Ella and I suddenly have a brother-sister conversation-based friendship. For some reason, since she's turning twenty and I'm just fresh off turning eighteen, I suddenly was her younger brother, and she was my older sister - a position I've never found myself in, nor an older brother. And every time we text each other it starts with the initially awkward "bunso!" greeting.

Keeping up appearances is quite a hard thing to do, to be honest. Sometimes I feel that I've actually started maintaining two personalities, out of a necessity. I still insist on thinking that I actually seem different when I'm seen personally - of course, letters do not mean anything except when you're trying to persuade someone while hiding everything else in the process. Sometimes, though, the things that I wanted to come out when I'm with the people that supposedly matter just come out when they're not there. I thought it'd boost my chances - nothing's happening, though.

Surprises have taken me aback recently. It's amazing enough that I've had the time - or I managed to shuffle around what's unnecessary - but it's been more amazing that all of these surprises have hit a chord. It's as if I was meant to discover that things aren't going the way they all used to. I'm not worrying, true, but when those appearances make a mark they're just going haywire. Obviously I've sensed it previously.

I know, in myself, it's not supposed to be that confusing. Eventually what I present myself to be would be able to cope with all these changes, but eventually I'd not adapt. I don't want another "personality" in the sense that it's hard to adapt without thinking about it far too much. Right now events have left me a little morsel of myself - not that I'm resistant to change, or at least to a lesser extent, but if you've grown comfortable with your pillows you're apprehensive when they get thrown away, right? They get too fluffy, it seems you drown and die while lying down in supposed comfort. Then you contort. Eventually you'll have one for each situation.

And it is the easiest way out, right? Just make another one and keep the other in case something comes up. Computer memories are made exactly for that - it's easy to keep. Emotionally, however, it's very, very bulky.

Maybe that's why it feels as if I've just woken up whenever I conclude another online conversation with Ella. I know I have to go back to another form because I'm swapping roles again - from some girl's little brother to someone's back-up in case of fire, for one. It's like me losing track of what I really am, because it seems that nobody wants me for what I am to another- I've become gelatin, forced to contort. Or rubber, but it eventually breaks.

And I don't want to break down.

I'm not confused yet. I know that, at least certainly. Maybe these are those times when external pressure, internal motives and appearances collide in proportions you can't help but think about. If you act stupid on it, though, it'll prounce on you and you become National Geographic photograph material - an eaten-up carcass. But I'm polarizing opinion - I'm thinking too much again, but it amazes whenever I make surprising conclusions. It's just amazing that way. But when things start working out for themselves I realize that sometimes, you really need to swap one thing with another just to make things right. Maybe when someone calls out for me from another end of the alley I'd be quicker to swap things, just to make myself look a bit more competent.

And then I'll grab the shell of what I was and make sure it is what it's meant to be. Only thing is, I still think it's better when I don't have to make an effort swapping anything with anything else. Keeping up appearances is hard - making everybody agree is harder.

And your responses...

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