December 11, 2017

A Self-Loving-and-Loathing Prick's Prelude to End-of-Year Evaluation

Hello. It’s December, and how time fucking flies.

(I always pull that for my opening remarks, didn’t I? Feels outdated now (get the joke?) - it feels as if I’m seeking for whoever's forgiveness for not being able to evaluate more often. Of course time goes by when you only record your steps every half year.)

It’s December, and boy, did a lot of things happened.

(This, too, sounds painfully ungrateful. I don’t think I’m supposed to reduce all my experiences, feelings, and obsessions into a bucket filled with things that are somehow ‘a lot’? Even if I was dead early year and couldn’t write this sentence for today, lotsa things still would’ve happened. Invalid.)

Hello, December. We’re here for my irregular meet-up with myself, only pushed into context whenever I feel driven to.

(Usually this rises not out of phases of sadness and despair, but exactly after that--the phase when I think I might know the answer, but could never ready to commit myself to it. Often it’s driven by a sequences of contrived self-love after moments of lethargy, or boredom, or rejection. Or simply whenever I think time demands a look-back: birthdays, departures and arrivals, end of years, etc.)

This isn't fucking working, and I've mostly forgotten what I wanted to write. Let's try my next birthday. It's springtime, so my brain wouldn't be as frozen.

December 3, 2017


I thought,

here’s the silence. The all too familiar silence. The lurking deafness that I’ve been dreading to meet since I woke up this morning, and the one before this, and before that. The loss of din I’ve been shoving into my two dangling ears my whole day just so I don’t have to cope with nothing. You know it too, I’m sure I’m not at all weird. Nothing is frightening. Nothing is the void with no quality. Not even dark, or small, or quiet -- it just isn’t anything.

I can see silence is inescapable. That’s why we invented music. Nightlife. Roaring speakers tearing our eardrums. That’s why we invented language--heck, I think that’s why we were given voice in the first place. So we don’t have to fight with nothingness.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being still. I savor the inertia I can simply throw myself into at any time, staring at the hazy bubble floating in your eyes. (I’ve wiki-ed it, there’s a scientific shit behind that. Apparently it’s your white blood cell. Weird, yes, but not at all creepy.) See, for me it’s not the absence of sounds or noise that bugs me, but the abundance of voices behind the silence. It’s the humming but explosive cacophony that fills in. It’s the loudest cry, the shriek that’s far more unfathomable than the wildest techno-trash beats you devour at your beloved dingy clubs, but also sometimes the softest whisper, fleeting hushes that don’t even make sentences, but you can understand its demands nevertheless. It’s the monster on top of your bed when you close your bedroom door and tuck yourself in.

Many times it’s filled with questions. Asks I thought I’ve found the explanation to and let go every other night. Other times, it’s just a stream of nonsensical phrases and sentences, or glimpses and snaps of stuffs I failed to make sense. But it’s never an answer, because answers would close the loop, where this keeps going as it’s a full circle of doubts.

Although maybe answers are more terrifying, I don’t know. I haven’t been brave enough to pluck one.

That’s also why we sleep, I reckon. So we don’t have to cope with the terminal noise, which is silence. I tried loving them, but I failed myself most times. And now I’m going to repeat doing what I’m always good at: muting the silence.

April 3, 2015

It is already too much to ask for a friend.

March 26, 2014

The Storm:
the storm resides in the very back of my head for years now. The only fact to grasp for hope is that this too shall pass; the words swirl back and forth, like a chant losing its magic, without anymore meaning. Yet it shall pass. It should, because the law simply forbids any endlessness to exist. 
Then there sadly came whispers, asking, "what if this was the last storm we may weather?", "what if, what if storms, the grandest curse and blessing of men, have always bound to recede?" What would we have left?

October 15, 2013

I don't feel alright
In spite of these comforting sounds you make
I don't feel alright
Because you make promises that you break

Into your house
Why don't we share our solitude?
Nothing is pure anymore but solitude

It's hard to make sense
Feels as if I'm sensing you through a lens
If someone else comes
I'll just sit here listening to the drums

Previously I never called it solitude

And probably you know
All the dirty shows I've put on
Blunted and exhausted like anyone
Honestly I tried to avoid it
Back when we were kids
We would always know when to stop
And now all the good kids are messing up
Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

October 13, 2013

I never got the chance to dance with you, but I guess we never would however. Petuahmu belum lagi rampung. Pun, bagaimanapun, itu juga tidak pernah akan.
Kita berdua terlalu tahu malu.

September 23, 2013

Why are you thinking again, little brother
When you know there's a story for every wrong
But I won't be around in the morning
Can only pray there's no harm in me moving on
To the trials in your unknown

And if you could just walk home by

With signs just flying around
And if this storm was just a motion
Of your kid just trying out
If we could only lose these minds

Why are you drinking again little brother

When your remnant's the hard part of loving you
You say the creeks and the falls want to drown you
But there are deeper wells where we're going to
There's no drown in this unknown

And when your memory is lost on the hillside

And the wind takes you further and forward now
Your world is a kite in the weather
Gently tight to your end that is pointed out
There's a sky in this unknown

September 15, 2013

At Night

Rancabuaya, 02:12 AM
I was compromising when I affirmed that the Milky Way seemed only like a towering constellations of clouds faraway, unmoving. It was, of course, an exhausting day for everyone (except for me that wasn't driving at all), so by the time the burning fire and the faintly-lit oil lamps' stable murmurs started to amplify the grand starry mirage, they were already asleep in our packed little tents, placed right next to the juxtaposed, lined up as if they were on display, motorcycles. The waves beat itself ashore in a perpetual noise. No chatters or laughs could be heard. Not even from the only camper there other than usthe drunk Germans (I think they were Germans) on the tent across.
I slowly closed my tent's zip from outside, tiptoed over some of the members courageously sleeping out in the open, leaned over the only car included for the trip, a Volkswagen Beetle, and gazed upward.

Sunset Road, Kuta, 01:40 AM
The wide bypass stretching all the way from Kerobokan to the airport (and more) were all seemed lonely with only dim lights from the buildings sideways. Buildings, some of which were badly crammed next to each other in many corners, and some isolating themselves with a wall of wild grasses. The surface of the sidewalks were uneven in unfinished pavements. The veins of the Land of Gods had started to secretly dream of lofty cottages and estates, after all. Our two rented motorcycles stopped aside under lines of humming palms wavered peacefully over the street lamps. We were waiting in silence for something I couldn't remember. Had I just misheard scraping sounds of ocean waves then?

Bandung, 03:08 AM
What happiness do I derive from being burdened by hymn-like songs, lengthy in their ordinary, songs that sound so otherworldly human that I can't help but thanking my thin being, I can't really explain (neither can I give you examples of the songs I'm referring to). Anyway, that night the open skies couldn't be more pleasant with shifting haze of skeletal clouds here and there, yet tender drizzles sprinkled my face as the red light signals, reflected imperfectly in wet streets, blinked.

April 22, 2013

It was right when the tilted mountainous roads shifted my perception of gravity, and all the far-gleaming city lights in front of us started to float up, drifting higher and higher above us.

April 8, 2013

Habis sudah. 
Baru malam-malam ini aku rindu teriakan, lelucon, bentakan, sapaan, lambaian tangan, tawa, pelototan, tepukan bahu, ejekan, lengosan mereka semua, yang seperti menguap selepas hujan. Sekarang cuma bisa mencerap sisa rasa dari perayaan minggu kemarin. Dari sana rekaman makin memutar mundur tanpa bisa berhenti. Ternyata aku baru sadar: sepanjang empat setengah tahun ke belakang adalah satu perayaan utuh. Perayaan tanpa habis yang manis dan pahitnya sama-sama berharga; yang sedihnya semua rasa baru bisa kuingat ketika ramainya sendiri telah selesai. Ketika hening datang saat pintu rumah kututup. Ketika pulang.

Terkadang aku lupa ada; kadang lain aku ada di mana-mana. Aku selalu bahagia jadi tali cadangan di pojok ruangan. Saya, yang pusing sendiri memikirkan bagaimana kamu yang tidak bisa tertawa bersama elo yang pernah membuat benci maneh yang menjelekkan mereka, bisa saya rangkul bahunya. Aing yang rasanya selalu berjalan di belakang, yang tidak berani memandang mata lawan bicaranya kalau melucu. Gua yang banyak dengki. 
Tapi di hari lain gedung ini mengingatkan: ini bukan tentang aku. Jauh sepele, ini cuma tentang bonggol pohon yang mirip singkong. Cuma tentang pameran kecil-kecilan karya seniman anak bawang. Cuma siraman air terasi ke sekujur badan yang tidak hilang dua minggu. Anak tangga di kantin sempit yang lebih sering ditindih pantat daripada kaki. Kursi panjang yang selalu pindah posisi. Studio bau resin yang sering kebanjiran. Ruang asam yang penuh bercak mirip kotoran cicak. Tumpukan keramik pecah. Lukisan jelek di sepanjang jalan menuju jembatan. Sayup-sayup teriakan kebobolan dan stik PS duapuluhribuan yang dibanting (yang aku tidak tahu apa menariknya). Deretan loker-loker kecil yang berujung di mushola bau kaki. Bendera hitam lusuh yang masih saja dikibar-kibarkan, bikin baru lagi kek. Rapat-rapat dibawah lampu temaram yang hasilnya hanya lapar Dwilingga atau Gisin. Derap barisan sepatu bot kulit sintetis dari Pasar Tegalega yang bikin jantung junior berhenti. Air terjun yang bisa jatuh kapan saja dari atas terpal biru. Baligo Pasar Senin buatan sendiri. Lapangan rugby yang haram diinjak rumputnya. Anjing kampung yang jumlah pacarnya menyamai jumlah bayinya. Malam kelulusan yang malah dibintangi penyanyi dangdut kampung. Lambaian pada punggung-punggung yang menjauh dari vista di depan Galeri..... 
Sangat banyak yang gedung ini ceritakan, tapi semuanya hanya remeh yang mudah dilupa.

Tapi entah kenapa: ketika jubah toga sibuk berfoto di sasana kemarin, ketika riuh sorak sorai di luar pintu ributnya seperti hujan, ketika perayaanku mencapai ujung yang telah lama diantisipasi, ketika pintu dibuka dan cahaya masuk; wajah-wajah di depanku semuanya kabur dan tidak ada yang lebih aku rindukan daripada hal-hal sepele itu. Malah itu yang hangatnya tidak ingin lepas. Mereka yang kukenal sepanjang seperlima umurku semuanya hadir untuk menjabat tanganku, menyodorkan buket bunga di lenganku, memelukku, tapi yang benar-benar ingin kupeluk malah waktu-waktu remeh yang terlupakan, ketika jabat tangan masih hanya berarti sampai besok daripada sampai nanti.
Pemandangan di depan pintu sasana berhenti bergerak. Aku rindu rumah lama kami.
Tidak pernah aku sepatah hati sekarang. 

Padahal, pulang hanyalah bersinggah, pulang menjadi berarti jika kita tahu akan pergi suatu waktu nanti. Mungkin begitu pula dengan persinggahan di lapangan abu-abu ini: barulah kita rindu pulang dan bertengger, saat kita benar-benar akan terbang dari helipad kotor itu.