auribus teneo lupum.
Writing about this semester from the beginning would only be a gravely fault, for that is where the story of you lies: the most endearing tragedy I have ever met in a person – proof that my curiosity can indeed lead me to my own deaths. I have written and thought about you more than enough to make me feel incredibly tired of remembering your chronology in mine, so please, allow me to skip your part.
DI DEKAT JENDELA PESAWAT TERBANG
—M. Aan Mansyur
Aku ingin menulis surat. Meminta maaf atas nama cermin dan kaca jendela, langit dan cahaya, juga segala yang tidak percaya kepada matamu pada pagi hari. Selamat pagi. Apa kabar? Kenyataan ialah api yang berkobar di antara dadamu dan inginku. Atau segala apa yang berkibar di antara anganmu dan tanganku. Di tempat sejauh dan sedekat ini, tidak ada yang nyata melebihi hal-hal yang kabur dan mustahil disentuh. Apakah aku tidur di mimpimu?
Mencintai ialah menenggelamkan diri ke dalam lautan hal kecil yang memiliki kekuatan besar membuatku bersedih. Setiap waktu. Atau—aku takut kedalaman, kau tahu—menyaksikan hamparan hutan dari udara dan menyadari seluruh yang tampak hijau adalah kepedihan. Aku curiga pesawat ini sengaja diciptakan sebagai cara lain memusnahkan manusia dari bumi.
Rumah terakhir bagi seorang yang kucintai ialah ingatan. Memiliki kehilangan: bukti aku tidak berhenti mencintaimu. Apakah kau akan berdiri di depan pintu saat aku tiba, seperti biasa, merentangkan sepasang lengan yang selalu berharap ditubuhi?
I used to think that the human heart could only endure so much and that there was a limit to how overwhelming an event could be. When August began, I was excited and hopeful to see how things would unravel from here on out; with the introduction of you, of visiting new places, and of meeting new people. Little did I know that nothing of the past could have prepared me for the fourth semester. I was only lucky enough to know that subjects were quiet easy this time around, though class schedules were awfully put together – as if a child had overtaken the task. Still, despite everything that has happened, I am still here.
In the early of September and December, I was taught through very heart-wrenching events that I had missed home. Home to me here is not some windowed walls or a sheltering roof that had been carefully architected for shelter and rest. That is a house. Home is a feeling from a place or a person: tempat kembali dan tempat yang kan kau rindu. Home is where I feel safe and calm, where each corner of a person’s eyes, or lips, or fingertips encompasses me with warmth and kindness; where every scent and fabric of the belongings of a room envelopes me away from the riddles of the world with comfort. Home can come from friends, families, or lovers. It can also be from restaurants or poolsides. Some may have them from childhood, which I too had had but lost along the way when I was leaving Oman; and some may find them in a person that they have fallen for, which I did however wrongly.
When the flight to Germany took me and my friends away from Indonesia, the afternoon you decided that I shouldn’t matter, maka dari itu kamu menghilang, the air in my chest felt as though it had vanished. I didn’t know when you began becoming my home, but the loss of your presence made me realise then that you were. How someone as broken and as stained as you struck to me as home in a mere few weeks leaves me baffled until now. The same way I don’t get to choose how other people feel about me, however, I don’t get to choose how I feel about you too. Dan pada akhirnya,
rumah pun menghilang.
I had thought losing you —and I say this as though I ever had you, no I didn’t— was enough of a hurting that would last me quiet some time. Before I even managed to heal these open wounds, which had aggravated with you coming back only to use me once more, December came along. And that first Friday of December is a memory I’m not fond of: a heightened state of disappointment and hopelessness of which I had to undergo because someone who I thought should accept me, or at least listen to me sympathetically, didn’t do so at all.
It may sound insignificant, but to me it had meant the world. You see, I don’t care enough about what other people think about me. I made the decision not to a long time ago after learning how damaging it was to one’s self in doing so. But the people of whom I’ve dedicated my entire life to, my parents, I couldn’t not care. So imagine how it would feel to know that the sufferings that you have gone through in the pursuit of obeying their demands didn’t matter at all. Dan pada akhirnya,
rumah pun menghilang.
—M. Aan Mansyur
“kenangan dan harapan, kata satu
penyair, dua negara yang tidak ada
di peta. kubawa keduanya ke mana-mana
dan ingatan: paspor yang selalu minta
dalam diriku: membentang jarak kedua
negara itu. dari sana hidup melimpahkan
sepi. di puisi ini kusimpan separuh untukmu
sebagai langit yang tidak tahu berubah warna
atau jendela atau buku cerita yang menghapus
kata-kata sendiri atau rumah tanpa penghuni.
kelak kau menginginkan
sepi melebihi apa pun, ketika tidak mampu
kautemukan dirimu di mana-mana. dan akan
kau paham hidup adalah upaya menerima
ketidaksanggupan dan menolak keinginan
supaya langit atau jendela buku rumah itu
melumpuhkan kau dengan sepi yang lebih
berat daripada ketanpaan”
I find it rather surprising (in a good way, some may say) that despite everything, I am still here. And this, even I cannot fathom. I had every reason to leave, which I did want to do, and considering my reckless character and determination once it is born, I could do so very easily if I wished. But entah, I simply didn’t take the chance. This story isn’t fiction, and in truth I do not possess an answer as to why I chose to persevere instead. I had no one I loved and nothing I strongly desired for. Yet, I am still here.
Perhaps it isn’t the bigger of reasons that made me stay. Perhaps it had simply been the small things; a certain word a person used to describe me when they heard of this story –“you are strong, in a lot of ways. I admire that in you”, a certain place I only kinda want to visit someday –Labuan Bajo, a cute barista in a cafe I frequently go to –hello Old Ben’s, a particular dress I wish to purchase from Mango, and a certain feeling I wish to find again –home.
Now that this has become a very old story, I wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for all the hurting, and the sad, pathetic, melancholic remembrance of the times that we were together peacefully —no matter how fleeting the encounters were. I am grateful. Really. Grateful to have met a horrible person who showed me how evil and selfish a person could be, who showed me that I am indeed kinder than another person I thought to be so wonderful of, and “good” in spite of how horrible I think of myself.
Sekarang, izinkan aku untuk melupakanmu.
Sakit. Aku jatuh sakit semenjak terakhir kali bertemu denganmu. 13 hari mendekati dua minggu. Tidak ada kabar. Aku tidak berani menyentuhmu kembali. Aku yakin –atau telah diyakinkan– bahwa kamu hanya menjadikanku permainan.
aku jatuh dan belum sanggup berdiri lagi.
Aku mencintaimu maka dari itu aku akan membiarkanmu pergi.
—M. Aan Mansyur
Tubuhmu pokok pohon paling kuat di hutan. Pohon paling wangi; dahan dan daun-daunmu pelangi. Aku ingin memanjat dan menjatuhkan diri sekali—dan lagi dan lagi. Sepasang matamu buah-buahan, menyihirku jadi bintang padam dan binatang yang melolong siang-malam.
Kau bisa putus mencintaiku. Tiba-tiba. Kau tidak butuh alasan selain kau mampu melakukannya. Dan, kenapa tidak. Kau bisa pergi. Begitu saja. Aku segelas air tumpah di lantai dan aku tidak bisa jadi lap bagai diri sendiri.
Ciuman itu. Ciuman itu. Aku terbakar jadi abu setiap malam. Tapi—sialan!—kau selalu mampu menyusun tubuhku lagi sebelum pagi.
Aku mencintaimu melebihi tulang mencintai sumsum dan kalsium. Ciuman terakhir itu, bahkan memandang bibir lain ialah melakukan pengkhianatan—
namun jiwamu, hina.
Maybe it was the weather, that made me feel so uncared for. Maybe it was how I miss your bed, and the both of us in it. Maybe it was because I miss who I thought you were, and who I thought you could be for me. Maybe it was the lost opportunity to be together.
Aku menemukan fotomu di folder film ke sembilan dan sepuluhku. Fotomu yang kubanggakan ke diriku-sendiri karena hasil bagusnya yang tidak kuharapkan. Sedikit lega memiliki foto itu. Rasanya bagaikan memiliki sebuah bukti bahwa kamu pernah “bersamaku” —no matter how fleeting the entanglements of the encounter were. Karena aku terlalu mudah melupakan dan hanya mengingat dengan tiba-tiba dalam serpihan waktu, aku tidak pernah berani menghapus bekas dan bukti keberadaanmu dari hidupku. Sebegitunya peduli aku tentang pernah adanya kamu. Padahal, aku tidak pernah sungguh-sungguh memperhatikanmu. Banyak wajah lain yang ku perhatikan di hari itu. Wajahmu bukanlah satu satunya.
Padahal, all I did was play along.
Penasaran dengan apa yang kau inginkan dari aku dan dengan apa yang kau bisa berikan kepadaku, aku mengikuti irama kekonyolanmu. Hanya untuk mempelajari nantinya bahwa aku seharusnya mengabaikanmu saja. Lagi-lagi, sebuah insignifikan. Mereka yang datang hanya untuk melupakan orang lain yang dulunya tinggal di dalam mereka. Agak kesal. Menjadi sebuah medium. Seakan aku bukan seseorang yang bisa untuk mereka – seakan aku hanyalah tubuh yang sementara.
Alhasil, fotomu yang kubanggakan ini sekarang hidup dan tinggal didalam dua folder film ku. Mereka hidup dan tinggal sebagai sebuah penyelamat sekaligus kutukan bagiku. Kutukan karena dengan foto ini, aku harus ingat akan adanya seseorang sepertimu: seorang pengecut dengan mata yang dapat membuatku lupa akan wajah orang lain tetapi sayangnya hanya mementingkan diri sendiri.
Walau aku tahu bahwa dunia dan seisinya memang tidak pernah diciptakan untuk adil, dalam hal memberi dan dalam mengambil, aku masih heran. Untuk alasan apa dunia mempertemukanku denganmu? Untuk apa ia memberikanku seseorang yang hanya akan ku ingin lupakan dan sakiti jika semesta disisiku? Kehadiranmu hanyalah membuatku jauh lebih tersakiti —aku tidak butuh sesuatu seperti itu. Akan kuingat pertemuan kami sebagai sebuah pelajaran bahwa manusia bisa sekejam itu. Akan kuingat kamu sebagai seseorang yang hanya menghabiskan tempat di dadaku.
Selagi di Paris bulan September kemarin, aku membaca puisi M. Aan Mansyur dan tidak bisa tidak mengingatmu. Ku harap puisi ini suatu hari akan sampai kepadamu. Dan jika waktu dimana kau membacanya akan datang, abaikanlah kata cinta. Karena ini bukan cerita tentangnya.
—M. Aan Mansyur
“tidak ada yang pernah sungguh sanggup
meninggalkan orang yang ia cintai. kau
selalu bebas untuk pergi dan sebab itu
kau memilih tidak ke mana-mana. kita
jadi kekosongan dalam diri orang lain
dan tidak ada yang tahu cara mengisinya
kembali. aku tahu
warna harapan. seperti matamu ketika kau
putus asa tidak bisa menahan aku pergi. tapi
kau tahu, setiap orang keluar dari rumah
sebagai pemancing dan pulang membawa
diri baru yang mudah terpancing.
tidak ada kejujuran. orang-orang tidak suka
kebenaran. mereka lebih senang jatuh cinta
kepada hal-hal ringan dan mudah terbakar.
kau kata-kata yang takut aku tulis. kalimat
yang menggigit lidahku. aku ingin jadi alasan
kau tersenyum ketika berdiri di puncak
kesedihan. hasrat yang sama membunuhku
dengan cara berbeda setiap malam. aku
merasa lebih sebagai diri yang kupikirkan
daripada diriku sendiri. aku lebih butuh
merasakan daripada melihat
“Padahal, tidak pernah ada tempat untukmu.”
Terkadang aku teringat
oleh kehangatanmu yang dulunya menunggu
tanganku yang selalu dan terlalu mudah dingin
untuk mencari jalannya ke punggungmu.
Tubuhku yang mudah loyo dan sakit,
menemukan sedikit kesembuhan di dadamu.
Mungkin karena itu, agak sulit membiasakan diri
dengan ketidakadaannya kehadiranmu.
Kabar bahwa aku tidak lagi dapat menggenggammu
memukulku bagai bencana dari kejauhan.
Padahal, tidak pernah ada tempat untukmu.
If only we knew the things that we know now: the things we know after everything has ended. Too bad that’s never to happen. Too bad we never know better until we know better. Too bad we must first be at a fault to know the faults we now think are unavoidable but are really not. Too bad we must first be entangled in the strings of consequences before knowing them. Too bad we’re too human. Things like this come to mind when I’m upset about missing what’s no longer mine.
And I miss everything about holding you. I may never have the chance to have you in my arms again, even with the memories of you unmoving within me, and I have accepted that. You were painful, that is true. But you were also part of the things I’m most grateful of.
Thank you for allowing me to know better.
A conversation with Nahdia,
about the ending.
Zee: “I rewrote what you said to me and I’m going to memorize it so that I won’t make another mistake. Not that he was a mistake. In fact, I see it as a blessing. A memory. An encounter I will remember and which I will learn from.”
Nahdia: “I want you to find someone not because you want to be held, you want to be embraced, you need the physical presence… That’s nice. It’s really nice to have that. But I want you to find someone because you’re trying to find someone–
not just a being
or a thing.
I want you to be comfortable with the person not because of his physical availability. But for him, for you:
someone to hold you because it’s you
not because you need to be held.”
teruntuk seseorang di negara dingin
Were we ever meant for each other?
My lasting infatuation of you stays here,
imprinted within my heart. For many years
I have sacrificed not loving
because I thought I was for you.
were we ever meant for each other?
Does my writing letters of you
and my praying for you mean
that we’ll end up together?
I never come across your mind as a lover now, do I?
Yet, why is it that I’d still choose you and none other?
No matter how far, why is it
that I’m able to convince myself,
still, that you are for me?
bertemu denganmu saja jarang;
sedikit kesempatan untuk berbincang.
Namun, mengapa aku sangat yakin?
Kamu tahu? Namamu adalah sebuah kata
yang terlanjur rumah bagiku;
dimana namaku tidak bisa
ditemukan di kamusmu.
Aku akan jujur, aku sudah lelah memikirkanmu.
Sudah cukup waktu yang kuhabiskan menunggumu.
Aku ingin mencoba mengenal orang lain,
untuk melupakan “what could have been”.
Tidak sulit melupakanmu.
Tidak sulit pula mengabaikan
penasaranku atas kabarmu.
setiap namamu disebut,
sedikit demi sedikit,
Mengapa harus begini?
Tidakkah cukup, waktu yang
telah ku sia-siakan untukmu?
agar aku bisa melepaskanmu.
Dan itu lebih baik, bukan?
Pagi itu dia datang, karena itu aku tak merasa harus bangun. Dia yang lama kukenal sudah kembali, dingin, pemalu, dan menggigit. Kapan terakhir kali dia memelukku seerat ini sampai aku bisa merasakan tiupan nafasnya? Aku tidak menyesal pernah merindukannya, rasanya menyegarkan bisa menyambutnya kembali di ranjang walau aku tidak akan pernah menyediakan tempat untuknya. Udara pagi Bandung yang dingin—
selamat datang kembali.
Four months long was I gone. Twice have I appeared and disappeared again in writing. The life out of me has been drained from my skin. Feelings are anything but ordinary now. The only things that move me are pain that I inflict upon myself and pleasure that I intentionally receive from touching you.
Things have been deeply troubling within my everyday ever since January slipped through my grasp. Even so, I managed to turn 19. I have a few things I would like to tell you now. Though they may be of no substantial meaning or purpose for you, I still want to force these writings to your knowledge. And I hope, that you will accept them.
I admit that it’s been quiet awhile since I last wrote here, which I deeply apologise for. But know that I needed time to grow, to change, in order to understand.
The beginning of this second semester, I was determined to focus on my academics, and in the process, unconsciously yet willingly forgot about the group of friends I have acquired from the last semester. This had obviously created somewhat of a calamity, one that I had never consented to, let alone was aware of, and I can now no longer approach the people I used to approach as easily. They had mistaken my being quiet and withdrawn as having a feud with them, and I was beginning to hear unpleasant things of me from people who have very little knowledge of who I am anymore.
Truthfully, it had hurt to a certain degree. Writing this again now, even after weeks of drafting this post and of living with a new truth, I still choke by my throat because I am reminded of the reality that I have no one, and that I may have indeed hurt others unknowingly. And so I seek to separate myself from everyone even more, in hopes of hurting everyone less.
However, along with my being oblivious, this also had a lot to do with how we’re all changing to adapt to our newly given routines and separate environments. And because I am not one to care, nor do I see any reason to shorten the distance or try to correct the misunderstanding anymore, I came to no lengths to try and make these people understand: they do not need to understand.
Regarding how well being determined to focus on my academics had been, I’m regretful to say that that too hadn’t really been working out as much as I had anticipated to. The first half of the semester it proved to be quiet helpful in certain subjects. But the other subjects in which I could not be saved in, left me scarred horribly. I remember receiving the lowest score I have ever received in all my life and just returning home, not caring for anything else in the world, fell to bed, and immediately cried for hours on end with a few cuts accompanying me by my arms. It was such a stupid thing to be so emotionally anguished about, but it was the most I could feel in so long. And as any numb person would go, I embraced the feeling.
Before long, the second half of the semester came by uninvited and I was starting to get bored of being alone so excessively. I needed a change. A feeling, or two. Perhaps someone I could pull into my orbit too. Whatever it was, I ached for something that could evoke me to continue on living deeply. Driven by the fear of not running as far as I can within the time that I was given, I then sought to trying new things that I have never touched before.
One of them is liberating my hair,
for the sake of both my physical and mental health.
The second was understanding that I needed time,
and that Allah does care, and that He is there, for me
regardless of how horrible of a person I am.
The third was finally drinking my medicine,
when I’m given them by the doctor.
About falling ill: I don’t know if I remember correctly, but I’m sure that I’ve written about getting sick a lot in my previous posts. Granted, I’m still getting sick a lot. Although it’s not as often as last semester, the intensity seems to becoming more aggressive and I’ve grown to become really weak and even more easily fatigued. But because they don’t necessarily appeal to me as something significant, I didn’t worry much about it. Even though I’ve already gotten checked and diagnosed by a doctor my mom forced me to see by bringing him home, and after receiving three bottles of herbal medicines to drink.
That was until I fell really ill, and I didn’t have the strength to know what to do.
By this time, I was already not drinking any of the medicines I was given to drink for the things that I’ve been getting sick for. And I was also not the best at taking care of myself. So I finally told my mom that I was sick again, and confessed to her that I’ve not been drinking any of my medicines, let alone the extra herbals she entrusted me to drink every now and then.
She then told me that I “have symptoms of cancer” and that my becoming weak and easily fatigued was not something I could disregard very easily. The next day, I went to get myself checked again and was finally drinking my medicine.
The more exciting parts of these new things, however, include cutting my hair by my shoulder, watching my friends play softball matches at a time where I supposedly should be studying, thrift-shopping as a new way of filling my wardrobe and of defining my personality through what meets the eye (this could mean that I have a horrible personality though), returning back to the ice rink after seven months (despite no more plans of returning again due to how incredibly time-and-money-consuming it is), founding Novel Thinkers i.e. a project that I’m currently working on which I will write more about soon, and playfully trying out film photography!
I would love to sit with you and have a chat instead of writing down everything and having you read it since it would be so exhausting for you.
But yes, the second semester is truly one of a kind. It was so horrible since I was getting sick all the time and I had all these confusing phases where I didn’t know what to do, but at the same time, the months were being incredibly heartwarming and very accompanying. How is that possible? How can two entire universe of emotions within me meet and leave me still alive?
That, I do not know of.