Midnight Malarkey

a peek inside the poetic freak




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.

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*)

Kepada Kata-Kata

Terima kasih.
Setidaknya, kau ada untukku menuang segala.


Nyaman rasanya bersamamu.
Aku bisa menjadi diriku
baik tangguh
maupun rapuh.

Nyaman berasa dalam rangkulmu.
Tak perlu khawatir
tentang apa yang lain pikirkan.
Karena pencitraan
sesuatu yang penting. Apa
yang sebenarnya
aku ketahui—itu yang nyata
dan aku nyaman
dengan fakta

Nyaman bercerita padamu
yang tak peka
tetapi tak canggung.
Semua beban pikiran
dan perasaan
yang tertampung
bisa kuceritakan
padamu dengan begitu mudah.

mengetahui aku tak akan kehilangan
dirimu. Aku takut
oleh norma
dan kata-kata
yang sebenarnya tindakan pengecut.
aku akan mengejar. Seolah
aku tak lelah
pada kondisi
saat ini.

untuk berkeyakinan
rasa sayangku
tak semena-mena
dan hanya berlalu saja. Bahwa
kasih, sayang, dan cinta
ada banyak jenisnya.
Bahwa milikku
tak mudah menyusut
oleh waktu.

Nyaman untuk tahu
aku bisa menjaga diri
namun tak perlu merasa risih

Nyaman merasa seperti ini.
Nyaman karenamu.

Aku senang
bisa merasa tenang
dan nyaman

—terima kasih.

Extra note: the featured image is a quote, but I don’t know if it’s from George Eliot or Dinah Maria Mulock Craik. Here’s the quote, just in case I’m using a theme that doesn’t support featured images:

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are.

Lovely little quote, isn’t it? :)

Thoughts: Memory Wipe

I’m sure we all know that the past contains memories, both good and bad. I’m sure we all have those days when we wish we could just make the bad ones go away. I’m sure you can all relate to this:

Right? Right? Am I right or what?

The things is, I would never want to wipe out my memories. So far, anyway. You have to take the good and bad in life. Like coffee or chocolate—bittersweet in all its glory. It’s like eating Oreos. You can lick the cream first then the biscuit, or eat the biscuit first, or taste both in a bite. Either way, if you want the whole thing, you need to eat the whole thing and taste both sides.

Same as life—to truly live, you must take the good and bad in stride. The cliché “Life is a roller-coaster ride” is a cliché because it’s true.

“But it’s only the really bad ones I want to erase! Let’s say the technology exists, I won’t wipe out all of my happy or bad memories. I won’t erase my good ones with the horrible ones!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Try looking at the pic below to guess what I’ll be blabbering about next.

I don’t know about you, but I highly agree with the quote. It’s not so much about the pain, it’s about what comes after it.

Like it or not, memories help to shape who you are. Wiping the good memories will make you lose a piece of you that you are now, so does wiping out the bad ones.

And especially the bad, specific ones. Memories are based on true incidents that resonate throughout your life, sometimes in the weirdest and most wonderful ways. Sometimes through reality slaps, or déjà vu. Other times, through things that remind you of those memories.

Memories are how we learn from mistakes, because we remember how bad it felt making those mistakes. It’s the reason for our being uncomfortable in new surroundings because our brain’s grasping for familiar things we can relate to but scarcely find any, but it’s also why we find home so… homey.

I know I’m rambling here, but I do hope you understand what I mean. Whenever I pause and relive my past, it’s the bad experiences that have shaped me the most. And I do get negative effects from those bad memories, but I’m also aware that those bad memories are the ones who have shaped what I like about myself the most.

So, there.

And she remembered Anna drooped her eyelids just when the deeper questions of life were touched upon. “Just as though she half-shut her eyes to her own life, so as not to see everything,” thought Dolly.

— Anna Karenina


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.

In each century since the beginning of the world wonderful things have been discovered. In the last century more amazing things were found out than in any century before. In this century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.

— The Secret Garden

I’ve seen the light. Now I know how great acronym slang is! It doesn’t matter how negative something is. Just add “lol” and it’ll automatically become positive.

— Monokuma

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