Archive for 2018

When I Think

Friday, December 14, 2018 Comments Off

When I think of kindness, I think of your eyes. How they would acknowledge both my flaws and virtues, giving each trait their fair share of praise and constructive criticism. How they would undone all of my harsh predispositions about myself without seemingly to try or guess. How they regard me with softness—without judgement of the deeds and mishaps that I did throughout all the years that I have lived without you and all the adversities that I will eventually face. How they would exude warmth, the kind of cocooning warmth that I seek shelter in.

When I think of willingness, I think of your hands. How they are bigger than mine, and how they are willing to handle all my thorns, splinters, and sharp edges. How they are aware of the immediate painful effect that those fractured pieces could bring. How they know which part of these fragments need to be softly held or harshly gripped.

When I think of truthfulness, I think of your ears. How they are able to easily filter everything that I say, and come up with spot-on conclusion on the actual idea that I want to relay on. How they are able to decipher the stuff that I want to say without having me to completely communicate it. How they are able to accommodate minuscule mood changes by easily picking up different tones and pitches.

When I think of persistence, I think of your lips. How they are able to repeatedly say all the right words to dismantle all these walls of labyrinth that I had purposefully and deliberately erected to fend off unwanted (all) people from hurting me more than I hurt myself. How they are unwavering in their quest to strip all the pretences that I had built around my persona to become softer, digestible, likeable version of myself. How they are able to coax the most me out of me.

When I think of friendliness, I think of how you could easily befriend my demons. How you could effortlessly point out and recognise each and every one of them. How you could treat each of them with respect they deserve for being my companions before you came into my life—even if the respect you offer is laced with underlying purpose of expelling them out.

When I think of romance, I think of you. Come home to me my dear, this wild heart is already yours.

Types of Love

Monday, November 26, 2018 Comments Off

For a woman named Roselijn.

Do you know that there are so many types of love?

There is a type of love is the kind that chokes you, very much in the same way when your perfume is overly scented with too many alcohol mixture. It feels nice but dizzying at the same time. You don't know whether you want to run to or from it

A type of love that no one can escape from is the maternal kind. A nurturing thing that everyone experienced and received from various figures in their lives. It is the kind that nurtures you, moulds you, and guides you

There is also a burning kind of love. It engulfs you with fire and smoke, burning your eyes and your lungs. It keeps you warm by setting you aflame, making you forget how peacefulness and calmness should feel like for your whole being—how proper love should feel like for your whole being

A love that bores you should be avoided at all times. Sure, it is safe and comfortable, and you can always expect it to be true to itself. It is reliable. But it does not excite you.

The only thing that love should not be is a chore. It should not feel like a burden to you. You should not force to receive or give it to someone else

How ever many kind of love you encounter, you must not forget the love that you cultivate within yourself. Your own self-love. It should soothe you whenever you are burned, bored, full of mistakes, tangled under the web of mistakes and mishaps, and exhausted. This is the kind of love that will fluctuates throughout time and space, changing its form to accommodate your needs and your wants. This is the only kind of love that will stay; that allows you to forgive yourself overtime, that lets your make mistakes and amend them over and over again, that lets you breathe underwater and in fire, that guides you through ocean of insecurity and forest of unwanted feelings, that helps you make various type of memories, that breaks your heart and mends it. Your self love is a walking testament of strength and softness—all at the same time.

Dearest Self

Sunday, November 25, 2018 Comments Off

I am still yours,
even when my tummy is bloated, rolling with its lovable portions of fat and femininity
even when my hair is rumpled, unwashed, and unkempt
even when my face is blemished with constellations of acne
even when my lungs forgot to breathe for a moment after unexpected exhaustion
even when my brain declared war on itself over and over again
even when my lips are swollen after biting out pained noise
even when my throat are burning after drowning a shot of potent liquor
even when my ears refuse to listen to anything but depressing music
even when my eyes are tired after shedding ungodly amount of tears
even when my limbs shake with unexplainable coldness
even when my tongue stutters explaining about my destroyed unwanted past
even when my fingers try to map undisclosed location of my poor heart
even when my skin burns after being touch with so much kindness
even when my eyebags are bigger than my peachy bum
even when my mouth fails to form comprehensible sentences after being drowned by insecurity
even when my fingers tremble under the bulk of loneliness
even when my thighs chafes one another
even when my jeans are decorated with overflowing muffin top
even when my body refuses to move from the bed
even when my brain forgets how to produce serotonin
even when my heart dropped after witnessing a familiar scenario

I am still yours.
Every inch.
Every atom.
Every thought that was, that is, that will be.

I am still yours.

And no one can take away that fact from you.

Romantic Love, an Experience

Monday, October 29, 2018 Comments Off

Rudy Fransisco once mentioned in his poem that "Love is a tablespoon full of hemlock that I’ve been dying to try."

I understand the sentiment. I despise love—well, romantic love at least. Though I do not precisely know what it tastes like, I have no doubt that it would not agree with me. Throughout the years, I have sampled its varying kinds that were handed out by an abundance of begetters. They claimed that these snippets were the building blocks of love that were consisted of romance, intimacy, and kindness. However, in exchange for receiving those bits, I was required to be vulnerable in all sorts of ways. I was required to be candid, truthful, naked, and open to everything.

In theory, all of this would be rational, some sort of necessary requirement for establishing romantic love. Everything would be balanced out through equal exchange of building blocks and nakedness by both parties. But alas, it was nothing of the sort. The snippets that they offered in exchange for my candour were often only a one way transaction. Frequently, I was left alone and naked in the dark; feeling cold, unfortified, betrayed, and humiliated after such failed exchange where the begetters do not like my nakedness and cancelled the transaction. It would take me weeks, months, even years to recover from baring myself to those begetters, and I had to borrow warmth and kindness from my platonic peers. I admit my foolishness for allowing myself to be naked and vulnerable over and over again. I admit my wanton desire to engulf romantic love; to fully digest it without shame, remorse or consequences, and feel the transcendental experience that people regularly undergo. But self-preservation demands me to direct my desire elsewhere to a more rewarding and less risky experience.

I suppose, in the end, romantic love is an expensive indulgence not everyone can experience in their lifetime.

The Price of Vulnerability.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 Comments Off

A recent interaction with Almost Love made me firm my decision on downloading a certain dating app. Since my colleagues and I have been single for so long, we thought it was the swiftest way to get to know strangers without having to divulge ourselves too much unlike the more conventional ways to meet guys through the means of connections. At first it was just for fun—as an inside joke between my close friends at work. 

But then came a forgotten part that I despise the most: being vulnerable with a stranger.

I have learned, through numbers of interactions including with Almost Love, that I built too high of a wall. This brickless invisible wall has been keeping other people out, and keeping myself in. A defense mechanism that I built after years of deliberate neglect and alienation. This wall has succeeded in being indestructible with its unwavering ability to be robust and impermeable. The only time I lowered this wall was when I let An Almost in, and it was assembled into a congregation of clamour that ended in a barely whimpering clutter.

Through numerous of so-called trial-and-error moments in which people either overestimated or underestimated the bearing of my wall, I decided to create a more elaborate wall—a labyrinth of traps and snares that unwittingly trick you into walking barefoot on the leftover remnants of countless wars between me and myself, but also with others.

This painstakingly detailed labyrinth is the cheapest form of defense mechanism. It has been with me throughout the years I grew up. This labyrinth, even though I personally built it brick after brick, you could still see some influences from external lack of care. There are numerous little icy pricks caused by external heartache, large blobs of insecurity that throb so loudly and painfully whenever someone comes near the wall with unclear intentions, shrapnels of general distrust, and toxic waste of loneliness.

I will never believe in the genuineness of anyone, not unless they would willingly dismantle this giant labyrinth by going through it while fighting my demons at the same time.

And I know, baby, I can never be someone worth your time and effort.

Perhaps, I was born right, but assembled wrong.

Wispy Blue

Saturday, October 6, 2018 Comments Off

I will never forget the gentleness in his wispy blue eyes whenever he saw me looking at him.

The corner of his eyes would wrinkle a bit, not as a testament to his age, but as a display of emotion on his otherwise stoic face. A ghost of knowing smirk would also adorn his face whenever his wispy blue would catch my coffee brown, projecting a seemingly private long-established intimacy between us. Those wispy blue would reserve dedicated kindness for me whenever I felt the need to inhabit temporary sanctuary that would fend off external criticism.

His wispy blue could be very cruel too—tirelessly locating unwanted truths about myself that he could easily spot without even him having to squint. I never figured out how he was able to procure a specific pair of optics that could strip me bare in front of him, making me cold with insecurities. That pair of wispy blue could effortlessly destruct walls that I had specifically erected to guard myself from outside scrutiny. He did make some efforts in sparing me from believing only bad things about myself by baring himself in return, wordlessly showing me that we were actually more alike than he would like to admit.

But I recently found that, though his wispy blue could never got tired of examining my soul, he himself eventually did. Maybe, getting tired is too harsh of a word, he just simply did not care anymore. I made some efforts in trying to salvage everything, but my attempts were futile due to our shared similarities that frankly were too similar. Though we seemingly looked different with his wispy blue and my coffee brown we were too much alike that we even regards each other's actions and underlying intention the same way.

Now, those wispy blue no longer reserve any gentleness, kindness, and warmth for these coffee brown.

Now, those wispy blue no longer dare themselves to look into these coffee brown.

Shambled and Sought For

Sunday, September 23, 2018 Comments Off

"Are you sure what you are experiencing is love?" you asked me.

I tried to laugh it off. Everything seemed to be in shambled: the world, my country, your city, our workplaces, and my head—but the first thing you asked was this? How could this shadowed everything? All the mess in the world did not seem to matter when you were being questioned about your capability and capacity to love.

"What other thing hurts me more than that? Pulled you apart, sewn you back in, with barely enough time for breathing? What other things that are crazier than that?" I berated, smiling even though I knew, my smile did not reach my eyes.

"Infatuation?"

My smile faltered. Three layers of clothing and you managed to make me feel cold. I despised your ability to do this.

"Even if it was not love—are feelings real, if you can't name them or describe them?" I countered.

Our fingers danced over the empty cups of tea we each had, but yours were dancing too close to the edge, as if you were desperately trying to summon another batch of tea. Your magic used to work, many exchanged glances ago when we were only separated by an adjoining wall, not a lifetime. How did it come to this?

"So it is not real?" you asked, biting your bottom lip.

"It had always been real for me—I could never say the same thing for you." I replied, finally letting myself acknowledge the truth that I used to despise.

You let out a loud breath. "Are you blaming me for your feelings?"

"I would never do that. My feelings for you had always been self-initiated. The motivations came from within. Always something about you, about the thought of us together, that made the feelings bloomed even brighter. I had always wished for something more. There were days when I felt like I could burst out with the intensity, but there were also days when I felt like my energy got drained just because of everything that I felt for you. It was selfish of me for wanting you to understand about this supernova, but you could have at least acknowledged my feelings."

You whispered quietly, "Then what do you want from me?"

"It was never what I wanted from you. It always had been about what I could provoke you. I would never want to have anything that was given forcefully. I only sought for clarity. Apparently that is the only thing that you could never give me," I sighed, "None of this matters anymore. I will always think of you whenever I need a reminder how winning myself over look like."

14.52 in Elsewhere

Saturday, August 4, 2018 Comments Off

I am sitting in a cafe that embodies everything I love. Anonymity is not seen as something negative in here, in fact it is quite the opposite.

It is almost golden hour and I am reminded of the new truths that were unfolded recently.

But perhaps the most heart-shattering but empowering one is the fact that I will always be alone in any form possible.

There is a lady in front of me. She ordered a cup of flat white and a smoothie bowl, both of which she gulped down quickly. Right now, with a bottle of water and a pair of sunglasses next to her, she is writing down her notes on a piece of white paper with a pink pen with her left hand. She looks out of place but content with herself at the same time. I do not know what she is writing right now. Maybe it is something about her schedule on the upcoming week or something about what she learned today. But she is here—happily writing away without care in the world.

As sad as it is, I truly feel like this is what I will be in the future. I feel like watching a mirror image of myself.

Alone, in an elsewhere, writing away.

And I am trying to accept that.

Something Pure and Peaceful

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Comments Off

It's funny how time retains and removes everything at its path -- how time does not let go a certain stuff, even though any type of scenario regarding it has been dissected in thousand different way played by various main characters.

How unfortunate for us, me and my friend, that our separate endings are the ones we never thought would be possible. Essentially letting things be, even if we already knew that things would have turned out differently if there was one minuscule difference. We regret that things did not fall into place in the way we wanted to, but what's pure about everything that we experience is the fact that these lovely scenarios and feelings have never been touched by the ugliness that reality often brings. It is the saddest, yet the loveliest thing that we could experience after finally letting it be.

For me, everything that I felt was fuelled by fire. Everything burned at its wake. Everything it touched turned aflame. Burst of fire at its wake ruined everything else. My writings, however poignant or intimate it might be, were flaming. Red, hot, tireless flames were what I could see. And the smoke -- it was higher than anything, blocking everything. I could not see anything clearly. It was not  a flattering thing, I know. But it was the only thing I got, both unfortunately and fortunately. It did not swallow me whole. I came out of it alive, breathing, but appear with burn scars in a few places. I now accept the fact that I would never completely heal, that these marks would stay with me to remind me that there was purity in the fire. There was aspects of loveliness and liveliness from coming out alive after those pure fire. This is a tale that not everyone can experience in their lifetime.

I cannot say the same thing about my friend regarding her previous experience.

But we both agree what comes next should feel like calming waters in the depth of ocean. Something that would clear your heart and your head instead of blurring them. Something that more determined than fire, but not as stubborn. Calmly, calmly. A different kind of purity and peace. An essence of life. Something that is necessary but without coercion. Something that fuels and disposes of anything else that could not help you to grow. Something that wants you to grow in the same pace and to the same place. Something that changes and settles at the same time.

Will you be that body of water, my darling?

Unlost and Lost

Monday, June 18, 2018 Comments Off

it was 4 am in the morning when I quivered and shattered.
I wanted to bloom--
truly, to feel myself blossoming and expanding,
reaching out to the nurturing energy out there

patience was a virtue that I was familiar with, but never mastered.
so the pedal broke. the fuel was insufficient.
the circumstance was pushing me to contract
--to wait, to wait, to wait it chanted

in the distance I heard someone crying,
this cry of help that I've heard lifetimes ago
here again, not for something that was easily fixed
again, for the same irreparable thing

whatever that got unlost and lost again
--no, not what but whomever that got unlost and lost
would have to learn to bite their tongue and swallow their blood
through the unmapped wilderness that the universe provided

All Your Tousled Hair

Friday, May 18, 2018 Comments Off

Before our colleague pointed out that you shaved your face clean, I noticed it first this morning.

Seeing you with that freshly shaven face with clean-cut hair, I felt a certain kind of betrayal. A betrayal which I am not allowed to feel under any capacity -- a certain kind of betrayal that only works when you are officially attached to the other person. A feeling that is not mine to have yet I feel it all the same. Similar to how you can never be mine but I am overflowed with what I am feeling for you.

Seeing you made me recall all the things that I want to do with you. All I want is only simple things, like running my fingers through your tousled wavy hair, feeling your beard on my skin, helping you pick out that right backpack to replace your overused one, wrapping my arms around your waist while placing my head to that spot under your chin in front of your neck that was especially made for me, sharing a bottle of sake after a particularly rough week, and other domestic stuff that feels tangible but impossible at the same time.

I'm still wondering, my glorious, have you ever wondered about these domestic stuff? The kinds of which I wished for. The kinds of which I still wish I could experience all of these with you. The kinds that will only remain alive in my head perhaps until the end of time.

If the circumstances were different, would you pursue me or would you still play that mind games? Would you give us a chance? Would there any gaping noticeable space that currently exist between us? Or would we burn in flames together trying to match each other's challenges.

There are a lot of things that I want from you. Things that unfortunately cannot come to fruition.

I want more than just one glorious sunset; I want everything, the suns, the moons, the stars, all the atoms, all the raging sea, thunderous sky, calming forest, peaceful mountains, and everything in between that makes the universe of us--of you and me (decisively not you, me)

Darling you still are all my spaces, all my paragraphs, all my sentences, all my pages, and all my gaps.

I still miss you. Will always miss you.

Being 23

Saturday, February 24, 2018 Comments Off

I am here sitting in the same exact cafe in which I sat a year ago writing a certain piece—still trying to decipher everything, to unfold every single burgeoning madness that's been done to me in a span of a year. Also still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it has actually been a year. That everything the has happened to me in regards to a certain individual actually started its ruthless dance since a year ago. A lot of things changed because of that particular experience with that certain individual. To be honest, it changed almost everything, most notably my own perception about romance, relationship, and self-respect. I am forever changed because of that.

Being 23 saw me striking up a courage to tell a certain individual regarding my feelings about him, getting my first proper date and kiss, tanning my skin under Balinese sun while wondering about a certain individual's intention, being taken home a couple of times by a certain individual, going on a Eurotrip with my own money, going back home to the city that accepted me for who I am, being taught playing settlers of catan by the most accommodating and welcoming host, walking around my the said city to rediscover and relove everything, watching three of my ultimate favourite bands that had been with me through all chapters of my young adult life, being mistaken as locals a number of times in scandinavian countries, publishing two chapbooks containing glimpses of my heartbreaks and revelations, gaining my self-worth and self-respect, losing weight, buying myself endless gifts including the long-craved pair of jeans and pink windbreaker, breaking my own heart from expecting someone to make a decision, attending my brother from another mother's wedding, hooking up with someone and actually putting my theories to use, slowly diminishing my body-image issue due to the said hook-up situation, taking myself to the hospital due to my acid reflux acting up, getting my heart broken endlessly by two males that shared the same name, receiving a life-changing information about my best friend, winning a much-needed new phone, taking trips back to my birth town, buying a proper speaker for my room, wining and painting beauty and the beast's signature rose, dyeing my hair copper, and most importantly, taking care of myself when no one else was there.

By being 23, there was a lot of things that I discovered, uncovered, rediscovered, learned, unlearned, relearned, thought, rethought, loved, unloved, reloved, built, broke, rebuilt, found, lost, and everything else in between. These things wouldn't be possible if I did not try to help myself after losing myself in shambles of heartbreaks and disappointments. It would not have been possible to go through it if I did not stay with myself through better or worse situation. The form of love that I have for myself is the only thing that keeps me going through whatever the condition that I have to endure.

Thank you, 23, you were tiring, but there were so many gems that I discovered—mainly about myself. I wouldn't have traded every experience that I'd gone through last year for anything in the world.

Hello, 24, what do you have in store for me? Please be good to me. I only hope for positive things this year. Or at least positive attitudes in dealing with whatever life throws at us this year.

Wreckage of Unmanned Ship

Monday, February 12, 2018 Comments Off

Just like you, my friends asked me, "Was it ever love?"

It got me pondering about the implication if it was love, or if it was not love.

If it was the latter one, wouldn't it be dismissing our feelings, interactions, and eye-contacts that we have given each other. Wouldn't it be dismissing the tension, the push and pull that the Universe had made us do these past two years. Wouldn't it be dismissing the chemistry that we seemed to have. Wouldn't it be dismissing every experience that we had due to it, everything that we did not share with each other, everything that was kept in dark silence, everything that was soundlessly whispered to the void, everything that we hoped was simultaneously shared to and kept from each other. Wouldn't it be dismissing to us as an unnamed joined entity and as our own person. Wouldn't it be dismissing each other.

But, if it was love. Who could be sure. Who could explain it to me truly that it was love. Who could explain it to me that what we had was romantic love. Who could tell me that love actually was consist of silent treatments, misunderstandings, and dishonesty. Who could tell me that the secrets we refused to share to each other—the very same secret that we whispered to the void—were what made it love. Who could tell me that the longings that couldn't leave my mouth and my heart were because of love. Who could tell me that all the late-night self-destructive wonderings that I experienced was a deliberate form of love. Who could tell me that all these lonely moments where we were left alone with our self-deprecating thoughts was a direct result of love. Who could tell me that trying to dismember our homesickness from ourselves by attaching ourselves to another person was a form of love. Who could assure me that wreckage of unmanned and purposeless ship that we found ourselves in was the result of love.

Would it still be called love if we have to prove its existence? Would it still be called love if it could only rob ourselves off of happiness?

In-Between

Thursday, January 25, 2018 Comments Off

Hello, void, my old friend. We meet again.

You are not as heavy as you used to. Or perhaps I have used to feel your presence in my chest. It is not much of a bother anymore, I have learned to breathe deeply with your weight burdening my chest. I know how to navigate life with you tagging along. But you are getting stronger, aren't you? Not because with the whole fiasco with an Almost Love but I know it's probably because I am living the kind of life that I fear the most. The kind that I never wanted in the first place. Though currently it is the only kind that can provide the type of intimacy and necessary kindness that I have been starving for since the dawn of my time—that particular kind that Almost Love couldn't provide.

This fear is gnawing on my sanity yet again. And with each bite of sanity that it has taken away, you grow stronger, bigger, heavier. I am almost at my wit's end. My eyes grow tired from trying to see the feelings that aren't actually there and my ears strain themselves trying to listen to the words that aren't spoken.

But I must give it to you, void. You have been present all my life, even though most of the time unknowingly, but as of the past ten years, you have stayed on the furthest corner of my eyesight as a constant companion. You have seen me with my heartbreaks, triumphs, and in-between... just like now. Funny how it all turned out, isn't it? I thought closures would be all there is to see when you are living an adult life, but as it turns out everything is greyer. I cannot expect anything more tangible than the snippets of reality that these people are willing to provide to me.
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