Bibit

Halo,

Apa kabar pagi ini? Sudah bangun kah? Aku ingin membaca tulisan suaramu yang baru saja terlahap tidur—menyapaku dengan sekecup kehangatan yang kan kusimpan sepanjang hari. Jadikan aku orang pertama, jika bukan satu-satunya, yang dapat membayangkanmu melepas selimut dari tubuhmu. Pukul 8 pagi, kamu hendak berdiri namun mimpi dan bantal guling menarik nyawamu kembali.

Agendamu hari ini, kamu bilang, adalah beberapa kegiatan pekerjaan yang kamu tidak sabar untuk selesaikan. Kamu menambah pengantar obrolan hari ini, seperti hari kemarin, dengan sesendok kejengkelan terhadap dunia karena telah memisahkanmu dari kasur. Kamu ingin bisa secepat mungkin kembali menjadi bayi di pelukan sang selimut. Tetapi kamu sadar bahwa dunia tidak berhenti untuk siapapun.

Hari ini aku memilih untuk tidak terusik oleh perkuliahaanku dari negeri sang penjajah. Lelah dengan semua tantangan yang ia bawa dengannya. Sebagai pengganti, aku akan menghabiskan pagi dan siangku bermain dengan kucing di halaman belakang rumah; mengelus kepalanya selagi berbincang mengenai isi hatiku—sebagian dari mana telah mulai ditempati olehmu. Sekali kucingku meninggalkanku, aku akan mencoba menulis sebuah tulisan yang akan membayar hilangnya aku these past few months. Dengan tujuan memberi kabar mengenai dimana aku sekarang.

Izinkan aku meminjam bayanganmu untuk melakukan itu. Kurasa akan lebih mudah berkabar ketika aku memikirkanmu. Dan karena aku tidak bisa hidup hanya dalam satu bahasa, maafkan aku karena tidak bisa memilih diantaranya.

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Yumaju, circa early 2019 – Nikon FM with Portra 400

Sebelum adanya kamu, let’s take the 12 days in between my birthday and the first days of April, hari hari kujalani dengan upaya besar untuk tidak memikirkan angan yang tersisa dari masa lalu. Khawatir aku akan jatuh kembali dan mengungsikan diri dari dunia untuk tiga hari. Dalam upaya besarku, aku selalu mengalihkan kosongnya kepalaku kepada hal-hal yang kurang penting—shallow things yang tidak akan membawaku kepada gelapnya sang biru (karena seperti yang dikatan, lautan yang lebih gelap ialah lautan yang lebih dalam). Mereka termasuk bahan bahan untuk makan malam yang hampir selalu bergantian antara resep pasta dan rice ball ku; barang-barang yang perlu kubawa dari Upsilon ke tempat tinggal host family pertamaku; dan episode Naruto yang terakhir bermain di layar laptopku.

Kecil, namun mereka sangat membantu dalam mengalihkan perhatian dari masa lalu: tempat yang, walau hanya terbentang jarak 11,000 kilometer dan akan aku “kunjungi” untuk 5 bulan dalam beberapa hari, nampaknya tidak mungkin bisa kembali.

Pada tanggal 31 Maret, aku mulai tinggal dengan sebuah keluarga muda yang baru saja melahirkan anak perempuan kedua mereka. Disana aku menemukan suasana rumah yang jauh lebih damai dibanding tinggal sendiri bersama 6 orang asing lainnya, walau keasingan mereka sudah lama menjadi teman atau bahkan, keluarga. Disana, aku akan tinggal untuk 11 hari sampai akhirnya tugasku selesai dan pesawat membawaku ke Doha lalu ke Jakarta.

Terbaring sesudah kerja keras memindahkan barang dari Upsilon ke Planetenlaan, aku mengizinkan diri untuk merasakan segala kecapaian yang dibawa oleh hari itu. Selesai sudah the last few things I have to do sebelum meninggalkan Belanda. Sekarang, waktunya berhenti mengkhawatirkan masa lalu. Akhirnya, akan ada tempat untukmu.

(cont.)

 

Carry Me Home

Dear mum & dad,
allow me to live my life.

I know you’ve given me so much and that you’ve bear the burden of raising me for so long. I love you, you are the most important people in my life, but I need my freedom. I don’t want to be in guilt from hiding out of fear that you will hurt me because I hurt you.

Your happiness & wellbeing in both lives matter to me. But so does mine. And I would like you to understand that we may have different meanings and approaches to happiness. And that this is mine. Please respect it. The way I have towards yours for many years in my life.

I want to breathe.
And I believe I can breathe without the expense of your breath.

So long as you’re willing to understand me —
so long as you’re willing to trust and accept me,

for all that I am.

Berhenti

Mengenai rindu: 
untuk Bandung dan Jakarta dan beberapa orang didalamnya.
 
15 Oktober 2019
 
Aku rindu.
Tariklah aku kembali.
Berikan aku masa perkenalan itu.
Agar aku bisa kembali bodoh, kembali belajar hal baru.
 
Kembali mengenalmu,
kembali merasakanmu sebagai seorang yang penuh rasa ingin tahu.
Tidak untuk mengganti,
hanya untuk mengulangi sekali lagi.
 
Hidup di negeri sang penjajah terlalu melelahkan –
terlalu banyak hal yang memintaku tidak berhenti.
Aku hanya ingin beristirahat dan merasakanmu kembali,
untuk dua tahun saja lagi.
 
Berikan aku hujan derasmu,
lambatnya cara bicaramu,
dinginnya wajahmu di pagi hari
dan pelukkanmu yang masih malu.
 
Aku bosan dengan ingatanku tentangmu
yang makin lama makin mengabu.
Cepat undanglah aku kerumahmu.
Aku rindu.

In My Room

‪A month before your birthday
December, 2019‬
 
‪Whatever I do, whatever I say, whatever I feel,‬
won’t matter anymore. So why do I bother‬
anything at all?‬
 
As much as I wish things didn’t happen,‬
they have. This is what has been written‬
and I am utterly incapable of changing them.‬
 
‪Now there is no place for me to run‬
but You. I can only pray that You will‬
‪stop taking people away from me.‬
 
‪But I am learning to trust You.‬
So I will pray that You introduce me‬
to people who will stop leaving.‬

Pindah dari Bandung

It’s the start of a new semester for ITB (and a deadline for two articles I have to write for Luminaire) in three days – the first semester that I will not be joining. The idea sits uncomfortably in my heart: the fact that I’m not part of it anymore. But alas, two years have passed. That is as much as I can get.

Meanwhile, my new semester in Groningen will begin on the first Monday of September. I am both scared and excited, as I am with new things.

Being an international student and continuing our degree in a new campus feels a lot like re-entering university, except that we already have. It’s a second chance for those whose campus-life here wasn’t so satisfying, but a sad farewell for those whose were. I belong more to the latter, which I never thought I would be, considering my initial dislike towards attending university here. But I tragically am. I was the only one from my class who did cry (pretty badly) when it was time to hug each other goodbye. It was really at that moment that everything finally, completely, sank into my mind that I will never have a class with them again – full team. And though I may not be very close with each of my classmate, the harmony of us being together in a class is one that I was not ready to let go of. I only finally cooled down after a solid hour.

The day after, I went with a friend on impulse to attend this farewell party that a classmate of mine held in celebration of us parting ways with the regular students. Ironically, only 6 out of 33 international students came, and the remaining handful of dozens were the regular students. Which, in the end, became fair as soon as I learned that there were several of them who will be studying overseas for the next semester too, participating in an exchange programme that’ll last until January next year. It was an interesting experience overall as someone who never goes to such things. I liked it for the conversations it made me have.

In the afternoon of the 7th of August, I moved out of my kosan: packing everything I need after donating and recycling what I don’t. It was the greatest exercise I’ve ever done in a year. My brother and his girlfriend came to pick me up and we arrived at my house a little after 7 or 8PM.

Now, it is a week later, and my flight to The Netherlands is less than two weeks away.

I don’t know what to feel.

There are many things I have yet come to terms with. Like not being able to go to class with Haikal anymore, a dear friend of mine who often picks me up with his scooter when I don’t have enough cash for a Go-ride; no more strolling around Jalan Ganesha and Jalan Tamansari in between and after classes, be it alone or with Nahdia, thinking and conversing about silly things that bring ease to the heart; not seeing Ghany every now and then for a competition or something that he comes up with out of the blue (like our last rendezvous at Kineruku!); no longer tagging along Haekal, Bisma, and Frans from Studio Remmi for when they go to cafes to work at night; and not attending the “compulsory” himpunan events, like faculty orientation and parade wisuda, which as much as I claim to hate, I enjoy coming to and provenly never miss. These things may seem insignificant to you, childish even that I grieve so much about, but they make me truly happy and safe. I hadn’t felt that way in so long.

Living alone in Bandung had always been so fun, so pleasing. Never had I ever been “homesick” throughout the two years that I was there, because I was able to build a home by myself. I cherished every moment that passed, making sure to always soak them into my skin, imprinting everything within.

And I guess, this is it. Thank you for two years!

“Your bag was secured before the ends of the earth were decided on. You’re chasing things that are already yours. Walk in your purpose. Align yourself with the things you know you’re called to do. Stop stressing over things that have already been written.
Just walk in it.”

Langit yang Diam

4 bulan. Aku memiliki 4 bulan saja sebelum aku harus berangkat dan tinggal di negara asing. 4 bulan sampai semua rutinitas, tempat-tempat yang aku sering kunjungi, dan orang-orang yang aku suka temui, tidak bisa kusentuh untuk satu setengah tahun —atau lebih? Aku belum tahu. Hal-hal yang telah kususun untuk hampir 2 tahun di kota Bandung ini akan segera menghilang. Dan aku tidak bisa mengembalikkannya.


Berbincang dengan Langit
—M. Aan Mansyur

2.
“kupikir lebih indah membaca
bibirmu ketika kau tidak
mengucapkan apa-apa. aku

semata mau melihat benakmu
bergetar—merah muda
dan tidak berdaya.

seperti sebatang leher
dan kehendak. seperti sepasang
mata dan tempat sembunyi.”

Olympus Superzoom, Portra 400 by Balthazar
Olympus Superzoom, Portra 400 by Balthazar

Cinta,

izinkan aku untuk pamit lewat pisah. Untuk melupakanmu satu persatu lebih dahulu. Agar kesedihan menjalankan hari-hari tanpamu tidak akan datang kepadaku ketika aku sudah tidak bisa apa-apa tentangya. Agar aku bisa kembali ke sebelum aku pergi dan bukan hanya kamu yang menghuni pikiranku. Karena aku ingin memiliki tempat untuk mengingat orang lain. Dan karena aku tidak ingin dipaksa untuk merasakan kehilangan, as I have always been, tapi karena aku memilih untuk merasakannya.

Honey

Keywords: post-midterms, clumsy, morning coffee, returning to film, honey, birthdays, drowsy —rest, baby.


Within numbered days, I will soon turn 20. But I’ve never liked the number 20. I’ve always instead, since the day I fell in love with a boy in 6th grade whose birthday I thought was on the 19th of August, liked the number 19. As evident from my primary email addressAnd in my turning 19, I had begged God to make it my most endearing tragedy. Tragedy in the way that it teaches me to be kinder and more forgiving only. And I was met with very endearing tragedies, you see.

Rumah yang Menghilang

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?

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“Returning home” – Paris, September 2018 / Olympus Superzoom with Kodak T-Max 100

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.

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“Kembalilah kepadaku, cinta” – Paris, September 2018 / Olympus Superzoom with Kodak T-Max 100

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.


SEBELUM SENDIRI
—M. Aan Mansyur

12.
“kenangan dan harapan, kata satu
penyair, dua negara yang tidak ada
di peta. kubawa keduanya ke mana-mana

dan ingatan: paspor yang selalu minta
diperbarui.

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.