A Ghost: Prologue

Midnight was windy. One tightened its coat and walked fast through an alley to home. The train was late and crowded as one could not get some sleep while being there. It didn’t get a chance to wear watch and so the timekeeper had to be its cellphone. It wore black trousers, socks, and shoes. Dark blue was its long-sleeved shirt. It had grey jacket covered with another dark blue jacket. One ought to wear two layers if night was like that day, it thought.

The cellphone was small and a bit difficult to get it charged properly. One grabbed the other and plugged the 3.5mm jack to get some audio on. Something about the clouds and thunder made signal response turned bad. In such bad weather, one could not expect to get a proper audio broadcast. The backpack was medium built, black, and had a pair of wing-like patterns on it. It was old enough to have strengthened its legs and start walking on its own.

One arrived at this town. Empty terminals, wide open road, fewer people on sidewalk, and smell of dust combined with smoke were ones who greeted one’s arrival. One’s journey was short and yet heavy. Burdens it carried had not been released since years as face grew paler in light of street lamps as hands and palms grew colder.

There was a kiosk on the sidewalk selling moonlight cake. It had been one of its favorite kind of meal overnight. The order was cheese-chocolate and the chef did his duty smoothly. Das smeckt gut, one thought. The price was paid and then the cake was hanging on its hands. One continued walking towards the of the alley to the main road and turned right, entering a complex where someone had been waiting.

The one who waited started the engine and went away. It was a mere moment past midnight on Wednesday. One had grown tired and craved for some sleep.

Going Around and Home

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”

I can’t say that I have been travelling a lot. The city where I live now is just about approx. 180 kilometers from my hometown if measured by road length. I have been here, in this foreign city for almost seven years since I did my college here and managed to have some works now. Although having been here for seven year, my identification card still shows that I am a citizen of my hometown so I do go back there shoud I have something to do with civil administration matters.

This is the city where I planned to forge myself into better condition, sharpen my dull mind and sense into keen, steady, and fine ones. This is where I set myself a goal: to start experiencing how to live on your own, using your own money, in your own affordable housing plan, at your own pace.

I have been going around for sure, exploring the wonder of this city, getting lost because I have no idea where and how to go, and sometimes trying some new, strange, yet delicious food found.  I grew to learn patience even more. Master Yoda once said,

“Patience you must have my young padawan.”

I really found some good learning materials from him, the Jedi Grandmaster. Patience of being kept at bay to stay on my ground, do what is necessary, and not to get them all and spend your time all at once. To learn how to let go of old passion, desire, and darkening emotions. As the Grandmaster would say,

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

I took this in a broad way as I learned that when I have every emotion clouding my mind, only impulsive and risky decision shall I make. Everything has its end and once it ends, some of us decide to carry them in our bag. Overtime, it gets even heavier and stressful. To let go means to ease the burden on our shoulders and thus make us step lighter.

To stay humble, silent, and calm is what this life has tought me to do; to never trust and never betray anyone completely, to acknowlege that there is a contradiction, a paradox in every single detail of matters and it’s up to me to discover and understand all of them.

This struggle has tought me to love without ever hoping being loved back, to give without ever yearning of returning favors, to wish in complete darkness, and to dance under the sunshine, moonlight, or even just street lamps when the day is cloudy.

I found chances to practice how to smile when things get awful; passion meets dead ends; wishes don’t come true; friends take their leave, sometimes permanently. To know that there is time for everything, if you really look for it. To realize that wounds shall heal overtime but scars always leave traces to remember. To see that there are people standing and walking beside you, helping you by pointing out what you’re missing along the way, being your company when you need second, third, or even fourth opinion over breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

This city offers me a time to redeem, absolve myself from chains of the past but not to completely overlook them. It offers me a time to find my lost, precious memories and regale them once again so I may understand and be able to let them go in peace. It offers me a time to open my eyes and see using outdated lenses and recognize moments using any other sense I have.

This city makes me realize that no matter how long, tiring, mind-consuming, physically-burning, the journey I have walked, when things get too tough, there is home. There is always home where you can rest, regroup, and plan on how to move forward again.

I have mine in just four hours and fair rate from city where I’m living. If you can’t find me anywhere, anytime, you are finding that I am away but I’ll always come back home. Always.

You

At a gymnasium nearby, near a football field, while being surrounded by thin bushes and vast plain of grass, there was a cloudy day with small dose of precipitation. Old calendar, being dusty and almost torn apart, showed January of 2009 in the middle of rainy season. There was a crowd hanging out in the building talking about different things.

I remembered that I was wearing black trousers, not jeans with white shirt, long sleeves with vertical thin stripes, rolled up to my elbows. My shoes were also black, casual. I also wore my old belt, St.Dupont and walked with my hands inside my pocket because of the weather. I was alone back then. The sky was cloudy around the building complex.

I came to the building for some unknown reason, or maybe I just got lost. I listened to their chatter as I walked by. Some people talked about college, family, culinary, and everything else. I saw myself out from the main hall and sat on one of three main tribune overlooking the grassy open space. I felt strange longing yet familiar, wet by dew with cooling and calming breeze blowing my hair. This tribune wasn’t so crowded. I only saw a couple or two having some small talks or jokes. They were loud, obviously. I have been there in my past times. I saw people making promise to their respective partner. One made a vow not to be separated, one made to get their dream college together, and many more.

As I walked to border fence from tribune, the wind got little prankish and even cooler. Some were still having fun and their shouts were heard against the wind. Bamboos played music of their own and became even louder. All sounds went into silence as I looked upto the sky. There was no sun and darkening cloud with shining gaps were moving calmly. I felt my phone vibrating.

Ja, warum? Meine Zeit ist fast vorbei? Ich werde nach Haus gehen. Ja, warten Sie bitte.

I walked back to where I came from, even though I didn’t really know where it was. I arrived in front of a glass door. I happened to see my reflection there but later I realized that it wasn’t mine. I had nothing reflected on the glass. Empty. I decided not to go back through the glass door. I used another way around, along grassy, wet sidewalk. Some people were there. I put my hands inside my pocket. With lazy steps I continued walking to the border gate. I stopped for a second because someone was on the way for a moment. I was compelled to see what that person was but my eyes seemed to be out of service. I could only see so far away.

When I arrived at the border, wind had got even colder. I sensed my existence fading as if I was carried away like dust but even smoother, lighter, and warmer. While trying to keep my consciousness, I stepped out from the building complex to a forest nearby. Ja, der Wald. Dunkel und kalt. That afternoon, lamps were turned on by themselves. I wondered if they were using some sunlight detectors or something. The light was yellow like in harbour. Crows began to sing along the sunset.

Du bist gekommen, endlich.

I was startled. Wer bist du? I was confused.

Strong wind blew my fading, thinning body. I saw myself losing shape. My image became blurry. That person had fair skin, or I might call it white and beautiful. She was classy with reddish light coming shyly from cloud gaps.

Wer sind Sie? Warum haben Sie meine Frage nicht geanwortet? I asked again hoping she would answer. She only smiled and raised her right hand. I thought she was going to fare me well, say good bye or some sort. I turned around and got back to road heading to the forest. I didn’t even understand myself why I was heading back that way. I just felt I needed to go there, to go back before I lost my consciousness completely.

Du hast hier gewessen. Wirst du hier kommen?

She smiled lightly, or so I thought. I couldn’t recognize her hair. She was so bright since her back was against the sunset. I couldn’t even figured her face completely.

Eine Fahrt? My mind raced as my body became even thinner. I was like broken cloth having holes here and there.

Wirst du mit mir sprechen?

She asked again without introducing herself. I couldn’t afford anymore time with her. My image was almost lost, this shape couldn’t hold for longer. I needed to go.

Ein anderes mal?

Ja.

I continued walking again to go back. Just when I had my feet on the main road, my body, image, my physical evidence of my existence was gone. Just when the last dot that composed my body flew off, I remembered something.

Das ist dich.

___

Firstly drafted and published at 26 June 2010 on Kau. This post is an attempt of translation, written in English and some expressions are stated using German for practice.

Lame Excuses

There are plenty excuses we makes everyday because of our denial, ignorance, and foolishness. Well, harshly said, because of our idiocy. One might get blamed because their excuses lame and irresponsible. Every reason you said when got asked why you didn’t get your job done or didn’t attend the class, mostly is claimed to be lame, by some people. I propose the opposite, what if your primary duty is the main excuse of your inability to achieve something? What if you current studies stopped you from doodling with your pencil and paper creating a new artwork? What if your current jobs prevented you from getting a chance to write your own fictional book you have planned since the dawn of your very?

Of course not, getting work and money at the end of the month is surely, certainly, definitely, doubtlessly, an honorable and most desirable achievement. So, you have dreamed of becoming an artist, drawing some sketches and you can’t finish them because you are exhausted from work? Or maybe there are writings you have done since college and you dream of authoring a book?

Oh, come on. You can finalize your sketches on Saturday and Sunday. And your need to send your draft? You can just put any material on your draft. If you really want to get that drawing displayed in some international-recognised gallery or that draft of yours published, just finish them on weekends. Oh, right. There are some deadlines approaching so I’ll need you to come to the office this weekend.

See, what we do sometimes is just making excuses. We still have plenty of time to do what we really want to do while still doing what we need to do. Still making lame excuses, anyone?