Glimpse of Central Java

“There are all these moments you think you won’t survive. And then you survive.”
David Levithan

These rough images were taken straight from a moving train in between my trip from Semarang, ID, circa 2013. It was somewhere over the subs area of Central Java. A lonely ground with surviving trees surrounding. The images gave me this sense of resilience with its own oddity. Indefinite.

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Seconds

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Her little finger kept tipping on the surface of the grassed ground. No one can really tell whether she was nervous or simply being too enthusiastic. But, from her smile, those seeing her may assume the latter. Though she always wore that smile. A kind of smile people loved. When she was smiling, her eyes shone and glistened. It reminded people of those eyes of a rabbit that her thick glasses could barely hide the softness in it.

It’d been approximately thirty five minutes twenty seconds that she had been sitting there at the park all by herself. Thirty five minutes twenty nine seconds now, or it’s gone half past one. That was how she’d love to count time. In details. In precise numbers. No single second left unsaid. As how she measured how many steps she took from home to the bus shelter: one hundred and fifty two steps; or from the bus stop to work: two hundred and seven steps; or how she just discovered three hundred and fifty three steps to reach the park from work. No body really knew about it. How she did all those. How she viewed things in a complex details. How she realized that her brain never let her rest a bit. How it forced her to get busy with her mind all the time.

She pictured her brain interior like a wheel train of a clock that never stopped moving in a super high speed oscillation. That sometimes she wish she could secretly put any kind of obstruent to interupt its movement so she could stop a tiny second to know how it was to be normal.

Normal. The most underrated thing people may think of. That was what she always thought.

Sixty three persons: forty eight in pair and thirteen in group and two in solitary as she was. She had been counting the visitors of the park that just passed by. The twenty four couples were her favorite. Mostly in their early adolescence. But her most favorite was always the old ones. Very few of them. But at least she knew that there was this hope that someone who could love and stay forever really existed.

She figured herself much older and be in pair with someone. How lovely the idea was. Even though she barely ever knew how it was really like to fall for someone. Was it like when her stomach reacted to see documenter of the young Lennon? Or like the strange feeling she always had whenever she was in this art class in her high school cause the teacher was so attractive, good-looking and all? Or like the nausea that always struck whenever she was too enthusiastic about something? She always wondered. 

I wish I could tell her. That someday she would know. That she would really meet this person. Someone who was odd enough to level her peculiarity. Someone as strange as her, who would sit next to her and secretly adore her complexity.

Fifty one minutes forty five seconds, she decided to walk back to her office. Another three hundred and fifty three steps, or maybe more. She would find out.

Sugarless

Little fume of my coffee started to vanish that it smelled less stronger now. Or, maybe it’s just I got used to the smell. As it reminded me that I’d been sitting in the corner of the coffee shop for too long. And I hadn’t drunk even a sip of my coffee, that had gotten far from hot now.

“Always drink your coffee while it’s hot.” That was what Anne always told me. Funny, that I, as a man, was always to be the one who was less masculine compared to her. From ocean diving, to the love of coffee. She was the one introduced me to a habit of drinking coffee sugarless. She said, we should not drink coffee with sugar. Even though sugar gave a sweet taste to it, still, coffee was never meant to be consumed with sugar. When you love coffee, you would mind how other different particles might ruin its taste. That was her philosophy about coffee. But I still couldn’t drink it a hundred percent sugarless. And, I would always be a joke to her for this. Her mocking at me on this usually always ended up with me getting pissed off. But it felt differently now. It made me smile by only thinking of it.

I was not my self recently. I had been avoiding people. Friends, family, whoever it was. It was like the need of my personal space just elevated. Been couple months. I didn’t feel like talking much and had been preferring hearing myself more than others.

I was surprised myself that I enjoyed all these. Going out, buying my own self some coffee, and just sitting there like the loneliest person on earth, only to finaly leave and ignore the miserable coffee I did not bother to touch.

I was sure that to be by myself was all I needed. I didn’t know why, but it was just, I felt the way people were acting to me recently was so overwhelming. I couldn’t stand their every are-you-alright or their other way of expressing sympathy. And I was sorry that they thought I needed all that.

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It was not exactly what they thought and sought. I really wish they would stop asking. Cause I didn’t even know whether I was sad, or mad. What I felt inside was so unfamiliar. Things were just so strange that most of the time I felt the world had stopped moving and I could barely hear things other than my own self. And this heavy feeling on my chest, was the thing that I had never been able to get rid of.

I could only hope that one day, I would wake up in the morning feeling life has been normal again. That I would not mind any more sympathy or simply a pity. That people’s condolence and I’m-sorry-about-Anne thing would just feel like any other normal words. And that this feeling of missing her would cause no more pain on me. That my coffee would taste fine sugarless. One day…

 

The Originals: from The La’s to Al Green

Black coffee, dark chocolate, sugar-topping doughnut, and the like.  I call them the originals, the irreplaceable-s. I always think that there’s something in the original version of which any new invention (in flavor or such) could never replace. Unsurprisingly it also happens to my music preference, when speaking of those cover songs that at some points, over time, become more popular than the original ones.

Well, listed below some of them which, perhaps, some people just don’t realise that the songs are actually the covers of the less-popular ones of some great musicians that were sung initially many years earlier. So, through this random post, I’d love to give credits to those musicians.

*drumroll*

1. “There She Goes” by The La’s

Name some of other musicians covering the song like The Boo Radleys (1993), The Wombats (2008), Robbie Williams (1998), “There She Goes” became a hit again around the year 2000 when the cover version by Sixpence None the Richer was listed on the OST of Snow Day movie. This cover version was actually released in 1999 on their self-titled album, just about 9 or 10 years later after its original version. Yes, it was one of the hits of The La’s back then in 1990. And, I really love how Lee Mavers (The La’s‘ vocalist) sang the song originally with his unique vocal character. Well, Sixpence None the Richer is one of those bands who succeeded at the recycle.

2. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

I’ll be still mentioning Sixpence None the Richer here, as the band was the one who has resurrected the song and made it to the billboard once again in 2003. The song was originally written and sung by an Australian rock band, Crowded House. The song was released in 1986 as one of the tracks from their self-titled debut, and succeeded to the top of international billboard a year later.

3. “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

I guess most of those growing up around 90s will likely to relate the song with the ska band Save Ferris. It is undeniable that “Come On Eileen” has become Save Ferris‘ most successful single to date. No wonder if many people still don’t have idea that it wasn’t originally sung by the band. Yes, honey. It actually belongs to an English band, named Dexys Midnight Runners. “Come On Eileen” was a single from their album Too-Rye-Ay. It was released in UK around 1982.

4. “Bizarre Loves Triangle” by New Order

There will be this kind of talk, “Hey, do you know “Bizarre Loves Triangle”?” And there is this answer, “Oh yeah, Frente!‘s song?” Few that usually directly recall the original band who wrote the song.

So, long story short, it is one of the hits of New Order, an 80s English rock band popular with their new wave or synth pop dance music. The song was initially released in 1986 and was one of the contents of their album, Brotherhood.

In 1994, Frente! covered the song in acoustic format. The cover actually has brought up the sweetness of the song that does not really show up in the original version. It was said to be Frente!‘s only major overseas success.

Page 2 for the following list of the songs.