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Monday, August 14, 2017

Halo Hari Senin

Sekian malam pergi berdansa
Baik weekend atau hari biasa
Sekian banyak partner dansa
Baik yang tua maupun yang muda
Sekian banyak board game yang dimainkan
Baik yang sulit maupun yang mudah
Sekian banyak riuh gelak tawa
Sekian banyak senyuman bahagia
Sekian banyak lirik-lirikan manja
Sekian banyak kencan pertama
Sekian banyak petualangan
Sekian banyak pengalaman
Sekian banyak teman baru
Sekian banyak pengetahuan baru
Sekian banyak kesendirian yang tenang
Sekian banyak keseruan yang meriah
Sekian banyak anugrah dalam hidup
Sekian banyak cinta yang diterima
Dan masih air mata mengalir
Masih ketakutan merajam
Masih rasa perih menghujam
Masih kesedihan mencekam
Masih luka hati menganga
Masih paras hati binasa
Masih ku terpuruk disini
Masih ku terhempas ke bumi
Masih kepingan hatiku berserak
Melukai setiap gerak langkahku
Ini akan berakhir, pasti
Ini akan selesai, pasti
Ini akan menjadi bekas luka nanar
Yang ada namun tak terasa
Perasaan ini akan menghilang
Terganti dengan penerimaan
Tertutupi dengan kebahagiaan
Tergerus oleh masa sekarang
Tapi kini biar ku termenung sejenak
Biarku terhenyak sebentar
Biarku terpekur sepintas
Biarku terdiam sesaat
Halo hari Senin
Aku membencimu.

~"Dear, Mantan Tersayang" tersedia di Gramedia tanggal 28 Agustus 2017. Deg-degan ih!!!!~

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Woman and The City

Taking a long drag from the cigarette
The answering machine is blinking
The city below unfurling in the evening rush
Smog around me in the balcony
Still the answering machine is blinking

What will it be this time?
A liar, a cheater, a faker, a tramp?
Heartless words to disguise broken heart
Words that even my bracelets can't stop
Piercing deep into my soul

Another drag of the cigarette
The full moon is rising
I pulled out the cord from the machine
Now it has stopped blinking
Need to remember to reset it later

And why can't I reset?
Why can't I erase memories and feelings?
Why can't I be careful with my loyalty
What's the point of being honorable?
Why can't I just reset?

The memories live by, the feeling unforgotten
No matter how much I said to let it go
The Invisible Plane could take me anywhere
But nowhere is far enough to escape this feeling
So here I am, smoking my cigarette

A million lives are saved
But I am too much of a hassle
An army of enemy defeated
But I am not strong enough
Am I even ever good enough for them?

Another drag of cigarette
Then another, and another
Wondering is Catty up for fun tonight
Or go tinkering with Ivy
Or maybe just stay here and ponder

Not my fault they can't handle me
And maybe I should stop preying the weak
They are so nice and helpless and lovable
But they have such nasty bites and venom
Avoid, Diana. Avoid.

I am the princess of the Amazons
The fighter of justice
I am the one whom evil run from
The one people hope for
And here I am lighting another cigarette

Mortals and their woes, so petty
I should wait till I find someone stronger than me
Skip the drama, skip the heartache
Skip the loyalty neither one deserves
And no need to pretend I'm the secretary anymore

Till then, this cigarette is ok
I am immortal anyway, what's the fuss?
The cars are busy, the people are scrambling
The answering machine is unplugged
It's a long, long night

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Kaleidoscope

My life is a kaleidoscope of minuscule things, woven together to form a breathtaking display every time I look. Today it's porn stars and strippers and Peace Corps' volunteers, Google employees and homeless people and a massive crocodile from down under. Today is also Star Wars flats and homemade piquillo cream cheese spread and Aristocats, as well as Donut Man and Halal Guys and various LA food haven. Then there's the swing and the ballet and the theatres, there's the music and songs and the lyrics. It is a mismatched plethora of things that graced my day, and my life.

The moon shone upon me last night, as I lay quietly on my bed. It was a full moon, bright as the day itself. I could feel the blanket against my naked skin and my hair rustled on my pillow. The little fan running a little noisily on the corner of my room, perched on a makeshift bed sheet container made from cleaned kitty food bucket. I stared at the moon, and it looks back at me. I was home. I was loved.

I don't need a medal or an award to tell me how far I have gone. I don't need a round of applause or a standing ovation to understand the magnitude of my accomplishment. No, I did not do anything 'special'. I did not do anything to deserve a front-page headline or a click bait article. I did not do anything 'live changing' or 'awe inspiring'. I live. That is all. And what an achievement it is.

We like to imagine romantic tales and wondrous stories, the underdog saga that defies odds. How's this for defying odds? Every second, maybe even a nanosecond, our body cells are dying. A part of us, our skin, died so quickly that our house and place of living is littered with our dead skin cells. We are powerhouses that convert energy from other living beings into energy to power ourselves by means of devouring it. And how we grow. How our conscience and soul grow so beautifully. Like looking at a seed of crystal that grows and grows until it was a sight to behold, and still it grows.

We're frail and weak. We're hopeless and useless. We are savages and heartless. Yet we prevailed. Even in the darkest night we still look forward to the light of day. Else we make our own light of day. Even in the most rock-bottom moment, we can still tell ourselves: It will be ok. And we effing believe that. We simply refused to be snuffed out. We simply refuse to give up and be broken. Every heartache, every broken trust, every lie and malicious words and horrid action that suffocates us, that renders us to pieces, shattered us like a broken china, yet still, we smile. Still, we hope. Still, we refuse to lay down and die.

Not everyone has this strength, but for those who don't, there are others who will reach out to them. "Stay with me." "You will be fine." "It's okay." Sometimes we lost our own battle. Sometimes we win. Sometimes, a simple smile or a tender hug, a feeling of skin among skin through handshakes or high fives, it's enough to rouse even the weariest soldier to march to battle one more time. Now tell me Human is not amazing. Tell me Human is not resilient. Tell me Human does not deserve a chance.

For each the dying flowers, there will be million that bloom as beautifully. We are just too stupid to understand when to quit, too stubborn to know when to give up. And we lived on because of our stupidity and stubbornness. We lived on because of our persistence. Even when there is no 'Hope', we will make one. Oftentimes we do not call it hope, we simply trudge along to continue to live. And that insistence that we will live, that insistence to see another day despite the pain and suffering that we experience, what is that if not hope?

I wrote this thinking of the darkest moment of human history: the wars, the killing fields, the gas chambers, the plagues, the slavery both old and new, the prosecuted people. I wrote this thinking about people who did not have a better chance in life, people who got trapped in a degrading circle of life and unable to release themselves. I wrote this thinking about ordinary people and privileged people, one that thinks they have no accomplishment and one that got their accomplishment belittle because of their upbringing. I wrote this thinking about all of you who shared this Earth with me.

You, you did good. You did splendid. You are magnificent, wonderful, amazing. We all have our own battle inside us, and the fact that you are still alive right now, reading this or hearing this if you can't read it, is a great accomplishment. Be proud of yourself. Each of us has a war within us, some are more violent than others. By living you are a work of wonder because you survive the war in you, as well as the external assault of the world. Don't forget that. You. Are. Awesome. And if you are in a better place, if you can feel good about yourself, look around you and try to help others who staggered under their burden, who felt despair over their wars. A simple smile, an easy laugh, a hug, a caring hand and tender eyes, a heart that love, that's all the backup they need.

My world is a beautiful kaleidoscope of mismatch minuscule things, a special kaleidoscope that only I can see. What's in your world? I bet it's as beautiful as mine. As we sat here together holding (virtual) hands, you enjoy your kaleidoscope and I enjoy mine, let us savor our beautiful differences while embracing our souls. We are not alone. We are never alone. Come, and take my hand.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Makan Gengsi

Baca tulisan orang soal beli makan di Sol*ria, ngeri-ngeri sedap rasanya hahaha. Tulisan itu memprotes kenapa harga makanan di restoran itu mahal banget, belum lagi minumnya; dan porsi yang diberikan nggak seberapa pula. Derita dunia deh pokoknya. Saya mengerti perasaanmu mas, saya mengerti…
 
Jangan salah lho, harga-harga restoran di Indonesia itu muahal. Ingat banget dulu jaman kuliah kerjaannya kalau nge-mal sebelum kesana sudah harus makan dulu biar nggak tergoda jajan, atau kalau terpaksa sekali, cari resto fast food dan beli cemilan paling murah (baca: burger goceng/Rp 5,000). Food court juga nggak menjamin keberadaan makanan yang walau terjangkau namun masih beradab. Sengsara mode on kadang.
 
Itu cerita jaman kuliah dulu, sekarang gaji dollar lain cerita dong. Iya kan? Anda salahhhh….. Terakhir pulang ke Jakarta/Bali November 2016, rasanya syok syalala. Bahkan untuk saya yang gajinya dollar, seminggu di Jakarta terkuras lumayan banget. Sekali makan berdua bersama teman di Pizza Hut misalnya, habis sampai Rp 250rb. Kita sih emang makannya agak kalap, semua dipesan. Tapi misalnya gaji saya Rp 5jt, makan sekali sudah 1/20 gaji. Lumayan banget kan? Belum lagi tiap ketemu biasanya di Starbucks atau tempat kopi lainnya, padahal saya disini ke Starbucks kalau lagi diskon atau buy one get one free xixixi.
 
Kadang-kadang, saya bisa mengerti kenapa harganya syalala. Kedai-kedai kopi ternama misalnya, karena mereka menjual pengalaman. Duduk santai sambil menyesap kopi, diiringi alunan music yang chill/bikin adem; baik kerja, ketemu klien, atau bahkan sekedar relaksasi, rasanya jadi pol banget. Dulu waktu kerja dibawa bos saya makan di restoran Indonesia di Kebayoran Baru yang harganya bikin sakit hati, tapi masih bisa ngerti juga. Rasanya memang enak dan kondisinya asik banget, walau untung bukan saya yang bayar. Bisa nggak bayar kos-kosan kalau saya yang harus bayar.
 
Di sisi lain, saya ngemil di gerai restoran Indonesia di Atrium Senen November lalu, harganya mahal, porsi sedikit, nggak enak, dan disajikan di piring Styrofoam. Err…. Agak marah rasanya, karena bagi banyak orang yang lidahnya masih lebih suka makanan Indonesia, pilihannya nggak banyak. Seperti kata si penulis status fesbuk itu, bisa kan sedikit manusiawi gitu porsi dan pelayanannya, jangan rakus nggak jelas.
 
Nah, disini yang agak saru/kurang jelas sih. "Rakus". Bikin restoran itu mahal lho. Ijin usahanya, bayar franchise nya, renovasi ruangan, alat-alat restoran (mulai dari alat masak sampai meja kursi). Mas penulis ini bilang harga markup nya bisa sampai sekian kali lipat. Yah iya sih kalau dihitung dari bahan bakunya saja, tapi kan ada bayar gaji pegawainya, sewa toko, belum pemulusan kanan kiri biar nggak diresehin. Wajar banget kalau kadang restoran 'menggetok' harga agar cepat balik modal. Apalagi kadang buat orang Indonesia, harga mahal dianggap jaminan mutu. Kalau nggak mahal jangan-jangan nggak okehhh. Kalau nggak mahal ngapain juga disamperin. Dari sekian banyak yang komplen soal harga seperti mas penulis ini, masih banyak orang-orang yang menganggap keluar uang segitu adalah bentuk pencapaian.
 
Tapi ini Indonesia, dan nggak ada aturan kalau restoran/usaha apapun semena-mena terhadap pelanggan. Itulah kenapa di tempat hiburan, sebiji kelapa muda bisa seharga Rp 25rb atau bahkan lebih. Atau di daerah turis seperti Malioboro yang makan rame-rame bisa kena hingga hitungan juta, bukan lagi ratusan ribu. Di Amrik sini pemerintahnya juga nggak ngurusin lho. Yang diurus kalau tempatnya nggak bersih, atau kalau nggak sesuai iklan. Kalau bilangnya daging sapi impor tapi yang dipakai daging sapi lokal, pemerintah bisa bertindak. Nah kalau restorannya aja yang nggak cihui? Konsumen dong yang bertindak hehehe.
 
Sudah biasa restoran disini jadi ngehits atau gulung tikar berkat review orang. Orang bisa meninggalkan review di aplikasi Yelp, misalnya. Yelp itu seru karena cukup search/cari apa yang kita mau, lalu akan keluar sekian banyak opsi yang skornya berdasarkan rating pengunjung. Semakin hokehhh tempatnya, semakin tinggi ratingnya. Reviewnya pun biasanya yang lengkap, apa menu yang oke dan apa yang tidak oke, harga, pelayanan, sampai foto menu segala ada, jadi nggak yang deg-degan mau kesana. Yang ngereviewnya ngasal, entah ekstra bagus (karena teman ownernya) atau ekstra jelek (karena ada yang mereka nggak suka) biasanya ketahuan. Singkat cerita cukup terjamin lah.
 
Tapi di Indonesia kan belum ada. Ada baru Qraved, dan itu juga masih baru Jakarta-Bali. Ngeliat review appnya di fesbuk juga sakit hati hahaha. Ada yang numpang jualan (online), ada yang protes kenapa babi mulu yang direview, ada yang protes kenapa ada artikel tentang kenapa babi haram yang ditayangkan, ada pula yang protes kenapa artikelnya tentang restoran semua. Duh Mbakyu, itu logonya saja garpu, masa ngereview bioskop? Ini baru appnya ya yang direview, belum kalau beneran sistem review publik seperti di Yelp. Ampun DiJe…..
 
Satu-satunya cara ya kita yang jadi konsumen yang cerdas. Semua dimulai dari kita, kan? Es teh tawar Rp. 20rb di restoran kelas menengah. Mengantri sekian jam untuk snack kekinian. Yang harus selalu ditanyakan adalah: worth it nggak sih? Sepadan dengan harga dan usahanya nggak sih? Penasaran sih boleh, tapi terjebak latah atau merasa 'harus' sebagai status sosial, mending jangan. Nggak apa-apa kok kalau nggak termasuk kloter pertama untuk beli kue yang paling gres. Nggak usah juga maksain ke resto di mal demi update social media kalau rasa warteg samping rumah lebih enak. Bukan tanggung jawab yang punya usaha kalau harga dan rasanya nggak karuan, tapi jelas tanggung jawab kita untuk memilih apa yang kita rasa baik dan sesuai untuk kita.
 
Masih bingung? Pakai kurs St*rbux deh. Disini harga segelas kopi rasa-rasa (pake susu, krim, etc) itu sekitar ½ gaji per jam. Jadi kalau gaji Rp 2.5 juta sebulan, kerja 25 hari @ 8 jam, upah per jam Rp 12.500, harga kopi wajar itu Rp 6,250. Eitttt…. Ntar dulu. Jangan buru-buru saya disambit pake bon restoran, atau buru-buru menghakimi kalau ada yang gaji sekian makan sekian. Bukan urusan saya atau anda menghakimi siapa beli apa. Poin disini adalah jangan merasa terpaksa demi gengsi. Kalau memang doyan sih nggak apa-apa, tapi jangan karena gengsi. Jangan juga kebangetan kalau ada teman yang menolak dengan sopan ajakan kongkow anda, "Ih, pasti karena nggak sanggup deh, dasar miskin!". Siapa tahu dia bukan nggak mampu, tapi karena ngerasa tempat itu nggak worth it, nggak sepadan dengan harga.
 
Selaku negara dengan daya beli yang (menurut saya) lumayan kuat, sudah waktunya masyarakat Indonesia lebih cerdas dalam memilih pelayanan. Jangan mau lah kita terus dibego-begoin, dibilang 'ini Keren!', langsung kita nurut seperti bebek yang sedang diangon. Kalau ngerasa nggak oke, walau di mal mentereng atau didukung seleb tercihui, ya nggak apa-apa berani bilang nggak oke. Bukan berarti boleh nge-bully ya. Bedain sekedar berpendapat nggak oke dan menolak untuk datang lagi, dengan memaki-maki ria yang sampai cucu sepupu tetangga depan tokonya kena maki juga. Tahu diri juga sih, jangan ngebandingin harga teh tawar di restoran di Mal mentereng yang sewanya berapa milyar dengan harga teh tawar warkop depan rumah. Cerdas, bukan bablas. Biar gimana, mereka butuh pelanggan lho, dan pelanggan juga butuh mereka. Yuk, jadi konsumen yang pintar :)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why Did You Smile

"Why did you smile?"
She looked at her questioningly
The woman in the mirror looked back
And they smiled together

Because you are pretty when you smile
You are reassuring and confident
You are warm and full of hope
You are life itself

Because smile is the winter sun
That makes everything looks dazzling
That bring promises of spring
That makes the buds of dream grow

Because smile is a mini summer
A short time where everything seems right
A moment where you seemed to live forever
A period where you are fulfilled

Because smile lift up the burden in us
Even when we are faking it
The little corners of our lips are the buoys
As they rose higher, so does our spirits

Because smile is a refreshing drink
The strong iced coffee that shocks us
The flavorful berry tea that invigorates us
The spicy warm cocoa that seduces us

Because smile is comforting and tender
Like your favorite blankie or teddy bear
Like the embrace of your trusted ones
Like the lit hearth during the storm

Because smile is contagious and unstoppable
It starts with one and ends with countless
Like the wave sound or water ripples
Or domino stacks that run forever

See your smile? Now you feel good
He sees your smile, now he feels good
She sees his smile, now she feels good
The chain keeps getting longer and brighter

"Why did you smile?"
Because I look pretty when I smile
Because it made me happy when I smile
Because I can, I want to, and I'm loving it.

Now tell me, why did you smile?

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