Ahad, 24 Julai 2016

Sæglópur

Sesederhana rindu ialah rindu seorang nelayan terhadap rumahnya sebelum petang mampir; dan rindunya kepada laut ketika musim tengkujuh hadir.

Jumaat, 22 Julai 2016

the clock that runs out of time

"Honey, wake up! It's 7 o'clock!"

I desperately cling to the sheet as she pulls it with tremendous strength, a strength not of a woman nor man but a protective mother who just gave birth to a beautiful child.

"Honey!" she yells in a pitch that would make a soprano bows her head in embarrassment.

"Yes, yes. I heard you the first time. Just gimme five more minutes."

She shook her head in disbelief and went to shower. I continue my every bit of second left shutting myself to sleep.

In what seems like a mere five minutes, I then woke up. Darling is nowhere to be seen; probably she had took off to work while mumbling how hard it is to wake me up everyday. It's not an easy task really. I always work until late at night, sometimes until the sun silently peeks over the horizon towards the moon, too shy to put a word to her.

I look at the wooden owl clock, a gift from my grandpa before he went on his last hitchhiking adventure and eventually died somewhere in the middle of a desert in Africa. I've never been close with him, but yes, I'm still his only grandson; and the clock, it was his only possession since he sold everything to pay for his adventure. Mum's freaked out when she heard of grandpa's grand scheme, yet she reluctantly agreed. Dad... well, dad's a dad. Kept his cool, fixed his gaze over the newspaper in his hands.

I stared at the clock; a long, hard stare. I noticed something was off with it. The hour needle was gone!

Now, it shows 45 minutes past... goddamnit!

I reach for my phone on the bedside table. Strangely enough, it shows 00:45:34. Again, I curse.

Wait, maybe if I wait for another fifteen minutes, the hour will appear. I went to shower.


****

I was talking to myself, arguing whether it is possible for things like this to happen or I just haven't woke up from my sleep--that darling is still in the shower, cursing me while she's at it; that it is just past six and the alarm I set last night just screamed. So I took my time.

When I was finished, I quickly got out and took a glance at the clock.

Dammit!

It was quarter past zero. I took the clock from the wall and gave it a hard, long stare. My eyes didn't deceive me; the hour needle was gone. At first, I thought it just fell, and that darling might just fooling around with me. That's it! She probably reset my phone clock.

I grabbed my phone before let out a loud sigh. It's still the same with double zeros at the front.

Ahad, 29 Mei 2016

requiem for the lost soul

"Every angel is terrifying."

Rilke wrote this in his long Elegies, repeated several times as it moves from one part to another. One, two, three, four... I lost count.

Every angel is terrifying. I am making Rilke's word as my own. Alas, aren't we all thieves? For words, scribbles, paintings, even thoughts are all stolen from one another. As some may put it, nothing is genuine since nothing has changed. Humanity is a tragedy, while everything else is a farce.

In a corner of the world, someone is silently praying; and if I may steal Rilke's words again, it is a silent pray of a terrified soul; for every angel is terrifying.

I saw an old man standing in the rain, drenched. He was smiling while spreading his arms wide, as though he was waiting for the angel to take him away from this wretched place, as though he was embracing god, when god himself is nowhere to be found. The old man was not alone. He was surrounded by people; men, women, children, old or young, they stared at him in disbelief, like he is a madman. 

His sin? Drowning himself in god's arms. But god was nowhere to be found.

And what about the men, women, and children you ask? They were all in a great hurry, pushing one another, with their umbrellas held high, scurrying towards the shelter. I was one of them.

Then the old man walked away from the plaza towards the shelter. He then stood in front of the people, in front of me, and asked: "What are you afraid of my dear children? For the terrified is the most terrifying one."

At that time, the rain has already stopped. People started to gather back at the plaza to get the first taste of sun.

"Old man, we are terrified of you," said a woman in a bluish coat.

"Old man, you are crazy," said a man in a skinny jeans.

"Old man, you could catch a cold. Please hurry and change your clothes," said a cheerful little girl before she was hush-ed by her mother.

"Old man," I stuttered, "I could not find god. It's been a long time, yet I don't miss him; not as much as I miss my mother."

He looked at me.

"Are we not a god for ourselves? For every angel is terrifying; to not be afraid of them is to be god himself."

Ahad, 6 Disember 2015

as you listen carefully

And if you might listen carefully to their mumbling mouth, conversed in a dimly soft manner, you would notice that; in the end, life is a collection of tragedies, and what is the beauty of it? Life itself is a hoax, a dreamy dream in a sleepless night. The kind of dream that you desperately create in order to ease you to sleeping, and yet, it will only drags you, keeping you awake, sometimes for an hour or two, sometimes all night, and sometimes for eternity. You would be gasping for air, kicking ferociously in the depth of thoughts, trying to release yourself from it. Disdained, you wait for life to let you take a break, and it's a terrifying thing; for you do not know whether the break would be momentarily or eternal. And yet you still go to sleep, because you need it, and for the most part, because you had always believed that death would never betray you as life does during the day.

Rabu, 2 Disember 2015

pretentious

He came by this morning. Unfortunately, I wasn't at home.

My neighbour said he seemed agitated. But I know he's furious. I asked my neighbour whether he had left any message to me.

My neighbour nodded and said, "He wants to kill you." That polite old man seemed worried. I had to assure him that he was actually joking.

Of course my neighbour didn't buy my story, but he let it passed anyway. Said he would keep a keen eye on me and adviced me to keep his number on a speed dial.

I had to do it in front of him, which I couldn't complain much. He was so persistent. I was really tired of work and longed for my bed since last night.

I got into the house. What a mess I have been these past few weeks.

I was too tired to do spring cleaning so I went straight to my room.

It was a disaster. I moaned frantically.

With a little will left in me, I pushed all the clothes aside and slammed myself onto the bed. It didn't take long for me to passed out. Like I said, I was really tired.


I was woken up by a loud knocks on the door. What time is it?

I tried to get up, but my body was too heavy for my head. I fell on the floor.

I rolled myself to face the ceiling. It's already dark. I have been passing out for almost half a day.

I stared blankly to the ceiling, hoping that my sights would penetrate it and found the sky. That was silly.

The knocks were getting louder. My head was getting clearer. I regained my consciousness and took a hold of my body.

It was really hard for me to synchronize my mind and body to do the bidding. Both were rebellious in their own ways.

I had to waste a huge portion of energy just to wake up. No wonder I always late for work.

The knockings were getting wilder, as if threatening to split the door into half. I walked to the door, still trying to balance myself while avoiding all those stuffs on the floor, figuring where the switch was.

I reached the handle. But the knocking suddenly died out.

I waited for about a minute at the door. No one was knocking anymore.

I turned myself away, found the switch, lighted the room, and let out a huge sigh once again. What a mess.

That can wait. I am hungry. I went to the kitchen, opened the fridge. Again, sigh.

Nothing in there.

I don't have much money to call for pizza. So i began ravishing the cabinet.

I found a canned sardine. So happy I was, almost knocked myself down to the sink.

Everything went accordingly afterwards. But the knocks still bother me.


I'm hearing the knocks. Again. It's 3 freaking AM. This dude should have some empathy. I have work tomorrow.

Wait. Why am I so sure it is a dude. That's really weird. Probably because of the old man's warning the other day.

I stare at the ceiling. The knocking seems like it won't stop.

I get up onto my feet. Walking pass the disastrous room towards the living room, reaching for the door.

Wait.

What if there's a killer behind it? I should consider that.

I peek into the peephole. There's a lady. Part of me let out a relieved sigh. She is my sister.

I opened the door. She jumped onto me and starts hugging me like I am some sort of a plush toy.

My sister is crying.

This is bad. There's only one reason that would make my sister comes here late in the night shedding tears.

Her husband is an asshole. I already told her that. Repeatedly.

I ask her what did that man do now.

"He slept with another woman," she sobs.

I don't know how to respond. This is not the first time things like this had happened.

"Do you need a cup of tea?" I moaned inside my head after I said that.

Making tea at this kind of hour would consume a lot of energy. What a stupid question to ask. I should just let her hug me and stay that way.

"No, thanks," I almost let out a good-choice-since-I-am-not-so-eager-to-make-one to her.

"Can I stay here tonight?"

I almost snap her neck into two. But she's my sister anyway, of course she can spend the night here. It would be rude to chase her out.

"Sure. The guest room is always yours," I don't know whether she read my phrase carefully.

I guess she don't since she hugs me again and again and keep saying 'thank you', 'you're so kind', 'you're my lifesaver' etc.

I don't mind, really. She can weep all she wants. But just don't bother me sleeping.

Like I said, I have work tomorrow.

"Would you mind spending an hour to listen to me?" She asks.

Are you crazy? Of course I would mind. Can't you see how hectic I am right now?

Again, it all happens inside my head.

"Talk me through," I wish I had stabbed myself for saying those words.

And then began a painstaking hours of pretending not to sleep, nodding once in a while, agreeing to whatever she is saying though I'm not really listening. And then it ends.

"Thanks for listening to me," she says. Just like that.

"You should get some rest."

No, I need to rest. Please let me sleep.

"You're always a dear to me," she hugs me before going to bed.

I was walking to my room when suddenly my sister screams.

"Who is this?"


Fuck. I forgot my neighbour is still there.

Khamis, 29 Oktober 2015

ulang tahun dan hal-hal yang lewat

Kadang yang sudah tak semestinya pergi; ingatan boleh jadi suatu hal yang ganjil. Satu hari yang biasa bagi yang lain boleh jadi ialah hari yang menyimpan seluruh ingatan tentang seseorang. 

Seperti seorang remaja yang menyimpan kesemua barang permainannya di dalam sebuah kotak, begitulah juga ingatan tentang seseorang--disematkan ke dalam hari-hari yang tertentu untuk dicampakkan terus ke dalam kubur sejarah; atau dilewati dan direnung sejenak apabila berselisih dengannya.

Dan sudah tentu kita juga harus bersedia dengan kenyataan bahawa ingatan ialah sebuah tekad untuk melawan lupa. Ada yang terjerumus ke dalamnya dan menjadi bayang-bayang. Ada pula yang membingkaikannya sebagai tauladan. Juga, ada yang diam-diam menikmatinya dengan secawan kopi panas sambil menunggu hujan reda.

Namun, ingatanku terhadapmu seperti musim tengkujuh; tak pernah gagal untuk hadir saban tahun. Kadang sayup-sayup bak renyai, kadang deras membawa bah.

Selamat ulang tahun D.

Selasa, 27 Oktober 2015

the first string/the overture

2

As Jasmine lays her head down, the woman next door is screaming to her husband. Her screech is in a form of a perfect octave with a two-second interval between each one of them. Each word is uttered with a concise, comprehensible pronunciation; enhanced by her hysteric, melodramatic tone. Such clarity and ambiguity, Jasmine thought, only can be expressed through a firm understanding on how the power-relation works in a certain institutional region. The woman would make a great prime minister if she is ambitious enough to be one.

As amusing as it can be, the screech irritates Jasmine. She had had a bad day. During other times, she would keenly listen to the woman's lambastes and tries to make several defense arguments for the husband whom she had always sees as her imaginary client. She would pictures the husband standing in the accused cage with the pitiful look he always gives whenever he walks behind his wife. And the woman: Jasmine sees her as a prosecutor, standing in front of the accused with her chest puffed out, spurting callous remarks toward him. The defense lawyer would occasionally makes objections, but there is no judge present to accept them. In marriage, the one that holds the largest share of power owns the right to speak, to be heard of, to give command. Marriage is a constant state of oppression mutually consented by woman and man; for it provides security and stability for both. As far as the history concerns, the institution is protected by sacred commandments, always already embedded in post-communal society--that is the condition where the concept of property is gracefully acknowledged and religiously exercised in its most naturalness.

When she was above her legal age, Jasmine had always thought of marriage as one of many problematic clauses that ought to be repealed. She took pity of her father. Everyday, she would sat with her father at the table for breakfast. The man would had two slices of bread with butter and jam, along with a glass of orange juice. Everyday, for the past thirty years of marriage, her father would eat the slices with passion blazing on his face and drank the juice in one long sip. It's not just because her mother was incapable of preparing any other meals rather than two slices of bread and a glass of orange juice; but it's also because of her father's insistence on security and stability which he led it as his way of life. Such regularity, too, was imposed upon her and her mother. Thus, every morning, for the past thirty years of their marriage, and twenty years of Jasmine (she was only been compelled to follow the routine as soon as her mother stop breastfed her), two slices of bread and a glass of orange juice would be served on the table.

It is clear to us that in Jasmine's early phase, the largest chunk of share was belong to her father. Although he was a loving husband and father, there existed a clear conjugal demand of obedience that Jasmine and her mother had to oblige. They were emasculated, not only by the domestic regulations imposed, but also by the conscience of the presence of authority. You see, authority need not to be present at all times. What is more important is the feelings that the authority is there: monitoring you, waiting for the moment you would break its rules, to question your behavior, to exercise its wrath upon you. This feeling, that strips you defenseless, exist through repetitive  act of reminding, whether of law or obligation, whether through punishments or insistence. For Jasmine and her mother, the man were always by their side, insisting on security and stability of the house. Even when her father was away for a week, her mother would religiously prepared two slices of bread and a glass of orange juice, and Jasmine would finished them with the same passion that burned his father's face.

In the last instance, we can say that marriage, in its crudest form nowadays is: one, a vulgar conduct of imposition where power is recognized by the imposed, not merely assumed by the imposer; and two, a negation of human, ripped from its whole being and become fragmented, through the addiction of having.

As for the first instance, we can trace the source for the established domestic conduct from normative traits belong to her mother and father. Her mother and father was raised in an environment where women were to assume the secondary role in the family under the superiority of men. Of course, when I used the word 'normative' and 'environment', it will quickly appears in our mind that the phenomenon is not one of an anomaly. In a traditional post-communal society, there is a belief that God first created man out of reason. Then God created woman out of compassion, for man cannot live without the recognition from the other. As literal as it gets, the meaning of man and woman were rigorously pursued along the pronunciation of these precise words that were born with them. In its most perfect state, according to the belief, the role of man is to demand while woman is to give; man decides, man chooses, man determines, and woman obeys. Over time, the distinction of quality and role set up by the belief evolves into a more concrete form, that is the traits. While Jasmine's father was so very dominant and firm, her mother posed as an opposite: timid, selfless, obedient. What can we derive from Jasmine's elaborated family is: power is not merely attached to a certain institutional or individual, but it is exercised through repetitive occurrences, or discourses, underlie by a predominant principle that, in the last instance, determines their nature of conduct.

It took Jasmine a whole twenty years to understand it. At first, she thought of it as a practical occasion, a reasonable allocation of role in order to maintain the stability of, not only her family, but also the security of society at large. Then one day, when Jasmine was strolling down the street with her mother in their weekly groceries day-out, she stumbled upon an incident that later on, was jotted as biblical in her diary. Across the street, she saw a young couple going down the opposite from them: a pretty woman in black glasses, probably in her early thirties, casually dressed with short jeans that revealed her skinny thigh and alluring top, was walking past the passersby without a glance of hesitation to look back and assist, what Jasmine assumed as her husband, who was clutching a baby in his right hand, and a bunch of paper bags with lavish brands on them in the other. The man was struggling to keep up with the lady's pace and eventually managed to walk beside her, only to be given a glare, a mix brushed of arrogance and disgust, that made the man slightly bowed his head and slowly slid behind her like a faithful servant. The scene was so blasphemous that it made Jasmine, without her realizing it, came to a halt in the middle of the pavement, and which, too, caught her mother into it.

"Modern's blasphemy. You do not learn from them," her mother's face was stroked with disgust, and her words dragged Jasmine into a sleepless night afterward.

The next day at the table, her father stopped reading the sports section at the back of the newspaper and her mother dropped the plate she was holding; followed by a shattering sound, which Jasmine took it as her heart.

Jasmine had asked for a glass of fresh milk.

"Wh--what did you say?" her mother was struggling to put words into her mouth.

"Mother, I would like to have a glass of milk. I don't feel like sipping this today," Jasmine carefully push the glass filled with orange juice aside.

Realized her mother refused to entertain her wants, she turned to his father which sat there like a statue, immovable.

"Father," Jasmine's voice spread through, but never reached him.

"Father," the statue was silent. Not that he couldn't muster a word like the lady, but he was gathering his anger, carefully, one pile after another.

"Fath--"

"Enough of this madness!" the statue spoke. He rose to his feet and left the kitchen.

"Y--y--you insolent child. Had you no shame to ask for a glass of milk when it's not yet dark outside?" he mother was shaking. She had to clutch herself to prevent her from falling apart.