Oh how It feels to feel.
How truly lucky I am to just feel.
To feel it all.
To feel pain, to feel sadness, to feel joy, to feel anger.
For a second there I forgot how fortunate I really am.
Forgot about the energy in my bloodstream.
That violent, unrestricted energy that moves me.
Moves me to scream, and dance, and sing
To fight and fornicate, to kiss and make up.
That feverish, relentless energy that takes me to where I want to go.
I say, “there” and I’m “there”
You say “where” and we’re half way around the world.
And to think…
The beauty of my body is only half that of my brain!
How flawlessly we fit together.
I see things in color,
I smell flowers in the Springtime,
I hear babies cry and airplanes fly and lectures from those who raised me.
I decide things and create things and take one thing and turn it into some other thing.
I panic about my future,
I regret things I’ve done in the past,
I love and I lust and I hope and I pray that I don’t ever fail to remember…
How great it feels to just feel.
intimacy is theorizing your different sadnesses, together.
(In Response to Charles Warnke’s You Should Date An Illiterate Girl.)
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Date a guy who reads?
I’m not good in social interaction. I don’t talk much, I’m not even close with my neighbours, or my relatives to make it worse… The perks of being an introvert.
I had just finished my literature study. While waiting (and hopelessly looking) for a job to come and reach me, I spent days travelling the city on my own; mostly to some libraries and exhibitions. Other times, I just lied in bed reading books or watching some old series/movies.
Then one day, out of the blue, I found this tweet about volunteering. I had always wanted to volunteer and I thought I had to sign for this. I felt nervous, due to my realisation that I couldn’t communicate very well with new people. So I called my friend, Nella, whom without hesitation decided to join the program.
In the beginning, I thought it’s gonna be a cool experience but it turned out to be more than just “cool.” The people I met in this project had become more than just new friends. They had this, I don’t know, warmth, wittiness, something that would make you feel like you’re close to them. Even after the project had finished, everyone kept get in touch. Not to mention the WhatsApp group of the volunteers is still crowded with hundreds of chats once in a while.
As for the children, oh yeah, the children were as exciting as the rides in an amusement park. I happened to get close with the kids of one class from the beginning of the project. They showed high motivation to study, to learn and play games even without prices. They too are now still trying to contact the volunteer teachers that I sometimes would get terrors of messages from them :-P
When this Children of Tomorrow project was about to finish, I found another project called Jakarta Health Care Project. A friend told me they needed volunteers so I signed up. I got into this by myself. I felt like I had to, I knew I’d learn more. Indeed, I got so much things to learn and a bunch of more friends to remember. The committees welcomed me with open arms even though I joined the project not from the very first. The people I met there, I gotta say, were very friendly. Also, the cancer patients as well as their families were supportive and full of hopes.
Of course, with all this experience, there had to be obstacles. Sometimes I couldn’t handle the children during a lesson -for I’m the kind of person who can’t focus on more than one thing. But then I looked up to other volunteer friends and how they dealt with them. Meanwhile, in the other project, I found that the volunteers were only two or three people since it was a new project. So it was another challenge for time management. Applause for the committees for being devoted and could arrange this new project.
Miscommunication did occur a few times. Though all exchange participants could manage to handle the problems and the kids were not so naughty after all. While the kids with cancer were under treatment when the project happened, they looked fine and eager to share some knowledge. I remember one time, Anissa, a little girl with lymphoma cancer cried out for her mom. Her mom was washing clothes and said it was usual for her to be like that. I tried to calm her down but it didn’t work so I took a puzzle near me and we ended up playing it together.
It’s been a great experience. I learnt a lot from everyone and all the moments shared these past weeks. I also learnt that raising awareness isn’t so easy. Especially after doing the campaign, I realised that most people wouldn’t want to share some of their time just to listen or even notice.
The projects might be over, but the lessons continue. The words I write here may not be able to depict the true meaning of sharing. Still I spare my time to type it on a computer’s library in Senayan. In the mean time, I’m going back to a bitter reality of looking for a job.
An ambulance that says, “ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN.” Couldn’t believe what I saw, or what the maker thought, or whatever happened in this world.