CategoryStories

Anam Cara

A

 

What can you say to her? Is this important? How could this bring a better tomorrow for you.

Perhaps that was her attempt to looking for an answer to the questions that you both don’t know at the same time. It’s certainly meaningful and kind gesture, but meaning varies with a spatial scale and you are of insufficient of space.

So you conclude that yes, it might be important, but it’s impossible and not right. That is why you are now hunkered down silently on the surface of this noiseless planet, whispering through slow orbit, trying not to draw attention to yourselves.

– David Eagleman, Sum

How Long You Will Stay Here

H
It was May 2017. You walk out the office with Dion and went to Bu Angkringan food stall near the security post and sat together. He ask for coffee and you went with your favorite double lime.

“Do you know that he would do that?” Dion asked you without warning.
“No idea,” you said.
“Apparently he intend to do it all this time, and probably would look for other guy.”
“Whoa.” you shook your head and look at him in disbelief.
“Its true.”

You discuss about it with him for a more couple of minutes. The blazing sun scorching the ground with menace, but there is a strange feel of comfort to talk while you are not in the office building. It made you feel detached a little bit from the work and become everyday person. Not a worker, not a role, not a man in mission. Just you.

“How long you would work here?” Dion shoot again.

Taken off guard, you pause for a moment. “I don’t know”.
“Huh” Dion reply back.

You know you don’t know. You have this common 21st century experience where you never stay in the same place for more than two year. Its what this generation taught you : fight the stagnation. Don’t embrace status quo. Keep moving and changing. Keep shaking things and you will feel young all the time.

You already have five different company in the last 10 years. Five. Thats you go against inertia isn’t. Its what you ought to do. And if that’s five would change into six – or more, then its normal.

The wind start shifting and you take another sip. Delicious lemon, you thought. Since when you keep having this double lemon thing? You can’t remember but you do know that you’ve been in SoftwareSeni for 3 years. Thats quite a long time in one company huh?

It was a soft and gentle reminder that the last 3 years is a time well spent. The team is fantastic, you drive the standard and culture moving forward, and you amass tons of knowledge while being here.

Wait. Is it you just being in your comfort zone, you cringe again? 5 roles though. While its been 3 years, you have five different role along that years and witness a lot of change within that time frame.

“Dion”.
“Huh?”.
“I take it back, I will stay here in a very very long time”.

You take another sip on the lemon and shake the glass with a hum. Not a too shabby three years and you have that feeling that you are just about to get starting.

Up and Run

U

I WAS BUSY MINGLING WITH MY WORK in the office when my boss suddenly talked about this new fitness app project that we have. “This is nice project Ganis, you should take a look at it. The client might require us to use React for the interface.”

Hmm, interesting. I thought.

“Technically it’s challenging,” he said as our OB hand him his Flat White. “It would incorporate various trainer into people, devise a diet schedule, sync a fitness tracking like watch.”

Davo reached into his bag and pull out black rubber then put that into the table. “Is that a watch?” I asked.

“Yes and No”.

Very interesting.

Months after we finished working on that project, my fiancee, Gita and I have this pet debate. Despite my persistent persuasion, she still doesn’t excited with the prospect of me having a dog – very understandable as she never have one.

Seeing that my future of my pet looks grim, I decided to I pull out one of the oldest trick in the book.

“Wanna bet?” I said.
“About?”
“If I’m able to slash 10kg before our marriage, I would be able to have a dog named Bruno in our house.”
“10kg?”
“Yes”
“Within two month”
“Yes”
“Deal”

I’m not really sure about that bet actually. It’s quite tall order and I never bother that much I’m getting fatter and fatter over the day. But I guess putting something in the line as a bet might help me get motivated, but that alone is not enough. I need a trainer.

A few weeks later, I get my own fitness tracking. I don’t really like watch so I get UP3 from JawBone that looks like an accessories and rather unassuming. On the first day, reading my goal, my habit, height, and weight, Up says that ten thousand steps daily, I learned, is the amounts that needed to me to get fit. 8 hours a day is the amount of sleep that I need to get. 8 glasses of water per day is mandatory. And oh, I should get plenty of vegetables and fruit.

 

TEN THOUSAND STEPS DAILY, I LEARNED, IS THE AMOUNTS THAT NEEDED TO ME TO GET FIT. 8 HOURS A DAY IS THE AMOUNT OF SLEEP THAT I NEED TO GET. 8 GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY IS MANDATORY.

I started to wear my Up everyday, and every time it tingle to mark an achievement, I feel so good. I began pacing around a lot when I’m waiting something. I charge it daily and found it pretty durable against the rain. I move around in the office as I work with multiple project and start to jog upstairs downstairs. Its getting even better as there is a feature that allow me to challenge some random people for the steps taken ever 3 days.

Ha! Competition!

First week, I’m averaging 4k steps avery day – and lost all of my battle. Second week I won 3 battles and start averaging 8k. I look back at that time and laugh. That’s only about 8km, but its not bad if you are 20kg overweight and snacking potato chip every night. On the third week, I get my first 10k and started trounce people right and left. 10 thousands seems a lot, but you can cover that distance by walking around 1 hour a day and do your regular activity.

My regular route is around Kraton, as I don’t fancy the idea of getting bitten when running in the jungle. But even though the route is pretty simple, I’ve seen all kinds of things I wouldn’t normally have come across. Rainbow in the morning, shortcut to the Sultan palace, hidden market in a random street, an infant try to escape from his house but stuck because he can’t open the gate. Sometimes the view is cringe worthy but most of the time it makes me smile.

kraton
Not too shabby view for morning run.

It’s been a month now since I get the Up. I lose 9kg and getting back in shape again. My trousers start to become loose and my life become something orderly. Things looks good until 5 days ago, I notice that I develop an irritation on my left wrist as I wear it too much. So in order to heal it, I need to take it off for a couple of days.

And suddenly I lost motivation. Walking 10 kilometers, or even running up the stairs and back, suddenly seemed pointless, since, without the steps being counted and registered, what use were they? This then put me into perspective. Is this little device would own me? Feels like there is a dot in front of me at the moment that lead me into everything I do. Every little steps count. It would be a very bitter joke if that happen though, as I hate dot. I need to remove dot once in a while, and reboot so that you would have different experience in your limited lifetime.

I promise that someday in few months, I would pass this little device to one other person. But this morning I put Up into my right wrist and start to left early in the morning, practically running to make up for the lost time.

Forest Story

F
IOPENED MY EYES AND CLOSED IT AGAIN, really compelled to stay on the bed for the next few hours. But sensing the awfully cold morning air on my face, I cringed and felt betrayed. Looks like I forgot to close the window last night. I woke up slowly, and stop. It took me about 5 minutes to kill the nauseating sleepy haze that lurch in my head. Feeling better, I stepped out the bed lazily, walked across the room and opened the door.

It was 5.30 in the morning. There was a spark of dim light on the skyline but most of it still painted with a dark color. I can feel the morning dew stinging on my face and the awful rattling breath sending shivers down my spine. Bad breath, bad breath. Shouldn’t not forgot to brush the teeth last night. Wait, triple negative at this early morning? Sigh, nevermind.

AND BY OUR HANDS DID MILLIONS OF HER FADING AND ONLY DID WE BEGIN TO THINK THEN MOURN FOR OURSELVES


My eyes scanning and searching for a pair of old running shoes. Ah, there it is, hiding shyly behind the door. I bought it six or seven years ago, I’m not sure, but it’s definitely has already worn out. There are countless blotchs & stains from everywhere on, make it look both tough and creepy that one of my friend mocked it as an arsenic relic. I closed the door, locked it, took the shoes, put it into my bycycle, then started to ride. It was a time for my morning ritual: seeing her.

She is a kilometer away. As I pedalling onward, the wind howling, but the world stopped and the city stand still. All I can hear is white noise and the rest of the silence. Then my mind dancing. Her. I had to be mental to be so drawn on her.

No matter how much I tried, I really can’t remembered, not even once, how and when did I started to notice her.

When I was middle schooler in Papua, I saw a lot kind of her. Everytime we can came home early from school, me and my classmates would cross 2 mountains with a ridiculous name — Gunung Empat Ratus and Gunung Aduh Mama —, then find our sanctuary in the middle of her. We called it “Batu Tengah”, a majestic crystal clear river that runs in the heart of our little town. In the middle of this river you can see a huge rock that strangely popped up (hence the name is Batu Tengah) and serves as a resting spot while we were swimming arround.

She is similar to what I see back then in Papua. Only much uglier. But — and here’s lies the problem — there’s not much her left for an easy access. People kept chopping her into pieces and replace it with a new shinny thing. Something that I’m sure happen in every single modern city in Indonesia. Not there’s something wrong with being modern though, because it’s the thing that link me to the wider world. But I just hope that more city can find a way to keep at least a small remnant of her arround. Not in the outer circle of city, not in the mountain far away, but in the heart of place where you can passed it by on your daily life.

As I’m busy with my mind, I realized that I were already in my place. I stopped and look up. There she is: the small forest. She must be a hundred years old, standing there all alone and look content while the morning ray lit up her face. I wave hello, and she grins back.

img-icon-tree (1)

atmawarin

Someone from Yogyakarta. Love trees, Mario Kart and letter G. Blurry eyes, five foot six, black hair. A husband, father, managing director, day by day – in that particular order.