Thursday, September 02, 2004


A tete-a-tete with the bird on my window, unlocked my day. Unlike the rest of our ordinary days, he gave me a heartbreaking look. We looked into each others eyes and began to share our thoughts in the silent wordless symbols. He told me that he longed to be in the old days, where his chants were highly treasured and served as a remedy for those who were experiencing the agony of life.
I smiled and asked him to chant me his delightful tunes. I listened to him and felt my spirit lifted up to the sky. He suddenly stopped and gave me a baffled look. “This is unfair”, he said. You were drowned in the pond of sorrow and I made you listen to me.
I smiled again and told him that I needed his kind intervention to deliver my message to the sky. As to whom my message should be delivered, it was actually beyond my concern, so I told him, maybe the cloud, or maybe the wind were willing to spare their precious time to read it. If I were lucky enough the angels would be available to read my message. He was bewildered by my response and gave me a confusing but funny look. Not wanting to make him lost in the labyrinth of my world, I told him to carry my thread of words on the piece of string to the sky and leave it there to follow the course of destiny. Why?, he asked. I hesitated for a while and responded: “All I need is to pull out this thread of words out of the tiny box inside my chest and let it drift away freely into the empty air.

Friday, August 13, 2004


Outrageous! You need only one word to describe the traffic of Jakarta. The collaboration of the roaring thunder of the traffic, the speed, and dust has encrusted the city with a layer of threatening neurotic syndrome. Yet, amongst all the horrific picture of the traffic, there is always a hilarious scene that pops up out of the blue.

It was 6 pm on a week end. I drove my car among the traffic of the center of Jakarta. The traffic was the craziest ever. Far in a distance I saw a shape of a lady at the backseat of a motorcycle. Amazing…her shirt was lifted up and the blubbery part of her waist was exposed to the naked evening wind. I was plagued by the typical female curiosity to know what was going on there. She was holding a shape that look like a bag of potatoes to me. My eyes could only catch the silhouette, so I wasn’t really sure of the vision that struck my eyes. I took my spectacles and scrutinized it closely and was horrified. It was a baby, and she was breastfeeding her baby!!!!!.

The natural instinct of a woman was boggling, Driven by my curiosity and a concern for the baby made me speed my car to catch up with the motorcycle. Once I got a better view of her and the baby … I was more than just flabbergasted…it was a scene that you could never imagine. Another tot was sitting between her and her husband. He was facing her with his lips on the other breast!!!!!!!!

The motorcycle moved ahead. It zigzagged through the traffic and left me with my amazement behind. At the back of it, the flabby waist was jolting up and down following the motion of the motorcycle.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004


What??? I exclaimed in surprise, it cant be…that’s too much. I want to have the detail of every single call. Get me the list, I said furiously. The picture of my daughter talking on the phone incessantly crossed my mind. My husband, talking to his friends discussing soccer is again another scene. They have been abusing the phone for the sake of communication.

I called home. A voice answered at the other end: “ …. The kids are still at school. They wont be home until ….” I hang up the phone before she finished her statement. I dialed my husband’s number, and guess what I get…yes…”Veronica”. I got off the phone in that instant. I need to communicate with them.

I was driving leisurely, it’s my Sunday morning drive, and the streets were all empty. I was enjoying the fresh morning air. I rolled the window down and let the breeze enter my car. I tuned to my favorite station. Beep..beep…beep beep… I threw a glance to my cell phone and my boss’ name appeared on the screen. Uuggh….
I picked the phone and the rattling sound of his voice stroke my earlobes. I could hardly open my mouth to argue when he ended the phone call. A thousand of spiders were crawling on my skin, and they suddenly stung me and an earsplitting noise spurted out through my lips: Errrrghhhhhhhh...

Beep…beep…beep… the Road Runner crashed into the Coyote and…..the Coyote lies flat on the street. So is our privacy… Is this a ponopticon?

Thursday, April 08, 2004


Am I going to die when I reach the age of 55? That’s the recurring question that resides in me. There are some explanations why I am trapped in this psychosis. There have been so many incidents that occurred upon me, and they dealt with that number. On my way to work, I normally check the time to see if I’m going to be on time. Most of the time, I see 5:55 in my car’s clock. The same thing happens on my way home. Strange, but that’s the truth.

A couple of days ago, another strange incidents happened. I queued up for the election. I was right after my husband. And guess what? Yes… 55. That’s my number. I try to rationalize through all these incidents. However, I cannot escape myself from it. It has been incorporated into my mind. This number is following me everywhere I go. Has it got something to do with my destiny?

I try to make the best of it. Therefore I imagine all the good things will be showered upon me when Im 55. I envision seeing my children becoming their own persons. They probably will have their own lives with their husbands and kids and the rainbow in the sky will be shining over the roofs of their houses. As the sun rises and shines the glittering beams, I see myself playing with my grand children in the backyard of our house, in the golden meadow as we call it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004


She ripped the front page of her desk calendar. “6 March”, that was yesterday. She stared into it before tearing them apart into tiny pieces and tossing them into the air. The bits and pieces flew into the cold air before they landed on the carpet, scattering all over, like the first snowflakes as they settle themselves on the soil to masquerade the arrival of winter.

As the color of the roses begins to fade away, blown by the wind and torn apart by the rain, the only lefts over visible parts were the dry stalks that have turned rumpled. The dried petals of the roses were scattering all over the ground and some traveled even further than the eyes can hold, before they infiltrate deep into the heart of the soil.

Droplets of sweat ran down on her blushing cheeks and chin, she was breathless standing in the corner of the Gym. The exercise had taken all the energy in her. She stood there rumpled, cold, and gray, like a piece of old meat, rotten and forlorn.

She stood there watching herself in the movie of the past. This gym had been the place where she spent her days and nights, nine hours a day through one whole year. Sweat, tears, pain, boredom, agony were all mixed up during all the painful exercises. Not to mention the nights that she had to go through while writing down her final paper. She used to ask herself, why she could end up in this part of life. But those questions remained a question untill the day the victory was awarded on her team's lap.

The Gym was full of spectators, cheering loudly. Flags, trumpets, and all kinds of yell filled up the air. Some even jumped over the iron bar just to join the celebration. The thrill that victory brought to the team was hard to describe. All the players were in tears, the tears of joy. They all hug each other, all the sweat, the smell and heat were associated with the ecstasy of winning. They smell so sweet. The pride was even more when the flag and the national anthem were echoing inside the gym. It was a glorious triumphant day, the day when she could conquer all the battles of life and beat all the obstacles that impeded her ways, the day when the ship sailed through the ocean of life without any shilly-shallying.

On the other side of the field, the other team, stood in silence, not believing that the game was over, and they lost it. Bemoan occupied this part of the crowd. Tears ran down on their cheek and they smell more like grief.

She stood there with the palm of her hand on her chest, as if she was holding the gold medal. Time has stolen everything away from her. Time has absorbed her speed, her youth and spirit, and replaced them with age, drowsiness and memories. Yesterday is not today, but today carried the traces of yesterday. Just like the pieces of the torn calendar and the petals of the roses, they were part of yesterday lay there frozen today, absorbed by gravity.

“….Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away”……………

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Does it hurt you, I asked her with so much pain in my heart. She turned her face away from me and answered me abruptly: “No!!!”.
"Can I touch them…?", I asked again carefully. She nodded her head apatheticly. I caressed gently the blue-black patch on her skin with my fingers. I tried to transmit the pain to myself, but I was moved by my emotion and unfortunately pressed it too strong. She jolted and shunted my fingers away. I moved backward controlling myself. “Sorry”, I said voicelessly.
My throat was chocked with pain and anger. Cry baby…cry…release all your pain, express all your bitterness. I will dry your tears with my lips. I will warm your heart with my love. I let you rest your weary mind on my shoulder. Don’t lock yourself in your own silo of silence.

A: “Dad, can I ask more than what I normally get?”
B: “How much is that?”
A: “Today I need Rp. 50.000,-.“
B: “WHAT??? Do you think we print our own money? How much do you actually need?”
A: “I need Rp. 20.000 to buy a gift for my friend, Rp. 10.000,- for the book that I showed you yesterday.”
B: “So you need only Rp. 30.000,- and your regular pocket money.”
A: “But I want to save Rp. 10.000,- for my future”
B: “Well, what about my future then?”
A: “You don’t have any future anymore. Your future is the past.”

Thursday, February 19, 2004


I hate to be a stranger in my own environment. The campus is gonna be part of my life during the next two years. I retrieved the icons of a campus from my memory: students, books, pens, library, papers, assignments, lecturers, jeans, sneakers, shirts, music, friendships, hang around, demonstration and... romance. Some of them are not “me”. It is essential for me to understand which is “me”, or else the rest of those two years will be torturing me to death.

On my first day, the campus was crowded with people and food stalls. Valentine and graduation were held at the same time. An ensemble of musical instruments was ready on the stage. “Born Romantic”, printed on the white banner at the background of the stage. I smiled silently, asking myself if the term romantic is really for “me”. This is almost the autumn of my life.

During lunch hour, I bought a bowl of noodles and went to sit on the stone bench provided in the middle of the square. There were so many students around me, yet, I was all alone, awkward, and left out. I finished my noodles as soon as I can and went back to my class room.
The class room was probably the most comfortable space for me. It was the place where I really get what I came for. The lecturer, the books, the assignments, the night curfews are probably “me”. I will be lucky enough should most of the icons of the campus could be part of “me” again. (pssstttt..... romance is not included in the package!!!)

Welcome back old feelings!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004


His bony cheeks take over most of the space in his thin long face. Two naive eyes rest awkwardly underneath the shade of his two thin eyebrows. A genuine childlike smile is permanently glued on his lips, revealing his teeth and pinkish gums. Exposure to the heat of the sun has turned his hair yellowish with twisted ends and his complexion was dark brown with spots all over.

He used to work at my office as a cleaning boy. I felt the passion to know him at the very first time I laid my eyes on him. I asked him his name. He spelled his name, instead, EN-GEH-A-DEH-I-EN-O. He spelled it the way my child did when she first entered Kinder Garten. I knew that we both would develop a good friendship.

As time goes by, he dropped by almost every morning to my room, just to make sure that he could be of any assistance. I began to rely on him for most of my errands. He had been in charge of almost everything, my phone bills, electricity, the kids’ school uniform, and even all my private documents. I told him that honesty should be his middle name; he looked at me with a puzzling gaze.

There had been so many times that I asked him to do a thing and he came back to me with a different thing in his hand. Though I almost exploded in anger, the baffled look in his eyes chocked me to silence and I was under his magic spell again.

One day he came to me, telling me that he’s out of his job. I was rather busy with my work and told him that I was really sorry for what had happened to him and dashed out of my room to catch up the next meeting that I had to attend. The meeting lasted for hours and finally ended around 7 o’clock. I walked back to my room feeling horribly tired. He was still sitting in my sofa, and staring straight to my desk. I felt so ashamed of myself for ignoring him. Everything turned to be so heavy. My heart was burdened with tons of guilt. I haven’t got a chance to express my apology when his eyes met mine. They were like pools of tears loaded with sorrows. His lips were trembling when he asked me: “What do I have to tell my wife and kids?”

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


The alarms blared and arouse me of my bizarre dream. “Shut up”, I said lazily with my eyes half open. I reached for the clock and thumped the button forcefully with the palm of my hand. I closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep. I pulled the blanket over my face, hoping that it could take me back to my world of dream.

The unpleasant odor of my blanket and breath filled the private breathing space underneath the blanket. The need to continue the dream was stronger than the smell. I could care less about the smell and carry on to chase for the dream.

I was close to it…I was almost there, when suddenly “the lady who ruled in this house” knocked at my door. She has taken the liberty to wake me up every time she thinks I need her services. “Eeerggghhhh…..get lost”, I mimed the words silently, and pretending that I didn’t hear her. She continued knocking at my door for a couple of seconds before finally the silence was the only thing that occupied the space.

The desire to possess the dream was yearning inside. I glued my eyelids together hoping that it would bring the lost dream back to life. All my wishes, desires, requests and hopes were there, served in a heart-shaped-box. All the things that Pandora forgets to deliver to my life were there.

The feeling that I was engaged to brought back the picture of my childhood once again in front of me. I was standing there in front of the window, watching the beautiful long dark haired doll behind the cold glass window. My eyes were glazing with desire to possess the doll, an imaginary friend that could fill my days and nights. It was so close and clear to me, yet the unfriendly glass kept us both in two different and separated worlds. I couldn’t touch it nor possess it. It had absorbed all my attention until Mommy patted me affectionately on my head. As her fingers ran through my hair I felt the stream of love rushed off into my heart.

“Mom, are u all right? I don’t want to be late for school”. She uncovered the blanket. A reflection of worries intertwined with love and affections were carved on her her face. The look in her eyes brought me back to the reality. “Give me fifteen minutes young lady and let’s beat the traffic of the city. Good bye, dream…”, I muttered the last statement voicelessly and noticed the puzzled look of my daughter as she watched me dash off into the bathroom.