beauty without a brain.” I don’t want to settle with weird either even though I acknowledge that I am and others see me as one. I know I am much more than that. I definitely wouldn’t go for good because I can be very mean sometimes.

I don’t always fit in, and I don’t always stick to the status quo. Who does, anyway? I don’t always have excellent grades and scores. I know I am not ugly, but I don’t think I’m that attractive either.  I sometimes overthink things and I would create scenarios in my head even though I know they wouldn’t happen. I can be very noisy or be very silent and my mind would occasionally drift off to dragons and pizza and Park Chanyeol when I should focus my mind to the numbers and x’s and y’s written on the board. I’m pretty good in English, but let’s not talk about how I am at Math. My friends would daydream about their crushes or boyfriends while I daydream about Percy Jackson and Alex Gaskarth and –again—Park Chanyeol and many other boys who, if not fictional, are across the Pacific Ocean who will never know of my existence.

I rant a lot, too. I can either talk about the most random and nonsense things (Ex. “If you spell Jesus backwards, it kinda sounds like sausage”) or be really philosophical and deep and poetic that I sometimes wonder if it was really me talking or an essence of Plato’s soul went inside me for a few minutes. Sometimes I’m there, but I’m not really there. It’s like I’m in between existing and breathing.

I am an interrobang. I am questions without answers, exclaimed sarcastic remarks, excitement and disbelief—I am informal, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Because I am different. What I am can’t be compared to a simple question, or an exclamation point, or even ellipses. I am too complex of a character for anyone to simply create and if I quote John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, “my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” And maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve always thought stars were beautiful. They are miles away from us, but we still look at them and marvel at their beauty. And maybe that’s what it took to be an interrobang. Like stars, you can never really fathom them completely, but they’re still there, occupying space in the vast universe. BANG BANG BANG BAAAAAAANG INTERROBANG. (Alexandria M. Mordeno, 14, is a third year science curriculum student at the Bukidnon National High School in Malaybalay City.)

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