Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nobody Cares About What Has Been

So she took a peek into the driver’s room.

It was dark, with only small ray of lights coming in through the front (or back, in this case) window.

But does it matter?

We are all moving forward, she thinks. Nobody cares about the lights behind us, despite its persistence on staying. Nobody cares about what’s left behind.

And that’s the kind of question that never fails to struck her. The kind of question that will tear all her confidence and defenses down, and shredded them to pieces as if some mysterious paper shredder have magically made its way into her mind, stole the delicate faith that she has been building slowly from nothing, and crushing it slowly through its sharp little knives with robotic indifference, non-humanly innocence.

Nobody cares about what has been.

Why should she?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

She Recognizes Him

It's a wonder to her how she still remembers even the smallest details about him.

She stared at the square image of a pair of hands in front of her, and through the limited size of her cellphone screen, she recognized him.

It’s him. She recognizes the hand.

She recognizes the fingers, the way they are curled as if ready to grasp something, anything, that comes his way. Exactly how he lives his life.

She could tell it was him in the picture from the shape of the nails; the way they are trimmed, and how the edges are always a bit dirty, though she never understands why they are dirty.

She never asks.

There were many things she understands about him, just as many as the things she doesn't. But she stopped asking since a long time ago. She learned that questions unsettled him. And after some time, questions unsettled her too. So she stopped asking questions, not only to him, but also to life.

What people talked about as moving with the flow of life, is more like a merry-go-round to her.  Sometimes you’re a few inches below life, sometimes you’re a few inches off the ground. Never too high, never too low, and even if it is, it doesn't feel like it, especially when you look back over your shoulders when everything has passed, because we are the masters of denial of our own misery. That’s what she thought.

The world is a merry-go-round, a few inches up, a few inches down, a few inches further, and before you know it you’re back where you were before, ready to be spinning in the same orbit again, running on the same path again, chasing whatever it is in front of you, reaching out to grasp whatever it is in front of you and fail every single time because they are just like you, spinning in the same orbit, running on the same path, just a few inches ahead of you.

So there's not point asking questions to life. The world is a merry-go-round and it is easier if you just know your place and stop asking questions.

‘That's pathetic’, he said, with a pair of eyes looking at hers sadly. And he left whatever questions he had hanging in the air because like her, he also knows that questions unsettle her too.

Being her usual sensitive self, she recognized the sadness in his eyes. She wondered why but kept it to herself.

‘The world is a merry-go-round, flowing like water and philosophy be damned.’ Thus, she said.

The world is a merry-go-round but somehow they never really return to where they were before. Probably there's a glitch in the mechanism of the universe. Probably all the spinning and twirling got a little too harsh and things and particles and fate and wishes are thrown out of orbit.


Because it seems that something has been shifting along the way, and every single time, they were brought back a few inches further from where they were. Just a few inches further, but never closer to each other.

She stared at the pair of hands in the square image on her screen. Judging from the way the picture was taken, it seems that it was made based on his request. It wasn't like him to leave his face out of the frame though, but perhaps he's changed now. With all the spinning and twirling of the merry-go-round, it's only normal, she thinks.

Once again she finds herself in amazement. How easy it is for her to recognize him, even when he's moved a few inches from where he was before, changed a little bit from how he was before, hiding a little bit more than he used to.

She recognizes the hands, the veins that run from his wrist to the tips of his fingers, the way it held out in front of him, embracing everything that life has to offer, or the way it curled back moving away from her, some time during the bumpy ride of the merry-go-round. She recognizes him, from afar, from up close, with closed eyes, through the brightest day, under the darkest shadow.

They can zoom in his picture down to pixels, she thinks, and she would still be able to recognize him.

With that thought, she leaned herself back to the chair and close her eyes. It's not so much of a consolation, but it is the one thing about him that doesn't leave her unsettled.

She recognizes him, and the life in him.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A professional procrastinator, a fail multitasker, or acute introvert?

I do everything to procrastinate, especially for the things I consider as important to me. I tend to put these supposed to be important things aside, for later on, for a better time, a quieter time, time when I get to dedicate all my attention to whatever the important thing is, undivided.

Honestly, I should've known better.
Such time is rare, hardly ever easily presented before me, and when it does, I usually manage to find a way to distract myself and doing something else instead.

No question about the importance because I know how important these things are for me. And no questions about whether I'm procrastinating because I am. I am one of those successful procrastinators. Always been one. The question is why.

Putting off something that I don't like doing is no mystery. I'd procrastinate simply because I don't want to do it. But procrastinating something I like doing and consider important, makes me wonder.

I finally found out that all these important things I tend to procrastinate, I usually get them done in the unlikeliest times. The realization came down on me one day during a family gathering, when there were about fifteen people in the room, including children running around, with all the people talking. I remember I went to my room to get my drawing book, and then start drawing in the middle of the conversation around me. It was one of the things that I've been planning to do, been wanting to do, for weeks, but was kept put off because 'I couldn't find the right time to do it'. There's always some other works to do, some other house chores waiting, some phone calls to make, emails to send, and when I finally got a break and some alone time, there would be a book to read, or a daydreaming to do.

I noticed that this also happens to my plan to write (which usually was done while I'm baking a cake, or during lunch break at the office, instead of a quiet time before I sleep at night). The same thing happens to the stack of article links piled up in my evernote, saved for later to read. The plan is to read the articles before sleeping. I imagined it would be really nice to sit on my bed with my laptop, reading all the articles in silence.

The reality is, I usually finished reading most of them while I'm on the train on my way to the office. Yes, inside the crowded train, among the chaotic rush of people jammed into the confined space, swaying from time to time, leaning involuntarily to other people's shoulders or armpits because there simply is no room left to complain.

I started to think that this is probably something to do with my inability to actually face myself.

I enjoy being alone, being with my own company. But writing, and drawing, is an activity that expose us to ourselves. Or the other way round. The point is, these activities will lead you to find whatever it is hidden under the lid of your mind, and sometimes, your heart.

While I always feel the presence of other people around me when I'm writing or drawing as an intrusion to my privacy (this is me being too territorial), I started to notice that their presence ease the tension you cannot avoid to occur during the encounter with whatever it is hidden under the lid of your mind and heart. The presence of other people distract you from the real focus.

I don't know if it's a good thing though. Because, well, you face what you need to face and you just have to do it from time to time. You cannot runaway or hide forever, or pretending to forget about the things that you want to do. Things that you know you really really want to do, things that you cannot get your mind off of them no matter how hard you try avoiding them.

Or maybe I'm just too good at multitasking that I cannot help doing it whenever I get a chance to.
(*sounds very unlikely)

Either that, or I simply don't like people (as some people accused me of doing). So it's actually a good tactic to be present during any kind of gathering, without actually being present.

I don't think I'm that evil though.

So that leaves me with a question hanging: am I actually a professional procrastinator, a fail multitasker, or an acute introvert?

2.28 am, Tuesday early in the morning.
Such a deep, life changing question to ask in such an interesting hours.