Archive for 2016

Cliche, I Know

Friday, December 23, 2016 Comments Off

Just around an hour ago, I told my friend that I was going out alone to find a Christmas gift for my friend. The reason why I opted to go out alone, this time, was because of the time consumption and due to the fact that I have not taken myself out for weeks. She was baffled by my choice to go out alone, she called me brave because she was petrified of the thought of being alone amidst the crowd of couples, families, and friends.

I found this a bit funny because people reacted differently whenever I told them that I was about to go out alone, or whenever I told them that I was alone somewhere enjoying my book or writing something or getting my papers done or even just window shopping. The emotions they displayed ranges from surprised and disbelief, though the two of them are not the most extreme. The reactions that I receive always showcases the true nature of their personality.

What is it about being alone that makes people think about loneliness and separation from the cluster of society?

Being alone is supposed to feel liberating. You are allowed to be and feel none other than you are during that particular time and space. You are permitted to use whatever it is in your disposal as means for you to accomplish whatever it is you have in mind during that moment, including not doing anything. You do not have to worry about anything but consuming time. There is no one that could nag you or drag you around. It is a moment where you suppose to enjoy your longtime companion, yourself. The only downside is that you have no one to share with.

Maybe it's also because I grew up differently. Looking back, I am relieved to have experienced certain things in certain ways since I have turned out to be the exact person that I need for myself. I found comfort and companionship being alone, though not necessarily the entire time. My past built me into this person that do not turn away the chances of being alone, the person that actually looks forward to being alone and immerses herself in the situation. Don't get me wrong, I love meeting up with people and sharing everything with them, yet there is particular kind of peace that I crave whenever I've spent days interacting with people.

Currently, true to my nature, I am writing in a well-known coffee shop while drinking an iced cappuccino. Cliche, I know. But this is where I blossom best; where my thoughts are synchronized and not wandering unintentionally. Maybe this is how you define my comfort zone because it's a place that I run back to whenever I want to feel safe and secure: by myself behind a laptop, writing something while people watching. But this is also my greatest weakness. I have come to rely on myself so much that I do not find the concept of other people leading my life for me a pleasant one. My lone journey is still incomplete.

However, this is not saying that I love being lonely. Being alone and being lonely are two different concepts; though both give us equal meaning of feeling estranged, the first one is felt by choice while the second one comes to you inadvertently. I have found myself in the two situations, both simultaneously and separately.

It's difficult to write about being lonely. The first thing that came in mind was "what kind" and "how come". There are different types of loneliness, and I intend to write about that since I have felt most kind of loneliness. We will see how it turns out. Since, after all, loneliness is a terribly unexpected visitor that knocks in the door in inopportune times. It has been a guest in my mind and in my heart for a very, very long time.

I don't think it has ever, or it will ever, left.

Riotous Path

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 Comments Off

Maybe, in the end everyone is the same.

I have always thought that being in your twenty means that you have solved everything in your life. Surely navigating life's tumultuous circumstances would be easy by now since you are legally labeled as an adult after all. Yet, that is not the case at all with current young generation, though calling it current young generation seems like distancing myself from the collective.

This young generation know too much, experience events too soon, overqualified for the listed jobs, and yet, we have to survive under the terms that have been set forth by the people before us. A nightmare for the minds whose needs are to be more than settling in to the life that has been paved by the ones who preceded them. The minds who crave to be more and reach further. With full heart, headful of knowledge, we will never be satisfied with only desk job with passive and slow career path.

We are qualified in terms of adaptability in the modern world, adjusting ourselves to the lives of technology and advanced science; to a life of infinite knowledge and fast-paced information. The life of extreme taking and giving.

But not everything can catch up with the updates, with the knowledge and information and technology. The majority of life is still moving in its own pace; eloquent, slow, but deliberate. The majority of the industry is still trying to revive itself after looking itself in the mirror and seeing something ancient and replaceable; gathering bits of energy and resource to compete with its more current counterpart. What are they expecting if they do not feel like they are not compelled to change.

Not only the industry, the people working behind it are also still trying to smoothly sail the riotous path that is the future. Everyone, regardless everything that builds them as their identity, is questioning where life is heading when everything is delivered in an instant period and consumed within the same course. The world is pulling us apart, trying to disconnect us from the past while throwing us to the unknown future without any warning. Not one person is exempted from this.

This unknown and the fear of it is shared by many, something that, simultaneously, distances and connects us.

her long winded journey home

Monday, December 12, 2016 Comments Off

act I (the disappearance):
she disappeared before winter. the sun was no longer shining brightly, but her skin was still glowing
in tan, in amber, in sweet bloom. a testament to her tropical ancestor.
no longer here, we sought her presence, trying to look for the tropical beauty that was
her soul, her marred and marked soul.
stations after stations we looked after her, questioning everyone and even our own sanity,
was she really there? did we produce shared fantasy of a soul wrapped up in silky tresses and glowing skin?
we were greeted by weeks of collecting stories from eyewitnesses that saw a woman with an honest smile and exotic kindness

act II (the odyssey):
the days went by, slowly. as if the universe was not supporting us in our feat. the longer the day gets
the longer she was missing. seconds stretched on longer than necessary.
we shared the tales of loving her and how it came to be when we fell for her; these were the ways
we conjured her. these were the ways she was alive without her being present.
to the north, the eyewitnesses say, to the north.
how much farther to the north do we need to be until the sky was brightened by her personality again
how much farther until all we got of her is no longer the longing
how much farther until her
the farther we go, it seems, the harder to catch her

act III (the investigation):
it was winter solstice when we caught a glimpse of her. the holidays season. everything was grey,
befitting to the unhappiness that we felt after getting by without her.
we wanted to greet her. our sun, in the north.
oh such woe, we wallowed. the closest we were with her, the farthest we feel. how could she do this,
going farther away from us, farther away from her home, farther away from
the ones that had been nurturing her.
there, suddenly someone said. pointing at a secluded cafe. we could see her holding a cup of coffee
and our hearts in her nimble hands.
what was she doing in this perpetual frost? didn't she know that her heart beat in the same way
the leaves sing in the forest and the ocean greet the beach in the summer?
why would she escape from her precursor? from the lives that were passed on to her through genetics? was there a better home than her past? could she assemble better life than the one that had been presented by her ancestor?

act IV (the answer):
the questions disappeared altogether when we saw her properly:
in a nest she called home, in a situation she called comfort, in a scenery she called familiarity
in a life she called her own
no one should have denied her any of this

The Curse of Being

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Comments Off

Last Thursday, I went out with friends from university as an after work affair. We had ramen for dinner, then we properly caught up with each other over Vietnamese coffee. It was bliss. A bubble, which its existence would only last until we parted ways. Its weight was light, but it carried the three of us, and our dreams, hopes, fears, recent heartbreaks, rejection stories, and our past that bound us together. A nice start for the weekend.

My university friends knew about my current circumstance and mental state. They understood my need for escaping reality, even just for awhile, stealing hours away from reality to be cocooned in the warmth of familiarity and forgiving friendship. The meeting brought forth snippets of happiness and drabbles of comfort by sharing and listening to stories. I felt truly like the bleary-eyed, idealist, jacket-wearing, tote-bag-carrying girl I was back in university, when everything was coloured with rain and endless sips of tea and melancholy. It was grasping the familiar cloud of smoke.

Another familiar thing that we collectively endured was the pain and frustration of liking someone from afar. The three of us were, are, quite infatuated with people that have crossed our paths lately. We relayed to each other how tiring it was to hope, to want, and to need. Even though, for sure, what we feel is not love, but we felt like we were going to collapse under the inability of knowing and changing the circumstance we are in regarding the intention of the other person towards us. We asked what we thought of each other about our incapability to find someone that's interested with us although we have spent literally decades in improving ourselves.

This leads me to the conclusion that everyone can be too much, enough, or lacking all at the same time.

When I was a kid, my mother told me that I was still lacking in certain places, that my mental still have a lot to improve. I dedicated my life into trying to improve myself, all the while being oppressed into thinking that I should be more, I should act better, and I should not seek love unless I'm improved in terms of likability, and allurement, and relatability. People forced me into thinking that I am not worthy of love unless I am bettered. I was pushed to suppress myself, to bully myself, to distance myself from myself; causing love lost between me, my body, and my mind.

Then I learned that I should love myself regardless. I should not have waited for the one who would applaud my little accomplishments or carrying flowers to the graves of my mistakes, letting bygones be bygones; for I should have been that person. I mourn for the days that I was not able to support myself mentally and emotionally. It's a constant learning process to forgive myself after mounts of humane mistakes that I seem to do on a daily basis. Apparently it's harder to be both the cheerleader in the bleachers and the fighter in the field, constantly trying to drown the noise of the apparent self-created critiques; it's a perpetual battle of listening to the cheerleaders or the critiques. The critiques would loudly scream of how I could be too much and lacking at the same time. How I could be too much of a woman for everyone around me, making me lacking in the ability to be the personal or collective preference.

All in all, I still cannot think of myself as enough.


Friday, October 21, 2016 Comments Off

Self-vulture: picking on the scabs and destruction in you as a way to sate your hunger.

Some of the people I know can be found with this symptom, including yours truly. We keep on gnawing on the dead parts of ourselves (our past, forgotten memories, broken hearts) to just trying to survive, to move on into some state which we have convinced ourselves to be a much better circumstance than our current predicament.

I am eating my youth. Still trying to find some conviction in staying alive, apart from self-love. But is self-love always nurturing? Does it symbolize the perpetuity of self-support and self-forgiveness? Or do you call it as a token of narcissism and inflated ego? How do you survive without any conviction, without any faith (whatever it is)?

Is there any way to tell how a person should stay satisfied even if there is constant hunger plaguing their spirit and mind? Even if there is a certain kind of primal idea inside their mind telling them to find something more, to be something further. How to tell someone that you have to stave off the demand of the mind (far too riddled even for self) and the heart (far too damaged from the ache) for a state of person (or perhaps any other form thereof) to be changed according to what is considered sacred and true for the soul?

Wayward, we are, honey. Disbelieving the spoken and written principles that were spewed from the mouths of the ignorant and the not-understanding. Unable to comprehend all the supposed lessons coming from the metaphorical sticks and stones. Unwilling to let go whatever it is that has been wildly calling our veins, mesmerizing our minds, and desperately clawing on the walls of our thumping heart. Distrusting the hand-me-down happiness that they always give out to each other.

There is no way the only option for keeping on is through scavenging myself.


Thursday, October 20, 2016 Comments Off

Maybe the hardest part about growing up is adjusting to it.

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Modern Romance: Revisited

Saturday, September 24, 2016 Comments Off

You know what would have been great?
Our love story.

That is to say, if ever, my feelings got reciprocated by you. Have you ever imagined it? Because I have. Imagine how disastrously disarming would that be. Chaos would surely ensue, what with our opposite personalities collide. The ending would be two of the extremes: peace or pandemonium. Such a great idea, is it not?

Could you envision us together, trying to stay awake at the same time with our contradicting sleeping schedule. I would not be able to stay awake as you usually do; you would keep me waiting for you to be sleepy, though it would not be for another four hours. We would fall asleep on each other—a constant mix up that could bring forth arguments or comforting measures. Knowing myself, I would try to be heroic by fixing your sleeping schedule, though it would be proven that you no longer have the capacity to sleep the way I do. Perhaps, there would be time when we would fall asleep at the same time; maybe after a project, or in front of a boring movie.

We would be each other's best friend and worst enemy. Tantrums would be thrown whenever words failed us. But we would reassure each other with gestures, a fleeting or lasting gesture to that secret place we discovered about each other that made us give in and give up fighting. We would discover more about each other and ourselves that we previously disregarded.

Tea bag string would connect us to each other whenever we felt the need to stay silent, as we often were whenever there was everything and nothing in our minds at the same time. A meaningful look to each other would be given here and there during the times I found my nose stuck in a book or your eyes glued to the laptop screen. And on the days the temperature dropped, we would fight for the right of wearing the thickest jacket, but we would end up snuggling under the duvet instead.

You would be the one who successfully convinced me things I otherwise would never believe. You would laugh at the face of my insecurities, scaring them off with the positivity and enthusiastic speeches. I would try to be the one that could turn your brain off for a slight snooze session, stopping it before it spiraled into something out of control. We would try to give each other the lives we thought each other deserve. Sincere and supportive gestures that both of us need.

We could have a something together.

But do you feel the same?

Or am I reading it, as I have always done handful of times before, too far?

I'm waiting for the answer, big guy. Are you in?

Collection of Recollections, Part VI

Monday, September 12, 2016 Comments Off

i am,
in heaps of tired limbs,
empty gaze,
and wanting heart.
you are, a vision,
a story paused too soon.
are no longer,
have stopped,
will never be. — lesson in grammar

i told the wind,
to inform you,
come and see me for once,
look at the mess you've created:
a ruined temple,
worshiping the past,
idolizing the destroyer. — religion

maybe all i deserve is:
of other people's
romance — ripped

fun first date idea: let's talk about how love fails us
fun second date idea: let's speak in the language we are fluent in, the language of loneliness
fun third date idea: let's tell each other why we think we are incapable of being romantically loved
fun fourth date idea: let's inform each other when we start to call the war in our head and the hesitation in our heart as home
fun fifth date idea: let's show each other who broke us but did not mercifully kill us
fun sixth date idea: let's reveal what kind of longings that burn us
fun seventh date idea: let's tell each other where the demons of our past still haunt
fun eighth date idea: let's point which parts of ourselves that still hurt from falling in love
w's and h's: a way to dissect a relationship before it even begin

Foggy Forest

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 Comments Off

There are days when I just want to be tucked away in the corner of a small cafe in the middle of a large city somewhere in Europe. Half sleepy, with bleary eyes and oversized sweater, drinking mad amount of hot tea, while my eyes focused on the dancing raindrops on the window. All I want is the blissfulness that I had experienced many Summers ago—a life separated from the one I lead now.

I can still remember the feeling whenever I take a look at certain shop's ambience; those exposed bricks with metal furniture, or white on white interiors, or homemade baked goodness with the smell of coffee brewing in the background. There is a particular feeling of kinship whenever I come across establishments that offer a kind of relief from homesickness for a past life. They simply understand the need to recreate an experience, the need to imitate something in order to almost become a life removed from the one in here. But it is what they could only be: an imitation, a copy, an almost.

I no longer find the strength to settle with an almost, a replica. There should never be a question to which the answer is settling down with an approximate. How could there be such thing? It should not exist except in the minds of the wanting. Though wanting has always made people feel inadequate, weak, and helpless.

Maybe I have always missed breezy days ever since before I knew that separated life. There has always been this particularly nagging feeling that I should experience something more than explosions of scent and sight. I have always longed for softness, foggy forest, pale sun, breezy summer, tenderness, candles, silk, afternoon cake and tea, and minimalist designs; a kind of life that is alien to the one I grew up with where everything was amplified to the point of suffocation. Longing for a life that I constantly search for amidst the blaring sound of car honking, street seller's shouting, and police sirens; wanting to be nestled between the taste of snow on your lips and the concert of pine trees.

A contrast, is what I have been searching for.

But, unfortunately, life has its own wicked way to let you know that you cannot force fate.

Collection of Recollections, Part V: Inebriated

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Comments Off

I have been denied
inside jokes,
shared intimacy
for far, far too long—
that a momentary glance,
unsavoury touches,
drunken exchanges
felt like
acceptance, acknowledgement,
dejected and intoxicated note of a twenty two years old

it was another saturday night spent with overflowing red and pink drinks, and a lovely company. it was different this time around, maybe since it was nearing the famous february fourteenth, or maybe the bartender actually had a mind reading ability, but he managed to perfectly created two powerful potions that suited us both that were decorated with roses and seahorses: the embodiment of our most beloved love stories. or perhaps the universe has a funny way of telling me that i could only find romantic endeavour in the shape of something inanimate. though i have to say, if romantic love tasted like that, i wouldn't mind drinking it all in one single gulp. come to think of it, maybe that is the only way i can taste romantic love on my lips: bittersweet, in an alluring packaging, and made me feel heady, lightheaded and honest. it made me want to just be wrapped in the warmth of someone that's true, strong, and steady. — roses and seahorses

what you seek
cannot be found at the end
a wine bottle, or
his smirk, or
the smallest circumference of your waist, or
payment check, or
romantic novel, or
your favourite flower's bud, or
mariana trench, or
this sentence.
it is inside you
all along  camouflaged

we, he said. as if it meant anything anymore. as if it was a currency that could be used in this conversation. it cringed me how much that word became irrelevant to my ears. years had passed without me finding the need to use that particular word when i explain anything related to me and him. it was buried underneath all the fossils of our mementos. no longer was it put on pedestal for everyone to see; it did not bloom the way it was during his regimen in my heart. it was effectively dead. he grimaced when i denied the existence of it, of an exclusivity that two people had established. there was nothing more and nothing less about it. why bringing up the dead? i urged him to drown it, drown everything, sink the mothership with a touch of ice and a whole bottle of whiskey. burn the word, set it aflame until it was nothing but the ashes of your cigar. bury it, entomb it unmarked so there was no remembrance of the word, we lost, and remain as such

Collection of Recollections, Part IV

Sunday, July 10, 2016 Comments Off

I remember taking a foreign language course back when I was in college. It was compulsory, we would not be able to graduate otherwise. It was not the first time I was exposed to that certain language, but it was the first time me and my friends decided to actively study the language. For sure, the words did not roll off our tongue prettily, due to different root. We studied it for two years, and then we stopped doing so because we had another important things to focus on. The language becomes a familiar thing for me, though I can no longer speak it. Now I wonder, have I became the language you've partially forgotten? I understand you no longer remember the taste of my name in your lips, how your tongue would twist a little; no other person has managed twist my name in the most exemplary way. — tongues, and other pliant things

Stories can be made in coffee shops, libraries, or even make up store. It's easy to imagine the strangers next to you as something that they aren't, to make them as heroes rather than foes. However enticing it is, the world has been completely reduced into that small corner, that tiny space. You and the other person can imagine endless scenarios where the two of you get to know each other; by shy smiles, nod of acknowledgement, coffee spills, accidentally touching hands, or other marvelous things. A fleeting thing, it is. But you were theirs, several glances ago. — a dictionary-defined zsa zsa zsu

the first lesson,
that life has taught me
all the love stories,
every poem, poetry, snippet
that I have ever
read or written,
could never be
mine — forever the observer

Perhaps in life there is no such thing as eternal soulmate, the kind that you should end up with forever. Maybe what we really have is just these momentary soulmates, the new ones filling in after the previous ones left. Your friends, your cousins, your partners, your colleagues, even your parents are just filling in the gaps, even if the other could never permanently fill the void. They are just beacons of lighthouses in your endless journey through the sea of existence. Irreplaceable connections, though sometimes redundant. Yet you need them, because you can never exist the same before, and after, them. — to my friend, miles in the sky

tonight's four-word story:
was it ever love? — you know the answer

My thesis adviser once told me that I write with feelings, even when it is concerning the rise and fall of great powers post world war two. It was something of myself that I did not recognise and acknowledge, not until he showed me. It was a truth, though not universally acknowledge, that I only just came across when I was still clumsy in being my twenty years. This simple, little truth, thrown at me in his small office in the corner of my campus, made me stop setting myself on fire for not being whatever it was that I should never be, something that was not myself. — little delights, enormous impact

Cities; or categorizing your personalities

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I am used to watching you as London, letting everything in, in, in, and then bursting in seams. With unexpected visitors, blinking lights of establishments from conquered lands, coffee on the go, and cold nights. All the while you bury the skeletons, down, down, down below.

You forgot how to be Bandung. It is lost in your dictionary, wedged between the words "vacation" and "rucksack". The coldness that used to be oozing from your skin is no longer there, instead you savour it from the city where you are. It is not lost in me that we now only exchange few lousy hellos.

Maybe you tried to be Bali, once, when you were little. All bright, exotic, seductive, and forgiving. A grand feast to the senses, everything is amplified. But it did not fit you. The howling wind soothes your heartsick better than the thundering sounds of beach party. You shed it off, easier than the leaves turning.

You long for being Zurich. You want to claim stability, openness, and blatant display of order. A peaceful state of neutrality, not letting yourself  set aflame by expectations and self-imposed goals. Everything should not be confusing, nor it should be patternless. Yet you are drawn into chaos.

However, sometimes I found myself wishing you were Jakarta. Alive, beating with pulse, right here, closer to where my parents build their empire, familiar, colorful. Yet I know, I can't push you into something that has only caused me longings and loneliness. I have experienced firsthand that this partial-metropolitan city has not given me total liberation.

There are days when I found you as Milan. Overbooked with inexplicable numbers of thoughts, slivered all over the old ones and new, like herd of consciousness. Everything that has ever happened, even the beautiful revolutions and the overthrows, is still subdued by the steps of temporary visitors. You wonder about what happened during the supremacy, was it dark due to its intense bloodshed and betrayal, or was it the foundation of your current state.

But you can be anti-Amsterdam, too. Burning bridges, lighting up the path away from the continent that has the right to oversee your growth. Always too far, yet it is so close, from the grasping hands of the blood of your blood. No harmony comes from your mayhem.

And you are Prague, revisited. You are spoken secrets thriving in this small corner, a joint lead by cobblestoned street that has a specialty in reviving old jazz music. In here, there is no excuse to be taciturn. The beats mend broken hearts, tired eyes, and wanting mouth. You try to stand with each foot on different sides, you want to acknowledge your ancestor, still getting in touch with your mysticism and symbolic victory, but you are pushed into changes. Modernity is trying to adjust itself on you. You look content.

I should not have expected you to be molded into just one city; an all encompassing person like you only deserve to be like the best part of the world, forever changing.

Sentimental Reason

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Comments Off

It's almost midnight where I'm at.

My hair is still drying itself out, while perpetually smelling like a mixture of herbs and essential oil. I should have been dozing off by now, considering that I have to get up before dawn. But, for the life of me, though my eyes are already droopy and my customary cup of tea has already been emptied, I could not fall asleep. Arcade Fire is accompanying me tonight, and their music is not the loudest thing in this house, neither is the clattering sounds of my brother preparing snacks. Not when nostalgia is currently making itself known, its presence is unwanted, though not unwelcomed.

It wraps itself around me, refusing to be shaken off like tentacles latching themselves on glass. The grip is gentle this time, unlike the preceding moments when it tried to rip me apart. There are charming plethora symphonies of dilated senses. I am pulled into fragments of days when I felt myself at peace with my surrounding: of greenery, walking ventures, cold summer, concrete roads, earth-tone buildings, achromatic wardrobes, foreign tongues, morning coffee and baked bread, tiny tea shops, and self-promise. Everything was real, and mine, to take in and to indulge in. The very definition of contentment.

There is certain kind of dullness after you have given yourself the pleasure of knowing what sort of circumstance that makes you most content. Especially when fate is not kind enough to let you enclosed within the environment. I am left with bubbling restlessness, making me tiniest bit impractical in living with the current time stream. If I could have it back, I would not have wasted it on seeking materialistic delights, however aesthetically pleasing they are. Instead, I would have bottle it all up by staying silent while marking every spot as mine, greedily taking in everything and pocketing them in the safe keep of my head for me to consume later, molecule by molecule. A selfish gesture, I know, but I scarcely have anything to claim besides the bones in my structure and the thumping heart.

Ah, there it is. Nostalgia, you were born out of sentimental reason. Out of envy, greed, and longing. Knock it out, now. It is unhealthy to be this way—to project loneliness and alienation as a ground reason to remember serenity. We cannot be enslaved by our own incapability of accepting reality. You are only an echo. A shadow of something I can only chase, never be with. A smoky rendition of a picturesque past. Truly, what you are showing is beautiful in its tranquility. But, I refuse to be a fool. Go home, now. Please do not worry, I will seek home and gratification.

It's almost two in the morning. Everything exists in murmurs and sighs and dimmed light.

Collection of Recollections, Part III

Friday, July 1, 2016 Comments Off

your lips tremble.
three, two, one.
everything becomes blurry shadows all around us.
are you trying to summon ancient trickery.
ah, I know what you are collecting,
as if it is tangible and moldable,
sweetling, you're trying to make love appear.
you whisper again.
four, five, six.
everything becomes clear
you stand there looking at me,
on your eyes a question formed
oh! you've been waiting for a long time
but, no
no, my darling, love is not here.
— darling, you cannot force love

stony, rough and ridges,
barely used and unobtainable.
the softest part of your spirit,
i beg of you to recall:
what is asleep but not forgotten,
what is tainted but not irredeemable,
what is unused but not broken.
can you remember?
something utterly yours,
that I desperately wish to be mine
— your zealous heart 

     i remember opening my window one morning. my mother reproached, close the window, you will let the flies in. but i did not listen to her, my longing burning. i kept asking, the world kept me in, is a windowed cage much better than windowless one. my mother was without answer, unlike my father. girl, you should be glad this cage is keeping you alive from this destructive world. my parents, the contrasted constant worrywarts.
     this was not gilded cage that I speak of. it was not made of softness, lulling, whispers, silvers and golds. neither was it brutal. this cage people call homeland, this price for living in the grey, neither developed or developing. rotting in the perpetuity of stagnancy. impatience was a luxury. the price of freedom was consuming war and swallowing heartaches, and unfamiliarity and running and disembarkment.
     mother spoke in hushed tones, the freedom you are seeking of can only be obtained by pursuing romantic relationship.there it was, she talked of impossible thing, an extincted remembrance of time long past, a life that had never meant to be voiced. it was about a partnership that only few could sample, even less that could devour. a life my parents only know.
    the world was spinning around, around, around, and up, up, and up. everything was messy, jumbled, scrambled, and dirty. i crave for everything light, soft, peaceful, fragranced, and lively —  is it my fault for seeking purity?

what is human if not being weighted by the smothering relentless questions and requests. they do not teach me how to fall in love with ethereal knights, they had me endured the pressure of being molded into a beast. grow fangs, they ordered, build your armour. they prepared me for an impending war, an impossible one. brutal, savage, with heart as tender as a feather could never survive. it was forbidden to be unprepared and helpless. i want to perform the most illustrious illegal act: the murder of expectation. — imprisonment before conviction

Redeemable Voucher

Thursday, June 2, 2016 Comments Off

"I should've get used to it by now." I whisper to the wind. My fingers wrap tightly around a cup of rooibos tea. The weather is not particularly cold, but the dreadful sigh of each breeze that passes through the branches remind me how secluded this place is. Although, I can't be sure myself whether or not seclusion is what I need right now. I pull the cashmere afghan tighter around my body, needing more warmth. Warmth that could only be provided with human contact. This afghan is something close, but never enough. Nothing has ever been warm enough like the touch of someone who loves you.

Truly, I should have get used to it by now. This feeling is not so foreign anymore, and the coldness comes afterwards. To tell you the truth, I even half-expected it. I know it would fail, even before it could ever start, but I always had hope. The Universe has always known about this, I'm sure. Of how it has happened to me in the past, but fate is repeating itself, over and over again. It is playing its favourite activity to torture me. I have always thought that there is a game that they are betting on. Or perhaps one of those redeemable cards/vouchers that you tick or stamp every time you purchase something, and there will be a prize for being able to hurt me for more than couple times. Fate has been playing with me, and I have always been their constant victim.

I turn my back from the scenery, pondering why after all these years the taste of rejection is still bitter on my tongue. A kind of bitterness that no sweets could ever cure; the type that leaves a mark on your tongue, a resentful reminder that stings you whenever anything sweet sweeps by. There are emotional scars that a cup of tea can never fix. I glance down, my tea is no longer hot, my hands have greedily absorbed the heat, until all that's left is regretful layers of murky water. Since it no longer has any value, I reach the nearest stool and put the cup down.

All my friends are still sitting there at the table, talking about stuff that can only be talked about post-dinner. It is supposed to be a celebration, of course. But the leftover course of every single unwanted flavour made me sway. I quickly excused myself from the hurrah, claiming that I had trouble breathing, while in fact I have a trouble in processing whatever it is that causes me to be unlike them. This reminds me of my school days, all over again.

Maybe this is my character trope, as it is described by one of my literary-fluent friends, to be swayed and then irrevocably rejected.

How profound.

How humane.

I walk back to the party. My close female friend pushes herself aside to give me space. It's almost midnight, and everything that should have ended is repeating itself over, and over, and over again.

Update: I should have known better. His familiarity should have rang few little bells in my head, not only the ones that reminded me of certain people from a different life. Instead, his familiarity only brought forth the same insecurity that I have always felt—the same outcast sense that I have always experienced. I should have understood deeply that his recognisable traits could only mean that he would unknowingly and irrevocably choose the same options (and inevitably view me in the same regard) as the people whom preceded him.

Modern Romance

Monday, May 30, 2016 Comments Off

Proposal Scheme

Title: Modern Romance
Project participant(s): Her (female, early twenties) and Him (male, late twenties).
Length of Project: undeterminable
Executive Summary: A woman, proposing a modern romance scheme for a man, whom she currently likes but knows she can never seriously be with.
Tags: modern, romance, female, male, proposal scheme, undetermined length

The former subject would kindly like the latter subject know that she has a good intention for kindling modern romance between the two of them. The reason why she opts for modern romance instead of the traditional one is because the former type offers intimacy without the necessity of commitment. The female subject has observed for the past months that the male subject currently does not seek out any form of companionship with another person(s), therefor, it has come to her attention that modern romance relationship would be suitable for both of the subjects. Furthermore, the female subject has noticed that there are some sparks (i.e. romantic chemistry) between them which could be a good base to build a modern romantic relationship with.

In order to clarify the meaning of modern romance, the female subject has defined modern romance as the kind of romance that does not conform into the normativity which its traditional counterpart often accommodate. In this particular case, the female subject offers a type of romantic relationship in which both parties could have the advantages of companionship (i.e. any kind that both deem as appropriate, significant, and/or necessary) which includes, but not limited to, intimacy, respect, support, and appreciation, without the essential requirement of long term commitment and serious attitude towards the performance of the relationship. Upon entering this relationship, each party could give support in whichever way they can, including dates, late night phone calls, or back rubs; this particular issue will be discussed when the time comes.

Beside the obvious fact that this relationship would effectively satiate skinhunger, the other advantage of modern romantic relationship is the lack of long term commitment between both parties. It is to be seen as an advantage due to both parties inability to permanently commit with one another based on various significant reasons. Nonetheless, the female subject finds that both parties could benefit from the relationship, even if it does not last as long as the usual traditional romantic relationship.

It will be known to each party that they cannot expect anything other than a short term relationship which would last as long as both parties consent to it, however, the female subject kindly propose that the relationship would last until her leaving for postgraduate degree. Aside from the aforementioned factor (re: female subject getting her postgraduate degree), there are also numerous other significant matters that add up to the impossibility of transgressing the established relationship between both subjects into something much more.

The main reason as to why the female subject finds the male subject suitable for the project is because, principally, she finds him appealing and has been interested in getting to know him better ever since she laid eyes on him. The female subject would like the readers to acknowledge a few good reasons why she finds him captivating. Reason number one, the male subject is one of the few men that could initiate conversation without having it seem to be cumbersome, assertive, and/or unwanted. The second reason is that he has given her attention in the most delightful way; as opposed to inquire her personal information in an intrusive manner, he often asks with child-like and genuine wonderment, which leads to the following reason, he listens and remembers. Surely the female subject has been approached by a few good men before, however, not many has been able to actually pay attention to her, especially to the remarks that she does not directly say to them. Another reason is that she finds her to be at ease with him, enough to share inside jokes. Should the readers find the need for more reasons, please contact her privately.

In conclusion, the female subject currently finds that she could use some companionship from the male subject, should he agree. Simply, she has found that he is a suitable candidate for something as important, though some might say fleeting, as this modern romantic relationship.

Note: The subject of romantic love, however, will not be stated in any of the agreement due to the pristine and fragile thing known to the humankind as the heart. Both parties can be subjected to romantic love even if they do not admit and/or accept it. Further discussion about romantic love should be held by both parties in order to decide whether or not the relationship should be continued. As opposed to the subject of romantic love, the only rule about sexual conducts between both parties is the activities should be consensual. The female party even encourages any kind of skinship between them to satisfy the hunger of touch as reassuring, comforting, romantic, or even sexual gestures. Nevertheless, the relationship should terminate immediately if one of the parties does not give any kind of consent to the sexual advances formed by the other party.

Update: the female subject has found out that the male subject does not view her in the same way which she views him. The project is terminated until further notice.

Absolutely Not a Love Story

Thursday, May 12, 2016 Comments Off

I discovered that he is a lot taller than I had previously thought, making him abundant more intimidating, yet less kissable. His now-recognisable scent lingers around me every time we part; his fragrance wafts lovely in the air, gently kissing the tips of my hair and the lapels of my coat. Everything about him is new, yet there is a certain kind of familiarity about him that echoes and rings in the corners of my brain.

Maybe in a sense, he is the epitome of everything that I have always known before. Something safe, easily approachable, yet a proper individual in his own way. There is a right amount of mysterious air around him, although I cannot be sure whether or not the enigmatic aspect about him is intentional and elaborate, and his elusive behaviour baffles everyone to the point that his indecisiveness and vagueness add up to his reclusive persona. Though to be clear, he is not as appealing as I have written because he is, for the most part, normal; but not normal enough to be just another faceless figure in the background of a lush movie. Furthermore, he does not puzzle me in a similar way which a proper kind of taciturn tall, dark, stranger type of character could illicit your curiosity. He is, simply, a man. A man that, at times, is fun to be with, even though I can't seriously take his words due to his indecisiveness.

But, in all seriousness, it is fun to finally find someone to like—someone that I can adore because of his actions, someone that I can flirt harmlessly with, someone that I can look forward to meet with, and someone I can joke around with. Not necessarily someone that I will settle down with, obviously, with his inability to be dependable; but it helps alleviate my craving for inside jokes and cute banter between a person of opposite gender. A tiny sip of water to quench my thirst.

We are both generously limited only to the act of talking with each other on the spot, though I haven't got any idea if it was otherwise. This act of liking someone, without actually having to be romantically entangled with him and all the while recognising his flaws, has been missing from my life since quite a while. And it is, as I've said, a familiar and comforting feeling—partly deceiving the longing in my veins that have been imperceptibly singing the song of the swan for the past years. Lately the song has turned into somewhat cheerful, though it has kept its dark disposition, and it is absolutely not a love song. Still, it is a rather welcomed change.

Aside from the statistic and scientific fact that I could never have someone that I want to want me back—which in this case is him—there is also another numerous factors that make me impossible to be with him romantically, although, surprisingly, age is not a problem in this particular case even though I had always thought that the first proper man that I like would be older than the stars. To be absolutely honest, I am writing about this not because I want to have sympathy or pity, but rather to share with you the giddiness and childishness of liking someone; a feeling some people have forgotten since they are too busy being serious. And I am honestly looking for days of us being together, without actually having us to be together.

And I feel grateful, since it is nearing Summer, and everything is supposed to be in bloom.

Feelings, too.

[pic by Rowan Fraser-Taylor]

Andi, Part III

Monday, May 9, 2016 Comments Off

Before there was a "you and I", there was one thing that bonded us together.


We were both stuck in a situation that we could no longer cope with—perhaps, stuck is not an appropriate word to express what we experienced back in the day because we consented to the situation we were in. It was more in a sense that we had to settle down with the choice that we took years ago. Though, reflecting back, had the circumstances we were in was different, we would not seek solace in each other; we wouldn't need a momentary pause, a soft gap, between the inevitability of our chosen realities. But, that was then. Now?

Now, we have each other.

Everything is more vivid—colours are more pronounced, new songs discovered everyday, sleeping is no longer necessary, and feelings are louder. Oh wow, I have never thought that feelings could be this intense. Missing someone has never felt like you could explode, even after having him in my arms. Maybe this is what they say about sharing a life with someone, he embodies your soul too. We both unearth feelings that were previously undiscovered. We familiarise each others' patterns, including hidden shapes of our birthmarks. Everything is bliss. Normalcy seems foreign now, especially sleeping alone. Contours of our bodies have somewhat adjusted to accommodate one another that we always look forward to falling asleep next to each other, even if we never wanted sleep to stealing away moments of us together.

In you I found companionship—a home to the bones that long to dance to the anthem of every music that has ever existed, a house to the largest collections of my thoughts, and a galaxy of infinite patience and understanding. Few things that were previously absent in my life. A different kind of intimacy and familiarity that I never knew could exist between two people.

But, apparently, it exists. And it's glorious.

The Lunchbox

Monday, April 18, 2016 Comments Off

There is an interesting thought that I have been meaning to share for the past few months. Of course, the thought came to me because I watched a movie. This time, the movie was The Lunchbox.

It was aptly named The Lunchbox due to the romance that was sparked because of a lunchbox delivery mishap, something that rarely occurred in India's dabbawalas. This unfortunate event had made a man, named Saajan, received a lunchbox that was supposed to be given to someone else. At first, he was not baffled by the fact that his lunch tasted exponentially better than the day before. But the next day, when he found a small note inside the box, he became intrigued. The note was written by Ila, a generous hausfrau that had cooked with all her might for her husband; only to have the food delivered to the wrong person. But, was it truly delivered to the wrong person? This movie explored the possibility of romance in the basic way possible; feelings ignited without having to physically meet the other person. Watching it was truly a pleasure, like taking a long sip of a perfectly brewed tea in the middle of autumn afternoon.

However, it was not the romance part that got me thinking, although it was delivered in a really gentle and subtle way. There was a scene, where Ila was reading the reply that was written by Saajan. In this particular scene, they were starting to get to know each other, and Saajan had just revealed to Ila that he was a widower. He wrote, "I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to." That line truly struck me until I was only a helpless, quivering mess—not the good kind either. It made an impact to me because I understood it quite well.

Although I am pretty much an open book, but it is not easily read due to my inability to properly communicate something to someone else. I have always felt like there is something left unsaid when I talk to people––broken pieces hanging on the tip of my tongue, its existence forgotten because I am not used to explain things in great details to someone, because I am not used to letting it all go. There are things that I failed to mention because I am not fluent in sharing almost completely about myself to someone else. And I am certain that telling intimate details to another person is a form of art. The kind of which that I have yet to master.

Truly, I did not intend to write this to make people take pity on me––or worse, to make my close friends think that they are not enough vessels for my oceans of stories. In this particular post, I would like to describe how it is like when you are not well practiced in the beauty that is confidentially convey your personal thoughts and idea to someone. To tell you the truth, the reason why I am oftentimes frustrated is because I cannot fully express everything that I had meant to say. I have observed that when you have a significant other, or a partner, you get to practice on categorising your thoughts inside your head because it would not make sense for them to listen to everything all at once. Unfortunately, due to the lack of partner, my thoughts are often in jumbles and mess since I have no way of sorting them out. It makes it harder for me to actually seek an honest conversation with someone because usually I would be at loss on what to begin since, with no one to share, I usually keep everything to myself.

This topic is related to the question that my coworker asked me last Friday, "do you have any friends that you are truly yourself when you are with them?" And I would like to answer the question with both yes and no. Yes, because I do not have any private life that truly no one knows about, therefor whenever you are with me I am truly myself. But also no, because I interact with circles of my friends differently; my friends have different ideas of me, especially those that are in different social groups. One would bond with me on the base of similar music taste, while the other was someone I grew up with. All of them, however, do not know every side of me.

I know it is very repetitive of me for saying that I need an intimate relationship with someone, but I have found that in this day and age, it is something that people often find themselves lacking with. It plays a huge role in people's personal development, and I always seek that growth that would make me discover more and more about myself. It is an idealistic and delusional notion for thinking that intimacy would be the key for me to understand myself, but it does not hurt to try, does it?

[pic by jueki]

Someday Somewhere

Sunday, March 27, 2016 Comments Off

If you ask any one of my close friends, they would tell you that my lifelong dream is to live alone somewhere abroad––preferably somewhere with breezy Summer afternoon and colder than average Winter mornings. Even though they could only roughly describe why I've always wanted to go out, but they all know how much I want to live a life that is quite different from the life I am currently living. I am too full of life to be contained in this fully packed country. Sometimes, I feel like I am too much of a person for my closed ones; too much of a daughter for my parents. If I were to be kept here, as an existence with so many things building up inside her, I don't think I will be able to fully live up to my potentials. I understand that it sounds incredibly inauthentic and unapologetically narcissistic, but I suppose that is one of my greater fears. I am afraid of withering in this metropolitan country that does not offer anything but constant consumerism with their capitalist ways; in here, I have found nothing but great disappointments in chasing anything other than capitalist objects, including romantic love and passion.

I should stop myself there, before I could turn this post into a long one. The reason why I uploaded all of these beautiful pictures is because I encountered a problem this weekend. I don't know if you've noticed this about me, but my response of facing a problem is to not facing it. I would just escape to a place somewhere that is not necessarily real. This weekend, I decided to escape to a place where I feel everything is finally right––where the only feeling that is left on my being is contentment.

All of the pictures above are obviously not mine. If they are yours and you want them to be taken down or given credit to, please contact me

Collection of Recollections, Part II

Sunday, March 20, 2016 Comments Off

Maybe one day we'll meet again,
talking about
why we refuse to remember
what we forget to remember.

Your eyes would be
warmer, wiser, but
tougher to the unfamiliars.
And I would be carrying something:
a laptop bag, a grocery bag,
or perhaps even my child.

I would be easier to swallow,
a less solid version of
something you used to have,
someone you used to know.

We would greet each other
doing a once forgotten dance
a smile, a hug, and a onceover.

Two reunited souls,
seeing each other again —
at long last!
But we'd both know,
there'd never be greater distance,
than time long past.

— Salute to my Almost

Faux Self-Made Reality

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Last weekend, I went to my hometown for a simple, weekend getaway. My purpose there was to attend my close friend's graduation ceremony; a fully packed fiasco that could not have been any hotter if it was held 5 meters away from the Sun. The overall situation did not make me cheerful, not in the slightest, although I felt a lot better once I met my friend. That whole Saturday I spent with my friends from college, reminiscing about the time long past and just simply cooling off from the hectic week that we had, especially considering that the night before I just got back home from a business trip. However, it was not until Sunday that I started collecting my thoughts after a few months of not being able to think about anything other than work.

On that particular Sunday, I did not sleep in. I woke up earlier than usual—much earlier than I liked and the length of my sleep was not as long as I needed. It was too short for a restful sleep, and it was not enough for me to catch up from the sleepless nights that I had few days prior. But, since I already had made plans with the aforementioned friend for a simple Sunday brunch, I could not afford any more sleeping in and lazing around the house; though I was almost tempted to just invite her over for a breakfast that I could simply make and just enjoy the impossibly expensive sound of quietness. I also knew, however, that both me and my friend needed a small stretch of secluded time and space for us to just share whatever it was that ran into our head and smashed the heck out of our consciousness. We needed whatever it was that had us draining every single thought that we each had about how we deal with reality and what we have to face every day.

We also talked about our dreams. And what we would have done if we had romantic love, the one that went away from us. What we could have and would have done if that kind of love even graced its presence in our lives. We talked about how simple it was to talk with someone that is not from our country, how it was easier to share our triumphs and trials with someone from foreign countries, and how they are less judgmental. It is the kind of conversation that made me mull over the choices that I've made in my life so far, especially concerning my professional endeavour.
There had always been doubts, since the beginning. Some people might not know but I have always wanted to be something else—something more—but since there were only limited options, I had to settle for this one since it offered me something so much better than the other options I had. There was some circumstance which seemingly sounded perfect for me—if I were to settle down in this country. But I had always wanted more, anything felt better than anyone could propose to me. To be completely honest, I've never been fond of the idea of waking up and realising that I had to settle down with anyone and anything. There had always been a life, somewhere out there, that was meant for me; a place that I should have gone home to with a special kind of scent that always cling on my attires, reminding people that I exist in my own terms and my own accounts.

What saddened us the most was the fact that not everyone could accept that. Not everyone could and would understand the infinite emptiness which loneliness enclosed you in and locked you up inside your head because your surrounding's incapability of accepting and recognising your thoughts and emotions. People would just reason that your inability to fully connect with your surrounding because you got arrogance, ego, and pride. The trifecta that sounded bad on everyone's lips no matter how they say it. We were alienated by what they perceive in us, we were distanced because they saw what we wanted was absurd, and we were foolish for wanting it. And it was true, what we wanted were not available, due to its prior commitment and distance; they are still unavailable as I write this.

That Saturday reminded me again why I wanted to leave. Why the whole absurdity of routines and halfhearted acceptance of faux self-made reality had made me forgotten what I should be living for. And I aim for something more, something different, something that will adapt to me as I am to them. I seek for solace, for peace, and for restful sleep; wherever it is.

The Element

Sunday, March 6, 2016 Comments Off

My parents have always been opposed to my term of love. They have proven to me, time and time again, that the ideas of love that I think about are either too impossible to function or too delusional. What they think of love, and consequently relationship, is just too different from my idea of love and what I seek from it. And for the first time in my life, I understand what they want and what they want me to have.

It all started with the usual Friday night out with my friends from work. We have this routine of going out, every two weeks or so, which we always look forward to. During the hours when we are out of the office, we would simply be friends, not coworkers; meaning, everything that we rant that are exclusively office-related won't be repeated to anybody else from work both when in and out of office. We created this safe space where every single word that we say would not be held against us should anyone at work ask us about those particular topic in the future.

On that particular Friday night, we went to this relatively new gastrobar near our office. It was neatly located between two huge trees, and not that hard to spot from the main street. I was skeptical of the place at first since I really had not heard any single one of my friend mention about it. But I was proven that the place was nice after all. The gastrobar was decorated tastefully, somewhat reminded me of a broken times in the 60s with art deco, and they serve you with these age old drinkwares that looked like they were summoned from a time long past; the whole place was a pretty homage to the glorious days when Andy Warhol was the host of every glorious event in the world.

The most important thing of this gastrobar, however, is its dim lighting and moderate space between each tables, they provided us quiet intimacy in which we could chat privately with each other, talking about various topics, from the mundane to the most important: the affair of the heart. It's bound to happen, really, when you put few females together, especially after a long week. Obviously, the topic that we always ended up talking is romance affair, or any other type of romantic endeavour, which sadly I haven't had anything worth to talk about. But, I have always loved listening about it; about how someone could ignite your passion, or about how you can truly be comfortable with someone else that they become a part of you, an extension of your soul inhabited in another body.

The conversation on that Friday night was interesting to me because it had given me a new perspective in seeing what my parents (and to some extent my friends) want me to have concerning love or romantic endeavour. I finally understood that because of what my coworker was talking about romance. She was currently having this fiery passion inside of her that is ready to burn longer than one trip around the Sun. I admire her for that. I admire a person's courage when they make decisions based on their passion and emotion, instead of making year-long decision making process the way I do. And now I get what my parents want me to have. They want exactly what my coworker want, a giant ball of fire that is ready to burst whenever I am near the person that I am in love with. They want me to feel like there is tsunami inside, ready to devour everything on its path. They want me to feel like there is tornadoes inside, throwing everything out of its way. They want me to feel like there is volcanoes inside, extremely hot and eruptive. They want passion.

But it's not what I want for myself. To tell you the truth, in every relationship that I pursue, be it romantic or platonic, I always seek for the intimacy; a certain closeness that I have with the other person. I want us to blend almost seamlessly with each other. I want us to have something that can be shared with each other, regardless of the type of relationship. And I want to feel safe with them, like all these guards that I have been purposefully built over the years can be torn down with a single touch, with a single word, and a single glance. I don't want that deconstruction to be deliberate either, I want it to be mutual. I want myself to give them the power of destructing my walls. True, I have built a rather large and complex labyrinth, but often the people who are able to push the button for deconstruction found them accidentally, and without so much of a meaning to burn my labyrinth. This is where I differ from my parents and from some of my similar minded friends. I want something that is borne out of familiarity and comfort.

And with that, I can honestly tell you: I pick the calmness and the depth of the ocean, over the burning Sun.

A Letter to Stranger

Monday, February 29, 2016 Comments Off

Dear Almost Love,

How have you been? It has been too long since we have discussed with each other about the things that we fear the most about growing up. I've now realised that we are both grown ups now. It is not exactly the way I had imagined back when we were talking about this over a huge cup of ice cream. I almost did gain my imagined future, but I tossed it away for a promise of a better future. Though, to be completely honest, I really wish that the better future comes along faster, but not everyone is as lucky as you.

Through this letter, I would like to let you know about what has been happening in my life lately, since we haven't properly communicated with each other in a while—and apparently we have both of us to blame for not showing any effort to stay in touch. But, maybe we really have to let each other go, or perhaps I posed it wrong, we already had let each other go. In a sense, when we were still holding on to each other: we were in this glorious bliss of a neutral zone. Where everything stayed where they were with untouched boundary. I really had thought so. But the last few years I had come into a realisation that we were actually dancing pretty close to the boundary, even our close proximity was visible to the eyes of the unobservant.

The feeling that I miss the most about our closeness is the intimacy. Regardless whether intimacy actually existed or not, but it truly is what I miss the most. Every time I seek for a relationship with someone else, especially with another gender, I always try to find the same intimacy that I found in whatever it was that we had. It was a big portion of my adolescence. And do you know what comes with intimacy? Inside jokes.

Inside jokes are the best, no? You get to share this tiny little bubble of space that only exists between the two of you, and one of you holds the key, while the other holds the lock. Honestly, I miss every part of it. I miss being inside a small knit that I called "you and I."

But inside jokes are cruel, too. It gives me more expectations about something that could never be, like "you and I" for example. It makes me think of something that was more than what it was, it now feels like I should have got something more than any of this. It makes me feel like I should have something more than years of radio silence and static tv.

I'm writing this just to let you know with my situation currently, I feel cheated. From the Universe itself. You see, there is this potential that I have been eyeing for the past week; an impossible potential, I might add. The Universe has shown me that, this sacred potential only I could precept since none of these people has given him a great big deal of interest, he is an interestingly impossible potential. Even though, I admit, that he is an impossible potential, but at a certain degree I feel cheated because, at first, he has shown me this unmindful interest, with his own nonchalant way. Then, he went cold, a disinterested kind of cold. The most unnerving part of this is that I know that he is impossible, but I still want him to know that I'm interested. Even though, as you've known before, I've never been the person that people are interested in before. So, maybe my ego is bruised, or my hope shattered, or my happiness ruined.

But all I know about romance is that it can never be mine. It's close enough, but not enough to grasp, only for me to believe that it exists. Though, not for me.

Yours truly.
The one that could have grown old with you

Collection of Recollections, Part I

Sunday, February 21, 2016 Comments Off

If anyone asks,
who are you
or more importantly,
what are you?
I could only answer you with this:
an accumulation of never
a summation of being a second choice
 I thought I should let you know

I was eighteen
(soft cheeks, unruly hair, bare faced)
when I first saw someone I love,
it was me, happy
— I envy her

The day my mother knew
that the world has robbed off
the most innocent part of me
was when I told her
about the fact that
the foundation of marriage
is not always love
— The cruelest thing world has ever done to me

My grandmother told me about
the worth of women
it is when
they are chosen by worthy men,
those men that are smart, handsome,
and more importantly rich.
But my grandmother failed to tell me
that the sum of a woman's worth
has never been other people,
it is
everything that has happened,
and will happen to her;
it is her pain, her sweat, her tears,
her blood, her joyful laughter, and
everything that comes in between
nothing more and nothing less.
— Her own beating heart

Little Drizzles

Sunday, February 7, 2016 Comments Off

I have always thought love would come knocking with a sharp, reassuring tap tap.

Love would caught me by surprise because it'd arrive at the most unpredictable time. It would come, bearing the comfiest, overworn sweater that has faded letters of something from their past. Love would come as it is, without anything covering its blatant truth and potentials. Love would let me snuggle, even if it was hot outside. Love would never fail to say please, sorry, thank you. Love would apologies when needed, not expected. Love would wait for me to finish an even pair of winged eyeliners, while I wait for the tea to cool down, and for the rain to transform into little drizzles.

But that specific kind of love never came, love never did. At least not in that particular state. Almost Love did grace me with their presence, but Almost Love did not live up to their potential. An Almost Love came by for a chat or two, leaving me beguiled, and then it left. Almost Love straightened up their tux as they wait for a set of eyes to sweep them off their feet. Almost Love hurriedly caught their next plane to their dream destination, in which they found contentment and self-actualisation. Almost Love got to one of their knees in front of someone else; someone with pink cheeks, freckles, and naturally blonde hair. Almost Love opened up a coffee shop, in a city thousand miles away (it opens every time I go to sleep). Almost Love was so caught up at work, it disappeared completely, only to return with frozen heart and thick ego. Almost Love left, and never return.

Instead, love came as a friend that called me when it was over 2 AM, rambling about how inconvenient their current job is and how impossible it is to find a place to rent. Love came as a friend, sleeping over when I feel like sharing my bed and my thoughts. Love came as a friend, ready to be at my beck and call whenever loneliness strikes its bullet straight to my soul. Love came as a friend that talks with a whisper and a sigh, tired and worn with this materialistic and consumerist world, but they never failed to support me. Love came as a friend, whenever I feel tired, they will take over the wheel and let me rest, no questions asked. Love came as a friend, sipping my tea and finishing up all of my leftover chips, and they would say "it's enough." Love came as a friend, still awake at midnight, waiting for me to send pictures of things that I want to buy. Love came as a friend, armed with hairties, bubblegums, and healing salves. Love came as a friend, lent me their shoulders, irreplaceable time, and warmest hugs.

Maybe my preferred version of love has not arrived yet; their plane maybe got delayed or they even haven't booked any ticket yet. Maybe my preferred version of love is still sitting on a bench near a buss stop, pondering whether or not the journey is worth it. Maybe my preferred version of love is sleeping on the wrong bed, thinking that it is where they are meant to be (and to be completely honest I do not blame them). Maybe my preferred version of love does not exist.

Maybe, I was not meant to say, "Welcome love, enjoy your stay."

She's Everything

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Comments Off

She's the kind of girl that you can never stop loving.

She has that kind of eyes, you know? The kind that makes you wish you had known her sooner. The ones that can smother you with love and kill you in just one look. The ones that will gently carry your soul or the ones that will crush everything you've ever known. All with just one look. It's piercing when she knows -- you know -- you are lying about something with her, but it will all be forgiven with just another look that makes you feel grateful that you are alive. You always wish that she will never stop looking at you with sparkles in her eyes.

You will feel like dancing when she finally understands you. How to elicit emotions other than hatred and self-pity. She knows which switch to turn, which ones that will make you tasted red on your lips, or feel songs that never existed before. She knows your crevices and your nooks, and your negative space, and your overflowing undercontained thoughts. She made a nest out of your destructed fortress, complete with four-poster bed, thick mahogany-coloured afghan, and the softest pillow; so you can always rest with her, within her.

She shares parts of her to everyone. Not all at once, not at the same time, as she still keeps some parts of her stay inside, apart from the real world. But, gradually, everything she has to offer will be sent to you even those hidden parts of her that had never come out before, each will be wrapped with silver silk (the same kind that will glide smoothly on her skin and you will forget where the silk starts and where here skin ends). Your fingertips hold power to make her fall apart, and build her back again; you can start listening to her skin hum with her favourite song. And you will notice that everything about her is beautiful.

You never planned any of this. There was something in the past, something you used to turn to when everything went dark. But, she replaced everything you've ever known. She is not what you expected either. She tends to seek the anonymity that metropolitan cities can never offer, yet her proclivity to be paradoxical makes people confused, she often composes illustrative pieces of her emotions that makes her impossible to remain anonymous. Her endless need to grow as a person often gets in the way of her love for being secluded. She needs human interactions in her otherwise pensive existence. In order to feel that plateful range of emotions, she needs to believe that she actually exists by including herself in the complicated interactions.

She is everything to you, as you are to her.

She is everything.

And I can never be her for you.


Sunday, January 10, 2016 Comments Off

Last weekend, I went out with my sister from another mister. At first, it started as a two-hour casual pre-dinner sushi-binge while talking about some high school drama that never seemed to stop, even after high school is long over and most of us have bills to pay. This has always been our routine since high school, I suppose. We would meet up at a sushi restaurant, eat anything salmon, and we would talk about anything and everything. Afterwards, we would either go to a coffee shop, or we would stroll around to spend money on something that was not particularly necessary. It's little things like this routine that keeps me going.

After what it felt like an eternity of eating on the sushi restaurant, we spent another eternity at a make up store and then at a bookstore. Finally, it was almost nine when we decided to sit down and have a cup of coffee; as a perfect end to our ancient routine.

Alas, we did not end it with coffee. We ended the night by talking over two glasses of pink and red liquid.

I forgot what first prompted us talking about our love life, or obviously lack thereof, but knowing us, we would try to bring up that topic as often as we can. There we were, two women, who obviously did not intend to wind up there, with hearts on our sleeves and each had been slightly broken by the people who were sadly unable to handle them. Two hearts, each seeking for a solace. Two hearts, side by side but still unspeakably lonely.

Of course, we started psychoanalysing what was wrong with us; people had a clear theory for her inability to establish a romantic relationship, whilst we could come up with zero reason for mine. To be completely honest, we did not need those two pink potions in order to do this, we had done this since before we even could sit on a bar without the barkeep asking for IDs. Seven years of friendship, but we still sat on the same spot pondering about what life hadn't offered us yet, including free beverages from complete strangers that ask your number. Still pondering about love, unrequited. About love as an impossible feat. About finding a potential, an almost, that couldn't be anything other than that. About the inevitability of waiting as a hopeless romantic single woman in her twenties, with her own income and a good head on her shoulders.

The waiting could be dangerous, as I have learned from my colleagues. One day, you were in your early twenties, and casually waiting, purposeless but hopeful. But then you got caught up with work, what with your flexible time. And then you woke up in your early thirties, without anyone to call home.

But the worst thing about it all is not that hypothetical scenario, not the bar visiting, not the paycheck getting, not waking up alone. It's the looking, and consequently the hoping. It's that time at the end of the day when you realise that you wasted another day, that every single glance you threw over the eligible proverbial fish in the ocean was not fruitful. That those painted lips did not able to entice anyone.

That everyday you know you have to go through that again. You, waking up alone in the morning, glancing over the empty space next to you that should have smelled like aftershave and cologne. You, painted your lips with practiced precision, gaining tiny sliver of hope that maybe today would be that day you meet someone good, someone that you can eventually see yourself with. You, with your smile faltering as the hours go by, painting your lips over and over again. You, going to bed with bare face and barely any hope. You, and only you. Me, and only me, over and over again.

I really want to say that I'm still young; that there are still years in front of me waiting to be unfolded, food that I haven't tasted, scenery I haven't seen, books I haven't read, and even soulmates I haven't found yet. But still, and I believe my friend agrees with me on this. Still, there is that coming home emotionally and mentally alone, Still, there is that feeling when you are left out, with your friends being asked to the dance floor with hot strangers, with your friends getting free cup of coffee from a cute barista with dimples, with your friends not having to worry about paying the bills. Still, there is that feeling of not enough for not having been able to find someone that can almost completely relate to you. Still, there is constantly fighting your demons alone and solving your problems with your own tools.

Still, you feel inadequate for a period of time you know not.
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