how emotional, yes. nobody would guess that looking at me, i don't give anything away, i'm this picture of a quiet guy who doesn't disturb the peace. so why all the mental melodrama? could it be... repression?

somewhere down the road in life, i've never learnt the skill of putting images into boxes where they're supposed to be. they teach us in statistics that anecdotes lie. what i should really be doing is: "seen it all before. deal with it". just another x. should deal with it like all the other x'es. faster, and statistically, it's likelier that he's an x rather than a y. that's how one is wise, right?

why do things still bug me? why do i feel like i'm constantly buffeted by ambience? i buy a friggin pocari sweat from a vendor, and the kid gets in between me and the fridge and wants to get a drink for herself. vendor (older brother) gets me a drink and lovingly removes her from the cold blast of the fridge, through a clever mix of coddling (like oh look sweets over there) and brotherly authority. i manage to get my drink, and the kid is swooped away and carried by her brother, who lovingly rocks her from side to side while getting my change. wow. why did i never do that? in all my years of brotherdom i never did that. it felt so nice and good and warm and then i always think "why didn't i do that". now, theory first or my next digression?

it's as if i've learnt to love only recently, and maybe only because of that biological thing called love. i wished at that moment i had a big family, or a family so immense with so many sisters that they couldn't survive from the love only 2 people could get, or even less because their mom was massaging someone somewhere and their dad driving a taxi till late. so brothers could step in. somehow. to excuse my inaction, i dreamt up a circumstance, a theory of why we are so apart from our siblings. but it is me who is apart.

but you know, pity is a luxury, for men who are incapable of action. sometimes romance and sentiment too. this is when the other half of the pickpocket pair comes up and grabs your wallet. is it true that behind every smile, danger lurks? in another clime, emotion or sentiment could get me killed, or leave me without food, or my daily bread.

just as well perhaps, that character is a product of circumstance. they also say sometimes no, that everything's in our destiny. i don't deny that. i could turn myself into a hardass bitch. it's working sometimes, after all, what is 23 years of life without knowing what a carefully placed hurtful sentence can do, some passive aggression, and now a bit of forced shouting at those who deserve it. although after 23 years, some of it comes from exasperation, perhaps.

but the emotions don't find themselves easily to the top. under the influence perhaps, but then i become a babbling ball of love, generosity and all that is right about this world. pathetic.

it's because i come home today from the beach to a home, and then i am alone. what a change! but no, it's just the time of the night. because at this time last night i was listening to the waves and thinking the same kinds of things. in the day when everyone's swimming it's alright.

why did you graduate from the best school in surabaya, when everyone thought you were going to be a bupati, why, that was the very reason they sent you there, as the best and brightest in the family, the only native in a school full of dutchmen, why did you become a writer? why did you mix around for a while with the wrong company? why did you spend all those years in prison? "i don't want to be bupati. i only want to be free. giving orders to nobody, nobody giving orders to me." are you for real? are those words real, and do you really walk this earth of mankind? and how many inmates drew strength from you, and how many others were just waiting for you to pick up the soap?

but that must be it. maybe you write because you have an explanation to give. why you didn't do all these things, why you chose to do all these weird other things that people don't understand. the weirder you are, the more they demand an explanation.

forgive me, i don't mean to write like a sixteen year old. but when you peel it all off, i don't think i've grown much since then.

somebody's thoughts about me today. my (indonesian) colleague said, "jesse doesn't talk much, but when he does, he has a really sharp tongue."

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