Revolt in paradise

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

059. A little tale about saying what you mean, and meaning what you said.

A boy and a girl sat in a car together, stuck in the unmoving traffic inside the parking lot of some mall somewhere around Jakarta. The radio was blasting one of Bruno Mars's hit songs, a must sing karaoke one, I suppose. They were inbetween conversations, when the boy said: "isn't it weird that you're not singing along to this song? I mean it's such a dancy and even a bit overplayed song, I'm sure you remember at least the lyrics to the reff part. I was just in a car with (our friend) earlier, and she can't stop screaming along to this song."

The girl looked puzzled. "I wonder," was all she could answer. She was really confused as well; as one of her most favorite activities is to sing absent-mindedly. She would sing on the shower to herself, while working on her assignments along with friends (and even around her not-so-close friends, although she was a rather shy person; but some songs are just impossible not to sing along to), during concerts, during church services sometimes as a singer up front at the stage, during guitar solos and the beating of the drum, even in secondary or third notes. She knew that singing for at least 15 minutes per day supposedly elongates one's life and even burn out some calories. Her mother, in particular, liked to remark her ability to remember so many different songs and their lyrics. In short, she loved singing. Why didn't she sang? Why wasn't it her initial reaction to sing whenever there was a halt in their conversation (as she usually does sometimes to fill up a silence)?

The answer didn't come right away, as they was quick to move on to another topic. But time passes by, and, the answer came through a flashback of memory.

Several years earlier, the boy and the girl were in the same class together, and were chair mates for several months to almost a year, perhaps. And even before that they were acquainted since early years of kindergarten, so they were at the very least, good friends. They talked a lot as they are both very chatty, and through this they knew each other's characters, vices and virtues pretty well: there are almost no pretentiousness among them. Each knows each other very well, the author supposes.

One particular day, the girl was singing around absent-mindedly as per usual, when the boy, perhaps half jokingly, but perhaps true as well, told her that she was off key.

That's it. She couldn't remember what came after that: what was her initial reaction (though she was sure she didn't really make a fuss about it and even kept on singing)? Did she ever sang again in front of him? Did she noticeably sing less after hearing so?

One, perhaps thought to be harmless, remark, was the basis of one's constrain to a supposedly unconscious mere act of joy (that is, singing absent-mindedly). Isn't that somewhat remarkable, that something so trivial could alter one's habit without her even realizing or deemed so?

058. Gold pray

I still remember my first encounter with Coldplay's music quite clearly. I'm not quite sure whether this happened somewhere before or after I've known them as a band and discovering their radio/mtv friendly songs like fix you or yellow, but here goes.

Back in the glory days of tumblr, I used to look up to my following for, mostly aesthetics and literature references, but also good music. Tumblr is a very personal social media, in a sense, that the content you're seeing in your timeline is really personally curated and in some way a personification of those you chose to follow. The social media is also well known, nowadays, as one of those secretive, 'you don't know me on tumblr' tagline, meaning you can really know someone from so many perspective and depths and layers through what they posted or reblogged, all kinks and shades and weird stuff. It was really one of the best of times to be on the internet. (Am looking at it with the rosy tinted glass the way people used to look at, perhaps the wonderful chaos that is Woodstock.)

This wonderful chaos was also what made actually searching for something on tumblr rather very difficult, as the tags are most of the time not properly correct or even available (and the ones that do are usually not quite the one you were searching for). In other words, time and patience are the currency in exchange for stumbling upon wonderful things.

The media/song player of tumblr, back then, was a mere plain white box, about 0.5 * 4 cm in size, with a simple black 'play' icon on the middle left side. One fine day, I stumbled upon this song post with no actual written title, or even written anything, I think. I forgot what it was that compelled me to listen to it, as my fragment of memory showed no text underneath the media player (tho perhaps I've just forgotten what was written underneath and took the liberty of erasing it), but I pressed play anyway. It was Clocks by Coldplay.

The intro was what must've felt like to float in a slow, forward motion through the clouds, all smithereens and specks of white sparse cotton, a bed of stratocumulus clouds under your feet, a warm golden glow from the setting sun.

The task at hand, back there, was to find out the name of the song and of the band. There was no clue left behind whatsoever, no shazam or soundhound or anything. The only solution I could think of was to google one of the lyrics, usually the reff part that stood out therefore might've been the actual title. Now, the reff part of Clocks isn't much an actual word/sentence, and the rest of the lyrics isn't exactly crystal clear to the ears of an ordinary middle school kid from a third world country having first discovered the internet only several years before.

I try my best not to take my piece of memory for granted and dramatize it so to the extent of forgetting which was actually real and which was what I think was real (then again, this piece of writing is in a way a dramatization of such memory, but, still), after several listen, there was this certain punctuation in the way he sang 'closing walls and ticking Clocks', you see, so I must've googled something along the lines of 'clocks song/clocks lyrics', which was rather absurd if you think about it. And that's how I met one of the most wonderful otherworldly magical musician/band in the universe.

I wrote this several hours before watching A Head Full of Dreams, tho. My heart caves in (as in, its still an ongoing process right now). I love them so much.

060. Ghostlings

He always left the lights on.

He always left the lights on. I was always against it. I disagree on the amount of energy wasted throughout the night, but moreover, of being able to see because of it. Of being seen, too. I have always disliked both. I like being in the dark. Being born a woman, in particular, means always being seen, wherever you go, in anything that you do. And as a result, whichever breeds which; always noticing, always doubting, never at ease, rarely just be.

But I realized, even against the dark depths and barriers of my mind, there are still things I just can't escape. There are projections, feelings, visions, personal manifestations that I would see, suppose that I need to see them. But the real question would be, are these sightings absolutely indispensable? Is there any pattern, any reasoning at all, any sign that the ones haunting you could possibly or supposedly alter something in the future or simply or future reflecting back to the past and a glitch in the nonlinear sphere/fabric of time?

And this, is why Haunting of Hill House was mad & beyond scary for me.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

057. I guess I'm good at making a haven out of defective memories.

I knew a person who is really good at making homes out of other people. He's not an architect, although his field of study sort of concerns elements of architecture, in a sense. He also doesn't make homes for living. I don't know how he does it, but next thing I know, there we were late at night, in a rather deserted parking lot somewhere, me, somehow sitting on the driver's seat and him next to me, splurging out shambles of words, pouring my heart out - something I have quite forgotten how to do, lately. He said his consolation through silence, and his warm hands rubbing the back of my neck. Moments later as I was calming down, we went outside again, hand in hand, passing by a flower shop on our way out and coming back to the car with a bouquet in my hands.

I miss him sometimes, but I hope he doesn't miss me.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Was about to write my ninth birthday post here on this blog when my mum notified me of an incoming package from gojek. Wasn't really expecting anything, but a literal box of flowers came, along with a scented candle and a jar of cookies. Friendly reminder that flowers are always always wonderful.

Birthdays always had a horrible effect on me, somehow. To put it simply, I had a certain idea of how birthdays should be like, and even after knowing certain things and adulting and the nature of people as we grow up and becoming adults and time and the banality of trivial ceremonies also known as birthdays or special dates or such, it's still quite hard for me to let go of those expectations. Even though they no longer apply to the person I am now.

For example, for the past two months I haven't been able to have a proper rest: weekdays are arriving home at approximately 8 p.m after a pretty draining busway ride, and weekends are spent fully outside with friends. I have a habit of having this social profile where I put on an exterior that seemed to numb my subconscious into enjoying things and making things seemed not so bad. Only when I came home, alone in my room, did the profile vaporizes, and I was able to breathe again, this time gasping out of breath. The metaphor is really that dramatic. It went as bad as even my physical body couldn't take it.

I guess part of me was scared of losing friends because I feel like the lesser I talk to people the harder it is to remain friends. Lately it's been really really hard to talk to people and I'm getting really really comfortable of being alone. The last time I remembered being truly happy, was at The Libertines' concert. My friend was super excited and kept gushing forward even though the crowd was mad violent, and I decided I'd just wait in the back. So I went away, bought a cup of chatime and sat on the grass under the stars, alone, starring at the stage from far away. That was a single moment of pure, perfect happiness. Moments later I realized Swim Deep was already playing in the other stage, and I arrived to this very chill and dancy crowd. Was so so fun. My friend joined not long after and it was nice too (because WTHAW was our soundtrack/survival pack back in highschool) but it was just a different type of nice. Anyway.

Regarding birthdays, I'm not a huge fan of ceremonies either (especially the being under the spotlight part), but I grow up brainwashed to always cherish these ceremonies, these milestones one has to go through in order to properly 'live'.

I do realize that the older you get the lesser these dates (are supposed to) mean. Anniversaries, birthdays, deaths, perhaps. They're just numbers. Humans are the only species to live by the idea of time and able to construe and give meaning to them, but in return are the only ones bound by it.

It's still quite a hard thing to do (even when you're twenty freaking three), shaking off one's supposedly 'core belief', but is something one ought to go through to. Mindfulness is such a great help to overcoming things, even if what I have now might not actually classify as such.

That being said, my only wish is to live lesser and lesser and lesser in the minds of others.

See you on the 10th post next year.