Since 2012, We Were Counting Down

In my head, Father owned many names; Baba, Papaw, Dad, Pops, Papa, my Old Man. He visited me so often since it had been long time that we could live under the same roof for more than three days. Pops was always working, and I was busy keeping my own sanity amidst an ambitious and emotionally-detached parenting. He worked out of town since I could remember. He only got back to my city permanently by the time I moved out to continue my study. We rarely stayed together unless it was weekend. And since then, I knew I was longing for a masculine body. Fruedian type of shit you might call. Or it was just a recession of female-rejection and faux-boyhood in front of either Mama or Dad.

I wondered what if I was born a male. This whole mess could be railed back and none since the beginning.

Yet they still treated me as a beloved heir; the one who would reset the time and make everything back on place again. Out of all failed love, marriage, the rejection of infertile womb. It was like walking on a tight rope. I had nowhere to lean on, I had no chance to be imperfect. I was born perfect and aimed to be more than that.


It was in the saying that the further you went, the clearer you could see. I found wrinkles that ate each other on the back of Pops’ hands during one of his visit. They were sort of plateaus disrupting each other. While taking care of Wijaya Kusuma, he silently ignored my curiosity over his timed knuckles. He hushed me, telling me not to get married or study, but be responsible on my own. Mother was on the rocking chair, weaving the dark blue scarf I was supposed to wear on the most windy city on earth. I stayed silent. I was made for not questioning them or any path they already set for me. I just followed. No matter how my womb had been wrecked, nor my tears ran dry, I shall obey. It was mandatory rather than a suggestion.

The wrinkles arrived and startled in 2012. And since then, I knew, we were preparing for an end. We begun to finish something. A life. One of us would decay and embody Al-Ankabut no. 57. To Them we shall return. But it was the narration for them. Not for me on the rock-steady tightrope walking. And during this struck epiphany, I remembered the dead fleas Dad had collected from our dogs. Nails that shrugged into my neck for a failed exam. Woods and fire on the books for a late-night date.

I ran away like a fool, but still on the tightrope. It was like trying to save your own ass in the brink of deadly cliff when all you wanted to do was having a nice chat in the middle of Kraras with a Mana whose love had gone but for her children. Eating banana chips. Feeling the wind on a motorbike named Ernesto, dividing Sumatra with his naked heat machine. You grew tired hanging on. But the end wasn’t made for you.

Or out of anything, I just wanted to say how much I loved Gin and Tonic to my devotedly-praying parents.


His medication ran high, first for bad maag and heart failure. Since the day he saw Holy Cube, he started to feel anything in overwhelming manner. My pseudo-brother called me and blamed it on me. I was not as flawless as they thought and I was supposed to, they said. It was you, who stopped his heartbeat during the sa’i. It was you who would abandon your mother in the time of their dying.

You,

You,

Me.

For every sins I conducted, the medicines grew to eight pills each day. With no Dji Sam Soe 12. I took the baton from his inner 14-year-old and continued Pops’ heavy smoking habit. I’d like to replace his heart. His heartbeat that grew weak, I could repay that. Each of it was a debt I must have redeem.

Day by day, we could only share sadness and desperation. And by sharing, I meant only them could feel any feeling that destroyed New-Order family panache. I was the Aidit, Njoto, and other things. Just like the time of my childhood, crying was not an option for a perfection.

I just waited for an execution, while they were looked after by the Holy Divine that indeed loved them, but not more than I did.

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