Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
Even if smelling is the least memorable among all human senses. When the memorable comes back, it is the most agonizing. She arrives at the city they used to be, and walks on the streets they used to linger about. She pretends everything is new and fresh. G is not here, as if he was never here.
One and half year later, inevitably as predicted, she smells again burning cloves,
the indispensable ingredient of nationalized cigarettes in this country. It is unbearable. Even if smelling is the least memorable among all human senses. When the memorable comes back, it is the most agonizing. She arrives at the city they used to be, and walks on the streets they used to linger about. She pretends everything is new and fresh. G is not here, as if he was never here.
One and half year later, however, she dreams of him. They live in the same apartment building, in fact on the same floor, next to each other. Somehow the 3rd floor where they live in comprises a complex maze. It seems purely natural that they could avoid each other easily, as if the neighboring of each other remains a rumor to be testified. Seeing each other has never been unavoidable, but practically intuitive. Only not until one day, one of them, not sure who, breaks into the other’s door. One of the very first things he says is that he still loves her. His eyes are sincerely twinkling. She listens, does not say a word. A while later, she touches his face and asks how come it becomes so swollen, and she continues, quietly, that she could not recognize him any more. After all these things happened, she thinks, he should despise her, if not hate her. After all, is there anything stronger than hatred? No. That remains her wishful thinking.
When she was flying above the Malaaca Straits, the whirlwind of city’s circulation for her brought her back to H. They were packed in a small bed under a noisy air-conditioner. She was trembling, afraid of betrayal and devaluation. Six and half year ago, she was trebling, couldn’t fall asleep unless he rubbed her palm until everything calmed down, until stars melt into the sky, until the sky went deeply dark and turned bright. Every night, he knew that she needed him, desperately. He did not turn away and weep, mourning over how she had abandoned him. Now she was drawing him to her, to possess and to be protected. She felt enormously secure as long as he loved her. But they didn’t know that. They didn’t know that she didn’t know. She had not imagined that out of her need, stone could be melt into milk and honey. She thought the resources were always given and unchangeable. She didn’t know that she needed him, only he knew that. She thought of the opposite. In fact she believed that it was largely a lasting symphony of a sort of paranoid, defensive, yet attractive performance. A series of performances that eventually engaged H, trapped him, and captured him. In the whirlwind of the world, eventually she lost him. Because of that, she starts to hate performance.
I noticed the old women again and again around the noon in this small, Muslim-Christian mixed city. The first time when I saw her, she was sitting beside the front door of an Islamic elementary school, where peddlers and kids came back and forth. I quickly stuffed a 1000 rupiah bill into her begging cup. She did not look at me. She took the bill out of the piles of coins, and continued to slightly shake the plastic cup. The second time was the other day around noon. I saw she was tearing apart a piece of wooden boxes. She used a big chunk of rock,
smashing it against the nails on woods. She collected all these woods and loaded them into a hemp bag. As last time, she did not wear shoes. Her greyish
feets were profoundly wrinkled. The third time I saw her, she was picking bottles out of a trash can on campus. Of course she did not recognize me. My identity is irrelevant, and we won’t have conversation in the first place, because language does not exist. Because she has never needed language to live. I knew that I would meet her again and again, with silence, even if I have collected my plastic bottles for her, wishing sometime I could give all of them to her. But how? How can I carry lots of bottles with me while working, wishing to run into her somewhere in the city?
What do I know about her? Only the heart is gnawing, while the mind is blank and drooping.