"For me, a perfect date is getting caught in a conversation that I can never find my way out of. A maze of conversations." he said, flicking the ash from his cigarette before taking another drag. She is a sucker for guys who lovingly inhale their poison. Like having sex with Death. Taking it slow. All the while acknowledging the future doom. But that's her secret. "Like this one?" she asks, waving the smoke floating her way. Showing distaste. "This one is definitely getting there. You sure it's okay for us to be here?" he asked suddenly cautious every time he exhales. But the wind keeps blowing the smoke her way. "Nobody knows we're here. So I guess it's ok." "You sure? I mean we've been here for 5 hours now. People might think we're one of those couples who can't afford to check in to a hotel." She laughed. A silent laugh. "Since when do you care about what people think?" She plays with a piece of tall grass she plucked from the ground around us, in front of her old station wagon, where we've been sitting since sunset. "When I was small, I used to sit in the living room of our apartment on the 23rd floor and gaze outside the window." "Really?" he said urging her on. "I love looking at the many windows in the apartment buildings surrounding ours. Wondering about the lives they keep." "Keep?" he asks a bit confused. "You mean, the windows are the keepers?" "Yep." she said lightly. "Interesting point of view." "Is it not?" she said raising her eyebrows playfully. As if saying, ain't I brilliant? "Like an alternate reality. Like how someone once said that we're actually just brains in a jar stacked upon endless shelves of brains in jars. Living inside our own preset ideals and ideas. Feeding off the liquid around us. Interacting using brainwaves." "Could be. But that's going way over my 5 year old brain at the time." she said counting the stars above us. The Northern Star shone the brightest. As she always does this time of year. Not far above it was the last sliver of Moon for this month. "I just liked to wonder if the same warm yellow lights kept the same calm and warmth or better? Was there a little girl or boy my age, window gazing too?" つづく

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Aku ingat sisir Papa yang kuning. Yang mungkin dibelinya di lapak pinggir jalan. Yang jualan gunting kuku, lem Korea, pena selusin 10rb saja. Sisir Papa yang kuning itu melengkung. "Kok bisa bengkok begini, Pa?" tanyaku ketika masih kecil. "Karena sering Papa dudukin." jawabnya dengan senyum. Lama aku memegang sisir itu. Memperhatikan lengkungnya yang tak terlalu dalam tapi jelas. Sisir yang lurus pun bisa bengkok. Ini bentuk pantat Papa, pikirku dulu. Lucu ya, pikirku. Papa menyisir rambutnya belah pinggir, di kiri atau kanan ya belahannya aku lupa. Poni Papa bisa mengambang karena minyak rambut Brisk. Papaku tidak kalah ganteng dari bintang iklannya. Yang rutin mencukur rambut Papa adalah Mama. Hanya Mama yang tahu dan bisa membentuk potongan rambut yang cocok untuk kepala Papa yang besar. Sedari kecil aku disuguhi pemandangan Mama mencukur rambut Papa. Sekarang, mungkin Gita dan Nizam yang menyaksikan Oma menggunting rambut Dato' di teras lantai dua rumah Rawamangun. Meski rambut yang jatuh sudah sebagian besar putih. Aku ingat salah satu sesi cukur rambut Papa, di apartemen mungil kami di Anapuni. Hari itu hari libur. Aku dan kakak-kakak sedang main petak umpet. Papa duduk di tengah ruang keluarga di atas kursi dengan kalung kain merah jambu penghalang agar rambut tidak jatuh ke baju. Sambil asik mengobrol, keduanya menikmati pemandangan ketiga anaknya yang masih kecil-kecil bermain dengan gembira. Entah dapat ide dari mana, Papa berbisik memanggilku. "Sst.. Sini. Sembunyi di sini." sambil tersenyum jahil mengangkat sarungnya. Aku melirik Mama yang sedang konsentrasi senyum-senyum geli. Tanpa berpikir panjang dan tentu saja senang karena dibantu, aku menurut dan buru-buru meringkuk di bawah sarung papa. Beruntung! Aku berusaha menahan geli selama berada di dalam sarung Papa. Terdengar Pilar kakakku yang sedang kebagian jaga, mencari dan menangkap Yogas, kakakku nomor dua. Sesudahnya ia pusing sampai sebal mencari aku tidak ketemu. "Coba cari di kamar mandi." kata Papa. Mama menyahut, "Ih, Papa. Jangan ditolongin dong." Di balik sarung aku berusaha keras tidak tertawa dan tidak bergerak. Kupeluk lututku lebih erat. つづく

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