(You are not) Ruled by Hormones

Being a girl sucks. Every month we are taken on this rollercoaster ride of emotions whether we like it or not. Of course we don’t have to pay for the tickets, but we have to pay for any slip of words, sassy attitude, loss of friends we get from that rollercoaster ride.

My mom says, I should know when the hormones are kicking into gear. I have the power to control these feelings. These urges to point out everybody else’s fault except my own. The urge to cry my eyeballs out just by seeing a sentimental commercial. The need to eat everything on the menu and feeling effing fat and miserable afterwards (don’t forget the PMS bloating, where the water contained in your body is a lot more near your period making you look fatter). Then, once your period starts, you’ve lost all apettite whatsoever, for food, for life. Nah, just kidding about the last one. But the frequent trips to the bathroom, checking and changing pads or tampons isn’t exactly ‘ladida hahaha’ fun. You have to make sure not to leave traces of your monthly junk in the bathroom for the next person to scorn in disgust at. Your mom would have to engrain in your head from early on that a clean white underwear is a mark of a decent girl. Then there’s that pep talk you recieve on your first period, which contents are mainly; “you can get pregnant, stay away from boys.” My first reaction was, “Do I stay away from boys only during my period or like forever stay away from them But what about Dad?” << this question obviously was only voiced in my head.

This is what a girl has to go through, throughout her productive part of life. Don’t get me started on the ‘to wear or not to wear make up’ matter (I’ll rant about this in another post).  My PMS is rather weird if not that much different from other girls.  It goes quite like this:

  1. Two weeks before my period my boobies swell and hurt.
  2. One week before I get irritated easily. You make a mistake (especially towards me), I see it, you’re doomed.
  3.  Within the one week before, I crave spicy, sour and soupy foods.
  4. Within the one week before, I am always hungry.
  5. I feel like shit. Like, I’m the ugliest, unlovable, unworthy, piece of human being living on the surface of the planet. This is around 3 to 5 days before my period.
  6. I am bloated. So I am always considering gym memberships at these times.
  7. 1 or 2 days before my period, I can cry my eyeballs out over simply anything that hits the spot.
  8. 1 or 2 days before my period, I will feel the urge to make something. Amazing ideas or thoughts will just pour into my head, begging for release. Which usually only lasts for 12-24 hours, so don’t expect a best selling novel to pop out from that tiny time span. Perhaps just a blog post (like this one) or a neat piece of art.
  9. The period comes and I don’t want to do anything except lie down on my side or on my tummy. Not because I have mean menstrual cramps like most girls do. But I just feel drained (of course, I am only draining out my uteral lining) and don’t wanna, that’s all.
  10. I get back my self confidence on day 2 or 3, become my usual enthusiastic self. All the negativity hiding away someplace and just letting me be the agreeable, kind person I am (for two weeks).

I know all of the above is just a sign of having a healthy female body, of which I am grateful. And I have no objection to any of them. But I just feel, that being a girl (especially in Indonesia) comes with many hassles and life is not that easy on us. Therefore, we are the stronger lot.

I salute my mom, for being able to keep tending to us and everything despite being susceptible to the above wave of emotions too. But Mom, until I can be at least close to your sincerety and love, please bear with me and don’t snap at me on the above mentioned days. Even if you do, I still love you, forever.


Heart Workout

I wonder what God was thinking when he created Eve. Not a polar opposite to Adam. But with softer features on the outside. Creating some kind of diversion to the advanced machine she has on the inside. Including a powerful heart. She can multi-task. Her mind can focus on several things at a time. She can develop a human being inside her. She can produce milk. She has strong intuition and sometimes even sixth-sense like abilities when it comes to the people she loves. And all which can only work when powered by? Yep. Love.

I have come to a point. Where I know I can love just for the sake of loving. I do not need anything in return. Love doesn’t have to be reciprocal. It would be nice to cuddle and kiss the one you love. Indeed. But it would be terrible to cuddle and kiss the one you don’t, just because your body yearns it. While your heart burns for another. But, in any condition, I advise you to simply love.

At this point, though I know I’ve thoroughly ruined my chances with a certain guy. Yet, I know I can still live, write, draw, laugh, sing and be happy and cry. Because crying, you see, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sad and pitiful. It means you’ve a muscle called the heart. It sweats when you work it too hard. The bigger it loves the harder it works. And when you work it too hard it aches, like any other muscle. However, like any other muscle, if you work it regularly, it becomes stronger.

Sometimes you just click with someone and your brain goes into autopilot and makes all kinds of connections to make you feel good, feel hopeful and expectant. Sometimes you just want to rush into things and find out if your expectations can be met. But you (always) seem to forget that great expectations can be returned with great disappointments. So why not love just for the sake of loving? Giving? And not expecting anything in return?

Don’t complicate things. Don’t assume. Don’t hurt others. Just love, and let the Universe do the rest.

On Being In Two Places At One Time.

“It’s been raining a lot lately.” she said walking with a cup of tea towards the window. Her soft features against the grayish white morning light, looked like a painting. I was happy to be the only spectator of this beauty. A sleepy happy. 

“It is the rainy season, no?” I replied drowsily. Smiling, nestling my face back into the cool clean pillow. 

A lot. A lot.” she said. “Look. People are floating to work.” 

Not looking, I laughed and said,”Come back here you. No mention of the “w” word, okay. This day is ours. We deserve it.” 

When I didn’t hear anything, I stole a peek from where I lay. She stayed sitting by the window. Sipping her tea slowly immersed in thought. As if she was in another world already. Smiling contently. 

How is it possible for someone to be two places at one time? How is it possible to love two people at one time? I asked her once.

“It’s not possible. When you’re ‘visiting’ another place, you become absent in the place you began with.” 

She puts her cup on the window sill. Letting it continue her sightseeing as she climbed back into the crisp white covers with me.

“But you’re here aren’t you? With me. In this nice hotel on a weekday. Lying to your boss. Calling in sick.” I hugged her close making sure her whole being feels my energy and presence. 

“Yes.” she kissed my hands that met in front of her. Lovingly, each finger, then the insides of my palms. As if saying, “I love these chubby hands.” 

“I love this kind of music.” She said commenting on the contemporary gamelan instrumental playing in the background. It had some nature sounds mixed into it. Giving off a fake feeling we’re not in the center of a crowded messy city but somewhere exotic. 

Then she goes on telling me how she received a CD from a hotel in Singapore where she stayed at for business, in return for a comment she wrote in their guest comment sheet saying that she loved the hotel channel’s welcome music. She said the hotel was such a waste because she stayed there alone for two nights with a spectacular view of the Singapore Flyer. 

“I really wished I was staying there with someone. I sat by the window. Drinking in the view and cried thinking how badly I wanted to share it with someone.” 

I felt the longing in her voice and hugged her tighter. 

“It hurts.” 

I apologized and loosened my hug. 

“It hurts when I know you’re on good terms with her. It hurts even more, when I realize I’m the bad guy that secretly smiles when things go wrong with her.” 

She curls herself into a ball. Denying my efforts to pull her back into my embrace. 

“It hurt the most the first time, though. When you were so serious on telling me to go home. It felt like, you got what you wanted and after that you wanted me to get lost. I know your intentions were right. We should be extra careful. And I’m not known for going home late. But still, it hurt and I don’t want to feel that hurt again, ever.” she paused. “All I wanted was to cuddle for a few more minutes.” and her voice cracked.  

I pulled her to face me. Tears were running down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry.” I said with all the sincerety I had inside. Looking deep into her wet seeing marbles. 

She closed them and shook her head. 

“Mea culpa. It’s ok. It’s not you, it’s  me. Now please let go. I want to sleep.” 

But the water on the window and on her cheeks continued to flow. 

Early Morning Show

Pipipipi! Pipipipipi! Pipipipi! Pipipipipi!
Darla hanya tidur 3 jam, semalaman ia dan Mas Ano menggarap iklan-iklan yang harus dimix untuk tayang bulan depan. Ruangan 1,5 x 2 m yang dilapisi karpet kedap suara itu terasa hangat. Satu-satunya cahaya yang masuk adalah dari jendela persegi panjang kecil pada pintu. Ruangan ini sedianya dipergunakan untuk tempat penyimpanan kaset dan cd, namun zaman dan teknologi berkata lain. Jutaan lagu mampu disimpan dalam sebuah hard disk seukuran kotak sepatu. Kini ruangan ini jadi kamar tidur kru putri. Kru pria dipersilakan menggeletak dimanapun mereka suka asalkan di luar ruangan ini.

Bagi Darla, tidur dimanapun sama saja asalkan selimut fleece biru muda bermotif anak bebeknya tidak terlupa. 26 tahun sudah ia memiliki selimut itu dan siapapun tidak akan percaya kalau Darla mengatakan warna aslinya biru muda dan bermotif anak bebek lucu. Bagi orang yang melihatnya, benda itu hanya sebuah kain kumal yang harus segera dimasukkan mesin kremasi agar usai penderitaannya. Mereka hanya tidak tahu bahwa sebelum memulai perantauannya ke Jakarta, Darla masih suka menghisap ibu jari sebelum tidur. Yang tahu hanya teman-teman pecinta alam dan cewek-cewek yang pernah satu kontrakan dengannya dan juga seseorang yang kenangan tentangnya sudah Darla sapu ke bawah karpet sejak lama.

Darla memaksa tubuhnya untuk duduk, karena khawatir kembali terlena oleh hangat ruangan dan aroma selimut kesayangannya. Ruangan ini terhubung dengan ruangan produksi, di depannya terdapat pintu kotak siaran. Darla menangkap sosok Mas Ano sedang mengenakan headset di dalam dan tampak serius mengerjakan sesuatu. Jangan-jangan Mas Ano belum tidur sama sekali. Darla semakin kagum pada Mas Ano, ia tak hanya berhasil mengubah status radio kampus menjadi badan usaha milik kampus kini ia juga mulai merintis lembaga pendidikan kepenyiaran yang bekerja sama dengan jurusan ilmu komunikasi kampusnya sendiri. Benar kata Ayah, saat-saat produktif manusia adalah usia 20 – 50 tahun, dan tampaknya Mas Ano adalah pria yang berpandangan sama.

“Gue mau pensiun muda. Punya beberapa bisnis dan gue tinggal mantau aja sambil traveling dan menekuni hobi.” ceritanya pada Darla suatu malam saat mereka sedang lembur.
Tanpa tedeng aling-aling, Darla bertanya “Pensiun muda sih boleh. Tapi kapan Mas Ano mau nikah? Itu Mbak Dhani udah gimana tau deh, sayangnya sama Mas Ano, dicuekin terus. Kapan lagi ada mantan None Jakarta Barat, Akuntan Publik dan solehah mau sama muka penuh bulu kayak Mas Ano? Mas Ano udah 38 kan? Kalau Mas Ano punya anak pas umur 40, ntar anak Mas Ano umur 30, Mas Ano udah jompo, ngga kuat nggendong cucu.”
“Heh, cerewet. Mau kena SP1? Berani-beraninya ngehina boss. Kamu sendiri kali yang gatel pengen nikah. Suruh buruan tuh pacarnya, gelar melulu dibanyakin. Pacarnya pulang pagi-pagi ngga dimarahin.”
“Ih, siapa dia mau marahin? Orang tua gue aja santai.”
“Ini gue serius, ngga ada cowok yang seneng ceweknya pulang-pulang pagi. Ortu lo mungkin udah pasrah. Lagian anak mereka banyak, kan? Delapan? Ngga pulang satu juga ngga ketahuan.”
“Rese. Gue selalu lapor kale, Mas. ”
“Iya, iya..lapor dan ortu lo pasrah.”
“Bukan pasrah tapi ‘percaya’.”
“Iya, percaya.”
“Ih, Mas Ano nyebelin.”
“Daripada kamu, tukang ngeyel tingkat dewa.”
“Dewi.” eyel Darla otomatis.
“Udah, udah, siap take ke-45 nih? Salah lagi jitak.”
“Mas Ano juga. Salah, jitak!” sahut Darla seraya memasang headset dan mendekatkan bibir pada mic.

Darla kembali ke ruang produksi dengan wajah basah oleh wudlu. Ia melambai pada Mas Ano di dalam ruangan siaran, minta izin masuk. Mas Ano mengangguk. Wajahnya masih serius. Rupanya ia sedang membaca mention-mention yang masuk ke akun radio mereka. Darla tidak punya akun Twitter tapi ia cukup paham cara kerja media social yang satu itu karena tuntutan pekerjaan.

Mas Ano diam saja ketika Darla bertanya ada apa. Darla pun penasaran dan mengintip dari balik punggung Mas Ano. Semacam Twitwar sedang berlangsung di Timeline. Twitwar atau tepatnya pengeroyokan. Sebuah akun anonim menjelek-jelekkan penyiar cewek pagi yang notabene adalah Darla dan beberapa akun balas mencela akun anonim tadi. Sepintas, Darla membaca kata-kata yang sangat merendahkan derajatnya sebagai perempuan.

“Tenang, Darl. Yang namanya public figure udah pasti ngadepin yang beginian. Diemin aja, nanti juga capek sendiri.” Mas Ano berdiri mempersilahkan Darla duduk di kursi penyiar. Tak ada perubahan ekspresi yang berarti pada wajah Darla. Padahal ia sedang mengatupkan kedua rahangnya kencang-kencang. Menahan marah. Marah yang mencair menjadi air mata begitu tangan Mas Ano membelai lembut ubun-ubunnya.

Darla tak mau membaca dengan ditel omongan akun anonim tersebut tentangnya. Namun ia sadar, sebagai seorang penyiar ia harus bias memisahkan masalah pribadi saat membuka mic. “Kalau lo ngga sanggup, biar gue aja yang siaran Morning Buzz.” usul Mas Ano.
“Ngga papa. Baru segini aja. Bukan selebritis namanya kalo ngga siap digosipin macem-macem.” jawab Darla sambil menyeka air mata dengan punggung lengannya berusaha terdengar ceria. “Kali-kali aja rating kita naik gara-gara ini. Hehehe..”
“Hehehe, that’s my girl!” ucap Mas Ano ceria sambil meremas bahu Darla seakan berusaha memompakan semangat ke dalam rangka kecilnya.

Beberapa kilometer dari pemancar radio milik Ano. Seseorang sedang duduk di atas tempat tidur empuk memegang tabletnya dengan tegang. Ipodnya sedang terpasang pada frekuensi 84,25 KW2FM. Ia sibuk membalas mention-mention yang mengeroyoknya, yang justru membela Darla yang baru saja dia bongkar aibnya habis-habisan. Darla yang sudah tidak perawan dan pernah ‘dekat’ dengan suami orang.

@FridaInLove: Heh, @DarlaSuxxx GET A LIFE! Daripada bongkar aib orang mending ngaca deh. Basi lo! cc @KW2FM

@monk1ch1 Trus lo apaan? RT @DarlaSuxxx Penyiar pagi kesayangan @KW2FM pernah ada affair sama suami orang. Di radio aja sok imut padahal aslinya busuk.

@HusseinWasHere @DarlaSuxxx : Berdoa gih sono supaya ngga ada yang gantian bongkar aib lo.

@anakalim Mba..nyebut, Mba. Masih pagi neh.. RT @DarlaSuxxx Penyiar pagi kesayangan @KW2FM pernah ada affair sama suami orang.

Tetiba ada telepon masuk. [Anom Rachmadi] . Dhani menjatuhkan tabletnya ke kasur saking terkejutnya. Di saat yang sama, suara yang belakangan sangat ia benci merasuki telinganya dengan ceria.

“Selamat Morning, Good Pagi, Everybody! Kembali lagi bersama penyiar pagi kesayangan kalian yang imut ini Darla the Darling Nasution selama 4 jam ke depan mengawal teman-teman melewati macet Jakarta!”