May 12, 2013

D i a l o g

Here's a discarded Indonesian poem, that an old lover and I once collaborated on and of which almost became the spine of my second novel, entitled Dialog, circa 2011. Our love was, unfortunately, disposable; but I've decided that it would be a shame if this wasn't shared. Language barriers suck, I apologise. Translating isn't the worst thing in the world, but for sure, it would kill the poem.
 
Gue ingin persembahkan, Dialog, sebuah puisi terbuang circa 2011 yang hampir menjadi tulang belakang buku kedua gue. Puisi berikut adalah sebuah perbincangan dan kolaborasi antara gue dan seorang kekasih lama. Kisah cinta kami sayangnya semacam sekali pakai; tetapi akan sia-sia kalau dialog kami terbuang dan terlupakan. Semoga menikmati. 



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Aku tak pernah percaya pada kebetulan. Orang yang tepat di saat yang tepat. Kita sepakat, kita mau, itu alasan kita bisa maju. Melangkah, katamu. Kita bukan manusia istimewa, tak super pula, seadanyalah. Sama takut terhadap hal-hal yang sulit dirangkum kisahnya. Kita tahu beberapa hal membunuh kita dalam topeng tawa yang bertahun sudah lamanya terpasang di muka. Kita cemooh dia, karena tahu tak sanggup melakukan apapun untuk melawannya. Dia, si Nyata.

Jadi simpan saja segala keajaiban untuk mereka yang percaya keindahan dongeng peri-peri baik hati, kita tak pernah dibiasakan untuk mencari penghiburan. Realita memakanmu, hidup menelanku. Tapi peduli apa terhadap jalan cerita yang digariskan Tuhan atau siapalah nama-Nya.

Kamu dan aku punya rencana, kamu dan aku punya cita-cita. Ada mimpi-mimpi yang kita bagi saat malam menjelang tinggi. Ada harap-harap utopis yang kita lebih gemar membayangkannya daripada membuang tenaga mewujudkannya. Kamu dan aku berusaha keras menjadi idealis, ayolah... Bukan waktunya lagi sudah. Kita tercipta terlalu realistis.

Lalu apa? Aku belum akan menyerah, tidak sekarang, mudah-mudahan sampai nanti. Bila dengan perencanaan semua akan berakhir berantakan, kenapa tak kita tinggalkan saja peradaban. Melompat zaman pergi ke tahun terdepan, di mana semua hal menjadi lebih mudah hanya dengan doa dan berusaha. Karena di sini, dongeng alkitab itu tidak nyata.

Tidak nyata.

"Tenanglah kita harus tetap melawan dengan sebaiknya-baiknya,sehormat-hormatnya".

- - - - -

Aku pernah diberitahu oleh seorang yang merasa bijaksana bahwa kisah hidupku telah tertulis rapi bahkan sebelum aku ada. Lahirku, matiku. Deritaku, bahagiaku. Sendiriku, jodohku. Ya, baiklah. Aku pasrah gemulai kepada angin yang akan membawaku. Aku pasrah gemulai kepada Dia, penciptaku.

Kamu. Apakah kamu pun telah tertulis rapi dalam sebuah bab di dalam hidupku? Bahkan sebelum aku ada?

Tetapi nasibku sekarang telah mengajarkan aku bersifat apatis terhadap lukisan-lukisan yang berisikan ramalan tentang masa depanku. Nafasku saja sudah terdengar malas ketika membicarakan mimpi. Entah kamu dengar atau tidak. Di hadapanku sekarang ada sekian persimpangan dan serasa kemanapun kubelok, serba salah. Serasa Dia menggelitik punggungku ketika aku berjinjit di ujung tebing. Aku tidak punya waktu untuk berfikir bagaimana aku akan menjadikan ide-ideku menjadi sebuah aksi nyata mencapai mimpi.

Kamu. Apakah kamu hanya sebuah pilihan di depan persimpangan? Atau sebuah hasil di balik persimpangan?

Kita berbagi harap-harap utopis seakan yakin akan terus berpeluk seperti ini. Seakan yakin Sion menanti kita.
- - - - -

Kamu benar. Aku gentar.
Kamu malu. Aku palsu.
Lalu, siapa yang palsu karena malu?

Hukumkah yang membuat kamu harus berbelok setiap ada persimpangan?
Tidak usah di jawab dulu. Aku tahu kamu sedang berpikir, kan?
Aku tahu kamu letih memilih arah. Kamu haus, kan?

Ayo, sini duduk bersamaku. Aku sudah lama bersandar di sini.
Menantang senja, menjilati hujan, mengejek bulan.
Kamu tidak suka?

Sudahlah, ayo duduk sebentar saja disampingku.
Aku sudah lama bersandar di sini.
Lihat, aku punya sesuatu untuk kita berdua.
Lihat, secangkir kopi hitam pembunuh.
Membunuh sesuatu yang telah Dia ciptakan agar kita terbunuh.
Ya, aku memang punya masalah dengan-Nya.
Hey, jangan kamu habiskan kopinya.
Kamu meneguk kehausan seakan kamu lupa ajakanku untuk duduk bersama?
Lihat kopi habis kamu tertawa.
Tawamu membunuh Sion di seberang persimpangan.
Dan aku terbunuh karena anjing itulah makanan terakhirku.

Terbunuh Anjing Membunuh.

- - - - -

Petang kemarin telah kupilih sudah satu persimpangan dimana kulihat sosokmu di ujungnya. Kamu melambai memanggil, menyodorkan dada untuk kupeluk. Aku sedang pelan melangkah menyusuri jalan itu, bukan untukmu, tetapi untukku.

Kamu terus ucapkan kiasan-kiasan seakan kamu ingin mati hari ini juga. Lalu sia-siakah waktu yang telah kuhabiskan untuk bersandar di pundakmu?

"Jangan mati dulu.. Aku masih nyaman dengan keberadaanmu.."

Aku saksikan kamu menuliskan rencana-rencana kelam terbalut nafas pesimis. Bahkan sebelum kita duduk bersama bergandeng jari, kamu sudah berdusta padaku, tentang peradaban di kehidupan sempurna dimana semua nyata.

Jangan tuduh aku menghabiskan kopi pembunuhmu. Jangan jadikan aku alasan atas tertundanya cita-cita melankolismu.
"Aku sayang kamu.. Jangan pejamkan matamu dulu.."

Aku rasakan ruang-ruang dalam hatiku terisi oleh rasa egois. Harapku aku bunuh saja kamu bila tidak bisa kumilikimu, sehidupmu, semua untukku.
Kita harmonis dalam pencarian alibi untuk melawan satu kata yang manusia terima ada apanya, takdir. Tetapi kita sama-sama tahu bahwa ini bukan sekedar kebetulan.

Berdustalah padaku semaumu, tinggalkan aku bila itu memang tujuanmu.

"Ya sudah. Tidurlah dengan lelap dan mimpikan aku menertawakanmu sambil meneriakkan bahagiaku telah sampai di Sion tanpamu."

Aku benci kamu. Dan dalam sekedip, aku lupa.

- - - - -



March 29, 2013

Reacting To The Bad Things People Say About You

Hello again dear readers,

Life at the bay has been hard on me the past month, but it just started to get going and good. I've been exploring many new places, meeting a lot of interesting people and basically doing a bunch of school projects I hope to share with you soon.

Although, I just recently had to discover someone, whom I thought was my friend, saying such horrible things about me behind my back. Now, things like these, I have no idea how to approach it.

Since being a child, I've heard many things I wish I never heard, but growing up taught me to somehow block it all. I got used to discarding things I don't like to hear. So, usually, hateful comments never really bother me.

I've been called some pretty awful names; slut, poser, fake, copycat, cheap, ugly, skeleton body, boobless, inconsiderate, boyfriend stealer - just to name a few. But seriously, I never really cared. Since people that label me those words, barely know me at all.

It's interesting when people call me names like "fake" or "poser" since my life is, literally, an open fucking book. There's nothing you can't find out about me. You can google me and learn so much shit about my life. Buy my book and literally, open it and know it all. When I meet strangers, I openly tell them anything. There's nothing you can't find out about me, there's nothing I hide. I enjoy being open about the stuff I love, hate or am indifferent about.

If you think I "stole" your boyfriend, maybe you should rethink the relationship and rather than calling people names, how about understanding why your boyfriend is so easy to "steal". If you think I'm a slut, well, sexuality is part of being human. I ain't ashamed of that and it seems like you got a lot of growing up to do. And people that still use the phrase "copycat" are fucking hilarious; it's almost impossible to be 100% original, don't expect me to believe that you invented that haircut or that poem you wrote was not inspired by anything you've read in the past. 

It's interesting when people call me "inconsiderate", because really, I'm just being honest. I'm a very honest person. I'm a Sagittarius if you can't believe me. I tell the brutal truth to people's faces, because I treasure honesty - lies, in the end always hurt. That's just the kind of friend I am. I'm honest as in, I'll let you know if that dress makes you look fat or if that song you like is the most horrible thing I've heard. Ok, on second thought, I might be inconsiderate.

But still, when I think we're friends, I would never ever ever ever say shit behind you. When you fuck me up, I'd probably still love you and have your back. 

I'm pretty realistic too, which is why I don't really have best friends. I have a comfy amount of good friends and that makes me happy enough. I understand people change, people grow up, people move away. I don't hold on too much on friends, because independence is a lovely thing. And expectations, always leads to disappointment. Which is also why, I let go of friends when I think it's necessary, avoiding to become frenemies. I'm always open to friendship but I'm pretty chill if we don't talk on the phone everyday. You can do whatever you want, and I'll be here when you want to talk. But the thing is, when I trust you and believe that we actually have a friendship, I expect you to respect and appreciate me and everything we shared.

I really don't know how to approach this, how to react, how to feel and what the fuck I should say to this particular person. But here's what I know for sure, when you talk shit about my dead father and my family, you're a fucking asshole and I hope that you step on a lego and get a STD.


Love,

Cass.


August 21, 2012

Life Achievement Unlocked: Sigur Rós


Photo courtesy © SF Outside Lands 2012

Amidst the forests of Hellman's Hollow at the Golden Gate Park, underneath the covering fog floating above us - it was the kind of fog that you can feel in your bones as you shiver - I experienced what my friend would say, "a transcendental experience." I sat on a hill, a great spot to view the whole stage, it was at the SF Outside Lands Festival, a festival this year headlining many amazing musicians including my most favorite band in the world. Sigur Rós.

Growing up in Indonesia, I knew that to see this magical Icelandic band was like a forever-dream. It will never happen. I first heard them around 2004 or 2005. At first, I wasn't that into this spacey-ambient kind of music. I thought they sounded depressing, but of course, I was just 15 years old with barely a good music taste. Until my family had a huge breakdown a year later and I started listening to Takk... I realized their music wasn't depressing at all, but in fact, it was uplifting. Who doesn't start smiling and feel like skipping around when listening to Hoppípolla? Years went by and around a couple years ago, my ex-boyfriend and I started learning Icelandic language and really got into understanding their lyrics and these sounds, these sounds that just seem so relatable, but we couldn't explain it. I still can't explain it but I know I could feel it.

This is Dante and I during Explosions in the Sky, a few hours before Sigur Rós. Look at all that fog!

For every album of Sigur Rós, I have a personal attachment to each and every one of them. If you have read my book, it was written while I was heavily rotating the Ágætis byrjun album. "We'll do better next time" if I translate it loosely. Such a beautifully melancholic and emotional album. I was also very heavily influenced by Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, I would say it was after the album came out I took time to get to know myself better and I would say "Inni mér syngur vitleysingur!" to describe myself in newsletters and magazines: "within me a lunatic sings!". 

So it was around 8PM, the fog was killing everyone, it was so chilly that even three sweaters, a blanket, two vodka cocktails and a big fat cup of hot chocolate still didn't help me get warm. The weather was just not on our sides that night, but I could care less. Right after the dancing crowd of Passion Pit left the Twin Peaks stage, crew members started assembling the instruments set for Sigur Rós' performance. It took one hour for sound check. And then the stage went pitch dark. 

They started off with that familiar xylophone tune of Í Gær, all dark towards the intro, and as Jónsi worked his bow on his guitar and the drumbeats went wild for a second, the lights started to beam. And then we heard the most compelling inhumane voice, hauntingly wrapping us and pulling us into a different world. Nothing else mattered. People started leaning on each other, holding hands, hugging, making out, it was romantic. During Sæglópur, we could hear a little from the neighboring stage, red and yellow lights shone through trees, Metallica was playing loud and clear. But it still didn't matter. The violinists were amazing during Varúð, and halfway through Svefn-g-englar, I was crying. Literally. I didn't stop crying until Jónsi sustained a loooong beautiful note halfway through Festival. Everyone sat and stood silently in this magical moment, some clapped and felt awkward because he kept on going. They performed a different rendition of Olsen Olsen (a bit more pop-ish and more upbeat) and somewhere towards the end they got faster and faster until at one point Jónsi literally snapped his bow into two. Jónsi greeted the audience, sounding very shy he thanked us and said "it's hard to compete with Metallica" and the crowd went crazy. Dante whispered to me "someone should tell Metallica to shut the fuck up and listen to Sigur Rós." I couldn't agree more. Then, Hoppípolla, everyone knew the lyrics and sang along. I started crying again, fearing it would be over soon.


The enchanting 75-minute set went by so fast, but it changed me forever. It most likely changed everyone forever. I'm not even saying this as a Sigur Rós fan, but as a human being. It was more than a concert, it was a spiritual journey in the language of music where everyone could just lean back and absorb all the beauty through their pores. It was the most beautiful night in my life. I can't believe I get to say this, but yes, I have finally witnessed them live. They ended the set with the famous Hopelandic track from ( ), Poppalagið

No one should ever take Sigur Rós for granted, after their latest 4-year hiatus and considering how rarely they would travel, one should get the chance to see them at least once in a lifetime. They will, undoubtedly, change you forever. That night, the lunatic within me sung its heart out and I died a little. I will never be the same again.



With love,
Cass x



P.S: You can check out more photos from the festival at my Facebook page :)

July 13, 2012

Random Things That Make Me Happy

Today was Friday the 13th and it seemed like everyone was in such a shitty mood. The weather was so fucky, all windy and freezing. Then for some reason everyone around me was beaming with gloomy auras and kept on having bad luck, including myself. My toaster broke, then I tried doing laundry but the laundry card machine won't work, then it was such an off day at class too. It just brought out the worst mood out of me, not to mention I'm on my period, and ladies, you know how I feel right?

So after class, I decided to cheer myself up by going to the zoo. I watched some funny-looking penguins chase each other and fed a giraffe some lettuce. And just like that, I felt happy again. It reminded me of all the little random things that makes me happy and I thought I should share this post with you. I mean, I don't know about you, but I feel like most people around me are so negative and are consistently complaining about this and that. People also tend to work on schedule, a routine, an everyday kind of agenda and forget how fun being spontaneous could be. Being spontaneous and impulsive is good for you. I felt so blahhhh earlier today and just after one bus ride, I was laughing again and enjoying my time. 

Usually when no one's around, I dance while I do the dishes. Then of course, I'll suddenly feel like a total retard once I realize my roommate has been staring at me for the last 30 seconds. I make recordings of myself singing the bathroom, because the echoes makes me sound like Etta James, no joke. Sometimes I randomly leave post-it notes on the sidewalks and streets (I'll post a photo series about this next month). I'd also go out and try interesting menus in restaurants, like the other day when a friend and I shared a Thai Fried Banana dish with green tea ice cream and it was surprisingly really good. My sister and I sometimes clap during watching a movie in a cinema theatre and piss everyone off. Although cliché, even sitting in front of my apartment window makes me feel a little better too sometimes. 

You see, being spontaneous and random brings out the positive side of you. Well, at least for me.  Being impulsive makes me utterly happy. Try not to be brought down by your computers, avoid constant checking of Facebook, I know it's fucking hard not to stalk your friends, duh but man, the day is young and life is too short to linger, doing nothing online. And being alone is not an excuse either, I'm alone most of the time but I'm getting by just fantastic. 

Since it's the weekend, I'm planning to do more random stuff. I might go watch a reggae band tomorrow or tour the Alcatraz, we'll see. And you? You should do something random too, be more exciting and impulsive. Go dye your hair green or learn how to cook a steak. Talk to strangers, form a punk band or fall in love. Dance while you do the dishes and maybe, who knows, you'll feel much happier than you were before.


Have a nice weekend everyone!

Much love,
Cass X