Midnight Malarkey

a peek inside the poetic freak



Untuk si Pemetik Rasa

Untuk kamu, pemain musik
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Kau mainkan melodi
Tiap hari
Menjalani hari



Aku ini
Jeda di antara petik
Ada untuk menambah warna

Tetapi terlalu lama menjadi pelik
Kau perlu melanjutkan irama

Dan aku




A letter. A rhyme. A means to say and still be silent.

When people are in love—when we, human beings, experience this wonderful chemical reaction—we often become poetic, associating how we feel and who made us feel that way to a beat.

We say our heartbeat races, two beats of the same heart calming to the same melody of the soul. They’re the beat to the song that makes us move. The beat that makes us feel oh so alive. Or live, even.

Likening you to a mere beat, beloved, would be a sin for my part.

You’re so much less, yet more.

You’re a pulse.

Unromantic, eh? Soundwise, poets would agree. But do bear in mind that they too would ask the meaning of this unrhyming metaphore before discarding it into the pits of condemnation.

If your eyes ever lay on these words, I beseech thee to do as such.

You are a pulse, my love. You don’t make my heart move, but you show that it’s working. A lack of you won’t show I’m dead—simply, I may breathe—yet, neither living. To say you give me life is lying. God does that. Anything meaning otherwise means I’m a con, condescending what we both put faith in. A con, descending myself to a bag of meat in need of you. Condescending you to a need, a means to feed my greed.

You are a pulse, my dear. You don’t put me to work like a song. Loving you has never been work all along. Relationships are, one with you would be, but to love—loving you—is simply me. Not that you’re never a burden, but one I’d take. I’m not perfect either, but I’ll do the best with what I could make.

You’re a pulse—something I feel. A beat lies deep, buried in warmth of the chest. A pulse runs deep, running everywhere else. So much so, for how do I hide what I have for you? It comes out so clearly, others feel it too.

Like a pulse, I feel you. Each layer of my skin, each vein craves the oxygen you bring. You’re the one who sends me fresh air to breathe. You’re not the only one coming through, just the one that matters.

You matter. Like a pulse, you’re the one I check. If you’re healthy, I’m happy. A beat can always be manipulated. Not so with what I feel for you.

This is amazing. You’re not that much of a mystery. Like a pulse, I can learn your inner workings. And yet, everytime I feel you, I feel me. Each night before I go to sleep, I feel you in my body. I pray to God when morning comes, I feel you’re still with me.

A beat can always be felt, though concealed. A pulse, though known, is only felt by the most delicate. It’s not merely fierce. It’s less, yet so much more—a beam, a warmth, a glow. Don’t you like that my love? To be with you, I’ve evolved, and I actually like it. I like the way you make me feel—delicate, alive, unreal.

Do you see how wonderful now a pulse could be? How you can be?

I’ve wrote this though you may never see. I hope these things won’t leave me dead, still unsaid.

It is late, beloved. Now I shall go to bed.

I pray to God, when morning comes, I feel you as I wake.

Jakarta, December 2015
!!th @ 23.19 — 12th @ 00.39
[with some editing]


sea o' tranquility quote

Decided to randomly do a quote at this hour. This is taken from a novel I haven’t read, but I just love it. It kind of describes what’s going on with a few of my friends.

There’s this phrase for the kind of love that people think fleeting. Usually it’s directed to first loves and young loves, drowned with lovey-dovey pet names and expected to end almost instantly at the first serious(-ish) conflict they encounter. I’m sure you’ve heard of it somewhere.

Made this with my dad’s Samsung Note 4. Also serves as my first published calligraphy attempt. What do you think?

But, when I think of it, I’d want puppy love to stay.

Most people may relate this term with relationships that aren’t committed nor serious. I, on the other hand, imagine a relationship with a real puppy. And it’s the fluffiest kind of relationship I could think of that also comes with the coveted commitment.

Puppies look at you with adoration that love that borders on looking stupid. They wait for you by the door and wag their tails like crazy and can’t stand still for more than two seconds. They get easily distracted, but when you know it’s your puppy, they’ll come pawing their way to you at the slightest call they pick up and in the cutest way.

And building a relationship with a puppy isn’t that hard because when you love a puppy, there’s no way you fall out of love with it. It can bite you and you may be more cautious, but odds are as soon as the wounds are all patched up the first thing that comes to mind is probably something along the lines of “Has my little pup been fed yet?”

So for the cynics towards the term: Sure, I want the kind of stable relationship that has utilitarianism in it, to some extent. But, when you really get down to it, don’t you want a little puppy love to go with it?


Doesn’t it also help put puppy love in the context of a relationship? :D

A Different Kind of Lonely

This is a different kind of lonely. One not so bitter, hardly as sweet. Not the same alertness at night, no crazy thoughts revealing themselves to my sight.

When I’m lonely, I communicate. My lips stay sealed, my fingers create. Nothing much, just a word or two. Or a page of sub-par poetry, posted to be read by you.

My kind of lonely is just right. Just like how I like coffee. Bitter enough to flatten my lips as though awkwardly receiving a kiss. Sweet enough to tingle the tongue tip’s taste buds. Bitter enough to make me fill hollowed. Sweet enough to know the hollow will be filled.

Or hearing a single howl of a wolf that knows somewhere, something heard it make a sound.

My kind of lonely is beautifully painful, painfully hopeful, hopefully beautiful in its end. My lonely is not alone in the world. My lonely is not lonesome. My kind of lonely has company—not to fill it, but to share it.

My kind of lonely is longing for people. Glimpses of the past. You know you can’t cure it, but you can subdue it. It’ll heal with time and grow better with the bitter it contains. Like how grapes with dust-like fungi make the best-tasting wine.

But this new kind of loneliness? It’s this one:


It’s the kind of lonely grown from non-consented silence. It’s the kind of lonely that spurs hatred, as the feeling becomes a tyrant. It’s the kind of lonely that chains your mental tongue to the back of your mental mouth. It takes the will from fingers to caress the keyboard, reluctant to press its calloused tips on the stem of a pen.

This type of lonely is when you open your mouth and try to scream. And even if the words do come out, it never lands on another’s ear.

This is a different kind of lonely. One I’m not accustomed to. I’m still learning its ways and starting anew. I’m still comparing it with coffee and little things I do. Just so I can get back and type again and pour it all down to get rid of my frown.

This kind of lonely is laced with laughter amongst friends. That seeps as an afterthought in every tear when something beautiful ends. This kind of lonely finds me lost in nostalgia of longing for something I actually know.

This kind of lonely will take some getting used to. New, different things do. Adjusting will be the only part of this that’s not new.

Add subtitle text

If you’re not interested in the “foreword” part of this post, skip to the part after I put another line. This post turned out much longer than predicted.

For those who don’t know, I come from Indonesia, a country where the dominant religion is Islam. We even have a separate court system to deal with legal issues concerning Islamic law—Shariah disputes, benefaction, divorce cases, etc. And, being a law student in this country, Islam Law is an obligatory subject I have to undertake if I want to pass.

Setting aside the ample times I got confused by the Arab terms, I find it interesting to learn a new subject that links law, religion, and culture so deeply. So, when my lecturer one day told the class to go to PA (PA=Pengadilan Agama=the religious court that solves legal cases using Shariah), I was sort of excited to go.

The PA court trials are closed to the public most of the time, since the cases ongoing are personal. I was lucky to get in and see the intricate workings of a component in my country’s wonderful (albeit flawed) justice system.

One little case stopped me in the midst of writing all I could down a piece of neatly folded paper. It was a divorce case. The judges were doing a final questioning for the couple, something along the lines of “Are you sure you want this? You can’t be reconciled? You’ve tried everything in your powers and it didn’t work?”, to which both parties nodded. Yet, when the wife was asked personally, she loosened up a bit and showed her true opinion.

“Well, that’s how things went. He wanted it like this,” she said in a half accusing, half reprimanding tone. Then, with a somewhat frustrating yet understandable attempt to shift the blame off of him, the husband reasoned that their paths just weren’t aligned anymore. That he didn’t know she’d turn out not to be what he’d hoped for.

To which, the wife replied, with calm and dignity that’ll be etched in my mind for years to come:

“You’re the priest (imam) in the family, you’re supposed to know me before having a family with me.”

Part One: Being in the Know

As often as I’ve heard the cliché “try before you buy”, I’ve never seen an implementation as affecting as that one case (refer to the last paragraph before the line above).

Sure, it wasn’t her precise words, and the guy didn’t suddenly feel remorse or anything, but it entailed an afterthought for me later that night and for the next few days.

The social system I grew up in has an innate characteristic of secrecy. Before a real relationship began (the flirting and hitting on people) there’s an adjective called “jaim” which is used to describe how people behave. Basically it means you’ll try to make a really ideal image for yourself to get the person you’re after.

Another thing that contributes to unknowing is that open, frontal discussions aren’t really that encouraged. No matter how subtle the confrontation, I found people often gape when I say I questioned someone for a specific behavior. When I think of it, there’s always that line “communication is vital” but I’ve never really seen it as a tip to follow before the marriage phase anywhere. It’s either not there, or not that obvious so people who don’t look for it don’t find it. That’s yet another problem—if you’re looking for a tip, you’re already in trouble. It’s not as much of an advice as it is an attempt to give a solution.

So I gotta cut that guy some slack. Besides, there’s also this:

Yeah, the woman’s probably got some blood on her hands too. But my point is many of us don’t spend enough time and energy pondering on compatibility with a partner as much as deciding what to wear at a special event. Sometimes you’re only checking for important yet vague things like “Is he a nice person?” and forget that three public displays of manners can hardly be enough material for assessment if the context is a partner for life. Other times, people are just desperate to fulfill their primal urges. There’s no shame in that, but no wisdom either.

I’ve known people who knew each other about two weeks before that started dating. Few people could survive over a year in that kind of circumstance, much less a marriage. Though both examples I’ve witnessed survived longer than I thought, one didn’t end on good terms and the other—well, I don’t even know anymore. After the initial giddy phase, you’ll find a list of questions soon enough. And the fact that most people don’t like to be vulnerable doesn’t help.

Just make sure when you know someone, you really, really know them. Though, even at best, you’ll always have to put up with little things that annoy you. All the more reason to take an option that’s worth the pain.

The same case goes with friends. How many people do you claim to really know? Do you know their favorite color, music taste, allergies, political preference, religious views? I never cease to be astounded by every discovery that reminds me of how little I know.

Come to think of it, this doesn’t just apply to relationships. It applies to life in general. *changes the featured image*

Well, this is gonna be longer than expected. Don’t groan, little (or are you big?) reader, you’ve done good. Go ahead and do something else, if you want. If you must. *cue for dramatic sigh*

Part Two: Being Responsible

People don’t like taking responsibility nowadays, and for a good reason: it’s tiring. Overwhelmingly so, at times. I feel it too. As a student who likes to read and pays attention in class, I’ve had an image of someone with above average diligence in many of my classes. Only when people got to know me better did they realize my will to do well is sometimes sub-par. And when I do want to please someone (or even myself), I make sure that I don’t look too eager. Why? Just so others don’t drop their responsibilities on my lap. Given, I’m not averse to saying no. It just saves time, social tension, and a lot of too-sensitive people’s feelings.

By nature I’m a stubborn person. Regardless of the trouble I’ve gotten into, I’m glad that being hard headed means I mostly stick to my promises and choices.

Maybe you’ve seen this pic before:

I think that’s true. I find it hard to make a choice, no matter how hard my resolution to undergo it afterwards. Even the task of merely picking one of two books can cost me half an hour. I even toss a coin sometimes to determine what I’m going to eat, just to save time. Well, there’s an example of over-thinking.

 If I had to box people, I’d box them into these categories:

  1. The people who make rash decisions and don’t take any kind of responsibility, blaming anyone and anything except themselves. These people are at the mercy of more responsible people who have to deal with them.
  2. People who make rash decisions and pay the price. I kind of like these people. They can be frustrating to see, but there’s a kind of eagerness and sincerity that goes into every little “yes” or “no” they say.
  3. This is the second most annoying group: The people who know they have to take on responsibility, but want to take as little as possible. These are the people who drop by last second on projects, who have to know every. little. thing. that may happen when they choose something.
    In high school (and even now) I’ve met lots of people who fall into this category. They don’t want to break a sweat and use their brains to try and figure out which option will let them use their brains the least. The thing that annoys me about them is that trying to make them take on more responsibility is excruciating. Sometimes it boils down to a demand—which, of course, can translate to them as an ultimatum. Oh well.
  4. The most ideal kind: Responsible people who know when to take action, take credit, and occasionally take the blame. We need more of these people, people!

I fall under the second category. Sometimes I don’t think as much as I should when making choices, but I know I’ll manage to work things out most of the time.

But enough of this mumbling of mine. Go, go, little readers! Shoo! (Yeah, I just ran out of things to say. HAHAHA… ha. *weeps inside*)

This lovely little thing is by Maya Angelou.
This lovely little thing is by Maya Angelou.

The Concept of “Being Real”

Is completely and utterly BOGUS at least half the time. I take the advice with a pinch of salt. What advice? The kind below:

It’s true. I’d agree with it if we didn’t live in an era where everything has to be politically correct. When image becomes crucial for things like connection and acceptance, how do you keep it real?

Some people are lucky because the real them is widely accepted in society. If you’re really polite, polished, and politically correct, man, you’ve got it good. But I, like many people, am not. Sure, I can be considerate and sympathetic, maybe even feel empathy, but half of the time I find it exhausting. Like, I want to do good. I can be good. But I can’t always be good.

Okay, I’m straying away from the topic.

My point is, being real comes at a high price.

My price for being the emotionally unattached me is the lack of depth in most social connections. People want a friendly, helpful person who takes their side or at least still supports them someway when their opinions differ.

I have a friend (a guy) who likes to sing karaoke, collect trinkets, doesn’t mind playing dolls, and has a pencil with glittery pink flowers as a pattern. He likes fashion A LOT too. Does that mean he’s gay? Does that mean he’s not a real man? He’s still a guy. He’s just being himself, and he’s okay with it. There’s also a girl I know who just like hanging around with guys, and I’ve heard people call her easy. That’s not true. It’s just that she’s more comfortable talking to the guys than girls in general. She’s being herself. They’re being real.

It’s not easy, is it?

“Be real.”

How do you do that? For me, being real is like something you should be ashamed about.

I’m punished by the looks and the shaking heads when I arrive in pants instead of a skirt/dress for parties. I’m punished by the stabs of words people say. I’m constantly ranted upon by people who’d like to see me “grow up”. I’m told to try on makeup. To embrace who I am.

Oh, fuck you, people. How am I supposed to embrace the real me by doing things I’m not? And it’s for your comfort. Your entertainment. If I were just trying out new things because I wanted to, whether out of curiosity or just for fun, then it’ll be just fine. If you simply approached me in a non judgmental way and I consented, it’d be a mere experiment to see if I like it or not. But this? Ugh.

What I think is the truth is that it’s okay to be real. Until the point where other people either get bored of you or become uncomfortable around you. 

Because when you dress different and look good, people call you unique, daring, fashionable, doing your own thing. When you don’t look good or don’t appeal to their taste, they call you a freak and a weirdo.

It’s hard being real. Some artists have it good and they say they keep doing them. Some do, but I see others are desperate for attention, thus they do whatever they can to stand out. There’s a fine line between experimenting and despair, people. But those who do make it—they have it oh. So. Good.

I’m not really there yet—real, that is. But I’m working on it. It’s somewhat embarrassing to admit I still say “sorry” when I’m going to say something possibly offending even if my friends asked for my opinion of something. I gotta stop faking my apologies. It just won’t do.

But I’m still learning to play within the boundaries of what’s legal and what’s acceptable while still being me. I mean, if the real me’s a psychopath, then there’s something wrong with me and not the world, right?

I guess the solution is tolerance for new and different things (both things you like and don’t) while keeping an eye out for the effects. That way people can still be themselves without going over the top with it.

Does that even make sense? Hmm… oh well.

“Who will be at my funeral?”

Have you ever thought about that? I have. But i never really thought it through.

You see, there’s this thing that’s kind of a trend now. Talking about fake friends and those who only care when you’re terminally ill or dead. Or when they need something from you. And yeah, that’s annoying. But these last few months whenever I start to wonder who’ll come, who’ll be crying, stuff like that, my brain stops me with…

“Stop it. It’s not going to affect you in any way.”

And more recently…

“Don’t be a selfish attention whore.”

And I got confused over this for a while. ‘Til today, that is.

You see, it’s not evil to want to know that people care for you. Love, or at least attention, is a basic social need. Still, sometimes people care in the strangest of ways. They may also mourn for your death in a different way.

Guess what? They’re probably the closest friends you have. Let’s say they got together to remember all the wacky stuff you did together. Chances are, there’ll be a laugh here and there in the midst of all the nostalgia.

Besides, I want my friends to live on when I die, not to die of depression because I’m gone. I still want them to have fun. If it means forgetting me, then so be it. If the truth is we’ll be aware of this, I’ll probably be a bit sad. Still, why should I be selfish even after death?

Yeah, I’m awesome, aren’t I? ;)

Let’s move on to the other reason on why thinking about this is dumb.

Did you consider this?  I’m sure you agree to this, in your own way. Now… if you believe this, why bother caring about who’s gonna show up? Let’s say half of the people knew you well. You cared for each other. Half of the rest weren’t all that close to you. Among these people there’s always the possibility of people still caring for you as a human being or whatever, even when you’re just on nodding terms. Let’s give them a pass.

But what about the others?

Some are there just because they know you. Maybe they reluctantly came because you’ve been on a project together. Maybe they’re there because they know someone close to you and are there to cheer them up. Lighten the mood a bit. Be the shoulder to cry on.

Strangers, accompanying your friends, may also be present. Or you’re a part of an organization and they’re representing it. You know, kind people who’ll give their time to a dead body. Perhaps if you’ve met, you would’ve liked each other. Doesn’t make a difference now, does it? And if you could see them, would you be touched? “Oh my gosh, complete strangers care for me!”

Nope. Probably not.

And guess what? Here’s the most important fact you’ve probably overlooked…


What difference would the number of people coming to your funeral make? Would you suddenly be denied Heaven just because you didn’t meet the quota of 50 people who genuinely care for you coming to the funeral or 100 people crying over your death?

Get real.

You won’t get to experience them caring for you again anyway. Better to worry about people who care for you now. In this world and realm. You savvy?

Trust Your Own Madness

“I beg to differ.”

There’s so much truth in that sentence. Don’t know what happened, suddenly it just hit me not so long ago that there are a few meanings I could take from that one single line. So, here they are:

1. Expressing dissent in a more polite and/or “smirk-face” kind of way.

So you probably know how this works. It could mean “Excuse me, I’d like to speak out a different opinion.” or… the pic below.


Which could be really annoying. Smart-asses and the like. Standard stuff. Let’s move on.

2. The want (maybe need?) to be noticed.

It’s now a trend to be unique and weird and out of the ordinary. Everyone’s unique. There’s some sense in that, but not many people really stand out from the crowd. Probably because people tend to befriend others similar with them, so they may stand out as a crowd, but not individually. And these people, at least half of the time, are the ones with the biggest thirst for attention.

Do you watch ANTM? That’s why group photos are difficult. Take the pic below for example. I don’t know about you, but my eyes keep wandering to the top right pic. Just because it’s the only one in black and white. If you do, then it’s that much easier to link attention and being different.

3. “Seeking” consent to be different.

The sentence would mean more like “Could you please, please, PLEEEASSEE just let me be who I am?”

Were you able to see and read the text on the featured image? In case I’m using a theme that makes you unable to do so, here’s the pic (again).


I know it’s a meme. One that curves my lips upwards, at that. And also cringe a little when I see the typo. *sighs* But when I think about it, I see some truth.

It’s rare, but try picturing a timid guy saying “I beg to differ” in a group discussion, where his opinion is the only one that’s, well, different. It’s hard to do sometimes, straying away from the crowd. Finding the fine line between having time alone and ending up alone is the main problem. That’s why diversity and tolerance in a group is important. It makes things interesting, you learn to respect each other, and many more things I’m sure you can think of yourself.

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