I woke up late this morning. I had to rush to the bathroom and brush my teeth while trying to remember glimpses of nightmare that I had last night. Running is not my favourite activity, but I did it anyway, at least from the countertop to that little corner of my street where a dusty light post resides and a wildflower grows. I don’t know why I chose to walk this morning. I was wearing a pair of thick soled boots, not made for walking miles from home. I also oddly liked the smell of smog that morning, combined that with a mix of my mother’s perfume that I sprayed on my neck and rubbing alcohol that I used to clean my piercings.
Shit. I forgot to replace my bandage.
I walked through those main roads of Jakarta. Fantasising how life looks like from the 30th floor of one of those glass-rimmed buildings. Would I be wearing this top that hasn’t been washed since last week if I were to work there? I got so lost in my own head that I almost trip and fall to an open hole. I swear I could hear a person semi-running next to me while mumbling “Fuck me, I’m going to be late”. I felt bad for a moment, but I kept on walking.
I saw two chained bicycles tied to a tree. What would the owners do if I stole it? I let my hand run through the sides of the bike, just to feel something. Then, I saw a man snoring in a bus stop. I wonder what was he dreaming about. Maybe about fields of grass, waterfalls, or nothing at all. Well, it was a windy morning after all. I tried to calculate the amount of passerby in my head, and how my very existence in their life this morning was as random as a benighted fly on their windowsill. Every single person that I met along the way were on a mission. They were on their way to work, to school, to a breakfast, to a hospital, to a friend’s house, or even to their own house. There is nothing more calming than a sight of a person who’s so occupied in their own bubble, oblivious to their surroundings. Seeing people in that state of being is like seeing a colourful sunrise, and this morning, I was absorbed in their beauty.
I tend to romanticise the fuck out of traffic jams, and how every lighted car window has its own stories. But this morning, I couldn’t see anything to romanticise about. There were no stories that I could make out of those cars. I couldn’t even arrange them in colours. I only saw black and silver, there were no reds or blues to make fun of. So, I decided to romanticise light posts and electricity wires. Imagine how many people have spent some minutes of their lives just leaning on one of those posts. Waiting. Playing with their phones. Trying to make human connections. Complaining about the weather to a stranger next to them until a decaying bus stops and pick them up and carry them to their destination.
I saw a sticker on an electricity box in front of a building next to my office that says “EHEHEHEHEHE”. I wish I was walking with my friends so that I could point at it and laugh, but I was alone, and the only thing that I did was take a picture of the sticker and chuckle to myself. That costed me a strange look from people with tucked collared shirt and chinos, but why would I care? So, I kept on walking to the building where I work in every day. I went to the eighth floor, climbed a stair to the ninth floor. Someone whispered to another person while subtly gazing at me “Really? Why are they wearing that kind of outfit? Do they want to work or play?”. I smiled at them. The music in my ear is still playing. I’d roll my eyes, but for some unknown reasons I didn’t. I’ve never felt this calm before. Maybe it’s what most adults called as ‘growing up’.
Fuck. There’s a blood stain on my arm. I need to change my bandage.