The Past

City and Colour

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From screamo-aggressive rock band, Alexisonfire, Dallas Green jumped into softer, way less aggressive music in his individual string, City and Colour. The Canadian-born musician started this project in 2005 and growing strong ever since. City and Colour creatively derived from his own name, Dallas: a city and Green: a colour. Simple! His music flows like a poem; heart-wrenching, soothing and can make someone can fall in love with it all at once.

His idealism in his music also shows through his interviews when he explains about the song-writing process. He obviously put his hands on his work, make sure everything is in line. It is vivid that he invested his emotions within the songs and album, which makes it more personal as if we are reading, or perhaps listening, to his diary. And what's better than musicians who sincerely putting their heart out into their work?

The more you listen to his lyrics, the more his image is shaped as charming and articulately poetic - even when he swears it sounded like a poetry. There are a lot of death imagery in his songs, especially on his third album Little Hellbut somehow he is able to make death sounds just as kind as life. Dallas says he relies his inspiration when things seem going down hill in life, but his critical visions upon his music obviously has brought him into a higher, and better level. With this kind of music, this world will be a much better place.




A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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MMXIII

This is my the third year away from home, let's just settle for the definition of home to where the loved ones are now, and this Southern part of England is still look as attractive as the first year I got here. Many things had happened in the past year, good and bad, mostly good though, but what matters is the learning process. It may take a while, longer than you thought or expected, but as long as at the end of the day you learned something, that what counts. Keep in mind, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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Roads: I get to travel for a bit to see more beautiful things this world has to offer: through the scenery of Istanbul which has the best of both continents Asia and Europe, in Spring days when tulips are blossom in rainbow colours and the very Island of Gods, Bali in the Summer where the sun never look more gorgeous. Though it was not the first time I went there, it never got any less interesting. There is something about Bali that always makes every visit feels different. (Remind me next year I have to travel more)

Moreover, I have been through priceless experiences that allowed me to grow as a person. I understand the concept of faith better than when I was younger, at the times where I was just accepting what had been told, not actually necessarily understanding the whole narrative. Even though, I cannot say I understand it completely, but I feel I have better grasp on it. Paulo Coelho hit the nail on the head by saying: People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” 

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Home: I have never value home more than I do now. After one and a half year, this Summer I finally went home for a good two months. I have met faces that I miss, catching up with favorite ones over the old late night drive. The best food. Distance also taught me to appreciate everyone and everything more. Family is the heart of my life while friends are the skeletons. I also had the chance to meet my long lost childhood friend that inspire me to write more than anybody ever did in such a long time. I learned even the shittiest feeling is a gift, because once you are not able to feel, that is the worst situation when you do not have anything to fight for.

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Them: Last year, I tend to keep distance with people that I met here because this town is always just a pit stop, never been a place to stay or settling more than one year. Thus, the fear of getting too attached is unbearable. But this year somehow, I found myself among great people that soon feel like the second family in this grey England. This, only to realise, the whole don't get too attached is bullshit. Jonathan Safran Foer once said, “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” And who wants to be protected from happiness? Though it is all just temporary, as most of them are savouring their next journey away from this town, I am genuinely so glad we ever cross-path in life.

Let's raise our glass both for 2013 that has been so good and many great things to come in 2014 -- on to the next exciting adventure! We all know that life will only get better.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Candles

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It begins with an attraction. Then over few dinners, coffees and stroll by the beach to the amusement park, a relationship established. Then more dates, more dinner, more breakfasts, small arguments, more arguments, talks, more talks, then  poof, somehow, it disappear. Like a thunder. Just like that. And the next thing you know, you have to let go and move on.

But moving on is another story. Although it is only a matter of mind, it always gets more complex than it should be. It is about the struggle, although the relationship has ended seasons ago but restore the equilibrium takes more time than changing your hairstyle. It starts off with false projection of this very person that you used to hold dear everywhere you go within somebody else on the street that resemble mere similarity. The perfect jaw line, the beard and that beanie you bought for him as a Christmas gift. Your heart will skip a beat. And that missing beat is also a wish, that you want it to be him. When you notice he is not the person you thought, some part of you will withered like unwatered Lily. That moment of clashing side between the mind and the heart was excruciating, but you are willing to jump right in again to the pool of hope for the cosmic joke to intertwine you with him by accident - just because you are aware that you are gutless to initiate an action. Then, you will reach the bit where you will force the fate to happen. You will tell yourself it is the shorter route to your home, but all you want to do is to take the road where you can walk by the bar where he works and sheepishly steal a glance or two. You have missed him too much, you will settle just for a breathe of familiar place. Some other times, you will find a reason to persuade your friends to have few drinks at the bar, sugarcoated it with the offer of cheap wine and close-distance location. Even if some of them smell the burning anxiety on your face, you will immediately deny, pretending you do not care. Once you finally see him where you want him to be, your eyes cross-path with his, you will look away out of reflex. The pride of yours has gotten too deep within your nerves, you are defeated involuntarily. Hereinafter, you will also find him in the chorus of City and Colour songs, that he was shared on your second date, whilst your heart will wrench for the numerous times to the idea of his face that embrace the melody of the first day of Spring.

It is more difficult as your mind often drift away from the initial reason why you have to let go to the place where butterflies and mix-tapes were once dancing. The first kiss in front of your doorstep, when he was holding your hand and it felt like it belong there. Those thorns that bleeds your feelings dry, slowly. The magnet that keeps pulling you down to ground zero. Hence, the truth where sentences that meant to sound beautiful, the ones that suppose to melt, ended up upsetting the soul and conversations that suppose to flow and grow, wilt and blocked are pushed away far at the back. What is worse, you know regardless the truth, to you the idea of him is too strong, like the clasp of phoenix's claws as he embodies the faux-dream of fairy tale you had when the first idea of loving someone shaped in your head. Nonetheless, the person that you thought was the Dream, is also the antidote that brings you closer to a better grip on reality, showing that it is not always about The Maccabees' Toothpaste Kisses, but also Daughter's Candles. All that is left is a silhouette of him that shall fade as the candles burns to nothing but memories. And you cannot wait for the moment to come, cause you are exhausted by this emotional slavery to the past that refuse to dim. Go on, keep trying. Remember, the candles shall fade.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Band Edition: General Fiasco


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I found them through Burberry acoustic session on YouTube, here & they stole my attention in a heartbeat. 

The Irish-born band, General Fiasco, represent the sound of British rock with catchy lyrics. You can imagine three young lads kicking up the amplifier with a gentle rock, not too loud but enough out of their songs. Nevertheless, they also nailed the acoustic version of their songs without losing their basic identity.

There was a bit of change in formation when their former drummer decided to moved to the States. Stephen from the rhythm guitar assigned to take roll on the drum and recently they just added new additional guitarist, Stuart. And guess what? they still sounded rad. Owen's high note voice, the vocalist, set the particular signature sign of the band so nobody would miss interpret General Fiasco with another band.

Their debut album, Buildings, consist of 15 tracks includes 4 acoustic version. Ever So Shy chosen as the hit single from the album and I could not agree more. Their song titles and lyrics are simple, easy to relate with young generation nowadays. Totally worth to notice. Here's their Myspace & official video of Ever So Shy 
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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You Look the Same


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Summer's evening is warm while inside the room people are casting curses and spells to High School reunion night where suddenly all of us are seventeen again. You lured in to my company when I am alone by the balcony of town house at the heart of West Java's capital, catching my breath from the fast-paced conversations. I tried to hide the excitement by looking away from your eyes, drinking the remaining Coke in my plastic cup and continue watching the traffic that looks like half-a-year too early Christmas tree. You leaned back on the pillar next to me before you casually lit your cigarette. "You look English." teased you as soon you open a conversation. I chuckled, considering the non-sense as the only English thing about me was this oversize Union Jack jumper I bought from a lousy shop in Camden Town.

I glanced at you and said, "You, look the same." Except you are not. You look anything but the same. Your hair is much shorter and neat, unlike the messy teenage angst look of yours three years ago. The black-framed glasses make you look older. We have been in the same room for the past hour but it still feels odd having you in front of me, since the last time I saw you was the graduation day. I cannot dismiss the overwhelming feeling of the past towering my head like grey clouds that bound to rain. I was doing perfectly fine before I walked in to the room where everyone that I hold dear are there. You, are there. Here, for now, as you moved closer and rested your elbows on the railing less than ten centimeters away, things are starting to shake; I feel the question mark weighing my breath again.

I managed to slip away from the crowds, for the sake of a minute of solitude before I crash and burn to the sea of yearbook memories. Although secretly, I want you to look for me. So I can have you all for myself, without having to pretend as if you have to fulfil a role in order to make them amused. You tend to discreet your deepest, utmost sincere passion and interest when no one else is watching; like that one time, in senior year when you sat next to me during lunch break and started to tell a story about this girl. I sat there, thinking I have not met any seventeen year old that was so certain about the person they want to marry  although you might have said it spontaneously, but boy, I was impressed. I remember I immediately ran to my best friends in the next room and realised, I was talking about you like you were talking about her.

There, the moment I thought high school just started soon clashed to an end. The story about the girl never come up again, not that I was brave enough to listen or ask. But three months later, you broke the news you were moving to Seattle. I never liked Seattle. The city looks bland and the idea of West Coast is just too far away. But you told me Seattle is much better than this concrete jungle of skyscrapers and traffic. You were certain that was the place to be. I couldn't argue. And I could not ask you to stay, too. Cause who am I to say, let's just carrying on being young, skipping classes and driving from dusk till dawn with cigarettes hanging over the half opened window in your car, at least a little longer. With that, I lost the reason to stay. Broken was still far to describe what I felt back then. I swore I never wanted to be the one who stays. Then, the next thing I knew, I was in London and forgot about high school. About you. Until today, when home is calling for a little reunion.

I thought, I would see you differently after so many years. But it almost feels like although life goes on, I have fall in and out of love, met so many people, but the idea of you stopped when I watched you get on that plane. And now, when you stand before me, the memory resume from that very last scene as if life never moved on. Everything in between is just a fragment of dream. You always resemble the sense of adolescence when all I ever wanted to believe was love. You are the young love that I selfishly pour myself into. And I don't think I can change the way I see you. Not even after we are coming back in to the room and out of the yearbook. You will always look the same. You will always be the young love I could never have.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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All It Ever Does

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There is this room that I found, strange yet so inviting. There is a twinge of familiarity that resembles home but also radiates the challenge of new place, bide to be exposed, discovered. The floor is marmer-tiled, cites history of the past. The walls represent the now while the ceiling is high, above I can hang the future. The first time I stepped in, it is almost as cold as the Winter in the northern hemisphere, but once I stay a little longer, it gleams the warmth of Summer. 
 
This room is very simple; the walls are painted in white whilst the furniture mostly wooden, fitted with a pair of brown-framed windows facing the east where the sun rise. Here, I am breathing inspiration instead of oxygen. This room mirrors the remedy of moonlit sky. Amused, it catches you off guard, as it strips your wall down to the ground, unprotected -- naked.

Not that I just breathe inspiration, I can also breathe easy. I can dance at the tip of my toe living the ballerina dream that never happen. I can paint my bewildered imagination of a house above the clouds with the stars as the light bulbs and all it ever does is shine. I can sing to the hymn of  broken heart parade without feeling the ache. Verse after verse and hums after hums.

In this room, I am young. Free-spirited like bonfire that sparks passion in the middle of Scottish campsite. I am younger even before life happens and take away the innocence of make-believe. Before the monster that lives under the bed flit inside of me. Yet, I can feel safe even though the rest of the world is collapsing.

This room keeps me awake like the sinner that never sleeps and the angel that never weeps. Awake, to the sound of effervescent thoughts of the future as if I am on a road trip to Adulthood valley, all set with books and a bottle of wine for two. I am awake with the dream of tomorrow, a bag full of Stories, forgetting Regret and Doubt light-year away.

In this room, the clock ticks in rhyme with heartbeat and as often as eyes blink. Both fast and slow, under the light of infinite time and space. Nevertheless, here, time does not tie as limitation where things are driven in respect of boundaries; limited. Instead, it is simply there like the base of intergalactic space where all matter, just simply exists.

With the childlike eyes, from this room I can see the world; of two opposites -- the reclaimed happiness glowing in the shades of bitterness. Boy, I can see the universe vastly unravel its secret and I am no longer small. I am adequate. I can see who I want to be and most of all, who I want to be with.

And it’s you.

Because you show me this room.

You are this room.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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That's How I'd Imagine You and Me

This is how I'd imagine you and me  not in a grand hall with rose petals covering the floor. I'd imagine you and me lying on a maroon rug, where we can still feel the pointy end of the grass brushes our skin through the fluffy-like fabric. We are at the open, a park, somewhere unfamiliar, not home, maybe Vienna. I think it is fair since our definition of home lies elsewhere across the ocean. The clouds are in a perfect cushion shape against flaring baby blue sky. You'd wear your favorite Batman t-shirt and washed out jeans whilst I wear my black deer-print Summer dress right above the knee as I could feel the breeze sweeps through my thighs. It is the first day of Summer and we have not seen each other in flesh for over two seasons. As we lay down, We'd talk about space ships, car ships and medical capsule that should be invented by 2154 and would be the death of doctors and medical degree. Sometimes we'd argue, not in the sense of fighting, but just simply being in two opposite sides. Although, honestly, I secretly agree with you from the start, but I'd still stay on the other side of the road, just because I like the way when you look at me when you tell me I was wrong. There is this gush of sincere determination in your eyes that says I meant so much to you, you want me to be on your side. Then, when it feels like the everything move in motion as the sun turns orange-like at the tip of the horizon, you'd say, "I've got to film this." and you have your camera ready, while I was taking a mental picture of you, filming the world as it happen. For a moment, I'd forget everything that I have feared. I'd forget that after the sun set and the clock strikes ten, we have to go to different destination; I'd forget at the end of the day, we'd be gone in to the wilderness of uncertainties, apart, solely holding on to a display of cheap souvenir that recites fractured memories — Vienna and milkshake prose. Nonetheless, I'd say we'd stay bloom, in distance.


This is how I'd imagine you and me, if we were ever meant to be.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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What We Could Have Been



I want to see what we could have been.
If I said yes, instead of no.
If you said stay, instead of go.
If we stick around for another moment, just another moment,
would you changed your mind?
Could we forget our differences and stay for the long run?
Not just over the shifts of seasons but  both for the snow and sun.
Cause I have seen the ray of sunshine in your eyes, 
 and tasted the flavour of rainbow on your wine-kissed lips.
I want to know what we could have been.
Cause I feel there could be another story waiting to begin.
And this time, I think we could win.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Days


There are days that you feel lower than the ground, drowning deeper than a sinking ship. Don't worry. Those kind of days are part of the story. It is what gives rainbow and sunshine meanings. It is the moondust that pitch in the beauty of the universe as a whole. Without them, you won't know how great the good days feel like.


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Swanage, Dorset. 2013.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Fourth of November

Happy fourth of November.
Bless you, the lost soul.
I have always missed you.
Let you be forever lost and never be found.
And I will always be your home that you will never know.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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As Long As We Are Not Alone

I'd like to think we are like a cup of tea that soothes each other company briefly. Brewed with luke-warm water, fused in anti-clockwise spin, we'd get each other through the times when we least want to be alone. But I am not yours, nor you are mine.

I'd feel comfort when you rush in. The warmth, taste and scent. But as soon my lips not on yours, as soon my hand lose the grip of your cheek, we are stretched in space and time alongside with ego and pride.


We'd store each other in the cupboard with the long list of names and figures. Untouched. By the time the sky is looking grey or the lights is too bright flashing in rhymes with the sound of fast beat music, I'd crave for you dearly.

I'd crave for you as you'd crave for me  at the fragile hours, when honesty and a little too much touch of whisky are breathing down your neck, trashing your usual ego and pride down the bin. Then it softens mine, too. Then somehow, we are here again, laying to the sound of nothing.

We'd lay in silence, quietly looking at the harm we have caused ourselves. The harm that none of us can see, but there. Like oxygen. And we breathe into it. We cover underneath it, through the shift of season, as we merely seek warmth from each other till the urge stops pouring and sensibility rise above the sun.

Back then, we were once golden. We could have had it all; but we crumbled into ashes too soon. Then I stopped questioning why we couldn't be better than a cup of tea. We'd just lay low in blatant acceptance to settle below the bar, not to be greater than we thought  as long we are not alone.

We are alright. At least, I'd like to tell myself that we are. So I do not need to worry, when I am running out of you, and you have consumed me enough, I will be just fine.


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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Traffic: Please, Don't Fall In Love With Me

Having the misfortune of living in one of the busiest capital city in this world, is to have traffic in daily basis. Jakarta is a mess and it never ends. The controversy whether or not it is a beautiful mess lies under the statement of the city we love to hate. It dances in accordance with overpopulated and over-polluted truths. The recent raise of gas price helps nothing to reduce the tangled threads of happy hour traffic. However, it is not always get so ugly. Most of the overly blessed inhabitants in this city are blinded by the bright red of auto-mobile's brake ahead of them, they are unable to see the chance of fortunes are blinking before their eyes. Everyone should take advantage of the traffic as much it gotten from them. Imagine how many conversations, or love, could grow in the midst of middle-class workers impatience and car's horn.



That is why invited you to this party for two  to drive me from the southern part of Jakarta, all the way to the East on a Friday night when the traffic is the worst. I told you I have not been to the East for more than a year but honestly, I don't really want to see the newly-built seventh stories mall with flashy lights and massive park on the outside, like the one in New York City; I just I want to spend the long, annoying and frustrating hours in the car with you. Where we could listen to your dad's old cassette because radio is too mainstream. And in between old love songs, we would stumble upon a conversation about our exes; your clingy ex-girlfriend, and I was once in love with your best friend.

In this dreadful hours of traffic, I could learn things about you. I learned that you have a very short temper especially when there is a car trying to get ahead of your speed. And you dislike the fact that I take pictures of this city as if I was a tourist. But I know it is just because I reminded you of your ex girlfriend whom happens to be a free-lance photographer. And honestly, you kind of reminded me of your best friend, too.

I know you are getting tired, but I am going to keep talking. Not just because it is nice talking to you but also for the sake of your distraction. You are going be too busy listening to me, or thinking how annoying I am, hence you will forget we are doomed with the utmost crowded lane in this city.

Then you forget to take the last U-turn, so we have to take longer route. But I am glad that you missed it, because it bought me another half an hour to forty minutes to spend with you. You can miss the next turn again, you know. I don't mind.

We are one traffic light away from the East. Between the empty seconds the red light turns green, there was a thirteen year old boy walked towards us, selling a handful of roses.
'Are you not going to get me one?' I teased you lightly but you only chuckled in the sound of deep sarcasm.
You waved your hand to the boy as a polite gesture of refusal. The light is still counting down the last twenty seconds before it let us go. I thought the boy would immediately move along, but before he left he drew an I, a heart and U by the window next to you. I leaned closer to the driver's seat to take a closer look, 'Did he just draw "I love you" sign?'
'Yes.' you answered briefly. This time, you sounded bitter, almost in the sense you would not like anything romantic happen before us. Nonetheless, I still find the boy almost like a street-version of cupid without wings and I spent a good eight seconds laughing about it before hit you on the arm. 'I'm going to write this in my book!' I said half-shouted. Then you responded very short and clear, 'But don't write anything about me there.'

It passes so quickly and to my ears it sounded like, 'Please, don't fall in love with me.' It takes a while to process, given I am used to be the one who sets up the wall  the distance and the warning of don't fall in love with me, and make sure nobody cross or jump off it. This time, feels different to be on the other side of the wall. Therefore, I just realised, in this very party for two, I also get to know the reason why we cannot stay longer than the traffic. Because I can easily fall for you in any second now but if you ask me not to, I think I can do that too. 


A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Breaking the Bad

If you have not watched the season finale of Breaking Bad, which I highly recommend you to do so, effective immediately, because your life would miss one of the greatest, finest things that ever happened in human history, I advise you not to read this post below.

The season finale explains the loose ends and ended the oh-so cliche of the initial reason why Walter White started doing his meth empire  after all this time, he has been saying he did this for the family but then, when he bound to have his last goodbye, he confessed, "I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it." Moreover, it closes with an intense pause of clarity and justification to what he had done, "And I was alive." That is the moment that settles everything; everything since the plot started on a boiling van in the middle of dry Albuquerque desert. As quoted from the mastermind-slash-creator, Vince Gilligan, that is the long overdue of Walter's honesty. In the last three episodes, the relationship between Walt and Jesse has been tossed around in hatred, however, when Jesse ended up not pulling the trigger and later, he gave him a silent nod as he stares at Walt's bleeding wound, that is their final goodbye. They both know, this is it. The actual end. What is best also, the production brilliantly relates the song Baby Blue that was once played in the beginning of their first batch of crystal blue meth, to the very last scene where Walt dies in peace with his one true, well, baby  the meth lab. It gets emotional, as the camera panned out, and you can hear the song playing: the special love, I have for you, my baby blue. That, screams for every word of banned from parental advisor.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul did more than justice bringing those characters alive. They have what makes everything works: chemistry. Oh, the pun. Vince Gilligan said on an interview saying he wants to have "that kind of immortality through the work" where it could long outlived him  those who have not born yet would still know. Well, I would just like to say, there you have it, Vince. There you have it.


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A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Malam Itu

Malam itu kembali lagi. Setelah terkubur di dalam bayangan hitam masa lalu dua tahun silam. Aku pikir percikan itu telah padam, mati dibawah derasnya hujan akan masa depan. Tapi ternyata tidak, masih disitu. Menyala bagaikan matahari di bulan Juni.

Aku, dia dan tiga teman lainnya berjalan pulang terhuyung angin dan alkohol setelah acara mengobrol santai dengan teman lama berakhir dengan sedikit lebih banyak tegukan bir. Malam itu seharusnya berakhir pada gelas bir kedua, satu setengah jam yang lalu. Tapi sampai sekarang dia masih berada disampingku, dengan percikan itu dan semua berlebur bersama buih-buih intuisi untuk menjamah tangan itu untuk menuntunku lurus, bahu itu untuk menyandarkan kepalaku yang semakin lama semakin berat, dan bibir itu...

Namun perlahan langkah kita melambat. Satu blok lagi aku akan sampai pada rumahku. Seakan mencuri detik-detik terakhir untuk bisa berdua dalam dinginnya malam di awal musim semi, dibawah remangnya lampu jalan dia merapatkan badannya padaku sampai aku terpojok dan bersandar lemas pada mobil yang parkir di pinggir jalan. Pada saat itu jarak kita semakin dekat. Terlalu dekat. Kedua tangannya mengunciku diantaranya. Hanya bibir itu yang ada dikepalaku. Setengah jengkal lagi, lidahnya dapat beradu dengan lidahku, menari di dalam mulutku.

Tapi aku terhenti. Bayangan itu hilang seraya aku menolehkan kepalaku menjauh darinya dengan elusan akal sehat. Sekarang aku dapat merasakan nafasnya berhembus pada leherku. Hangat. Dengan irama tertatih akan deru jantungnya. Aku dan dia tahu betapa salahnya semua ini. Ini tidak seharusnya terjadi. Dan disaat yang sama betapa aku menginginkan dia, pada detik itu, seutuhnya, dengan semua yang ada didalamku menjerit akannya.

Tapi pandanganku kini tertuju pada jemari tangan yang mengunciku diam, ya, jari manisnya — alasan kenapa aku tidak bisa memilikinya dari awal. Cincin itu. Menandakan kalau dia bukan milikku. Tapi tunangannya.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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A Place to Long For

"Mba Yaya betah di Jakarta. She likes it here." 
"And you don't?"
His eyes diverted somewhere else, looking through the glass window as if he was staring at his life in Jeddah.
"Gimana ya, Fiya." he answered hesitantly, "Kerjaan aku disana."


Then his eyes went back to mine. I smiled, trying to look content with his answer. Anggi is a friend of mine. He's Indonesian but grew up in the Middle East and only come to visit Jakarta every Summer. We were reunited again on his last night before his departure back to Jeddah. And we stumbled upon a conversation about the city we were not meant to stay for the time being and on the contrary, how his sister grew fond of this place. To think of it, I'd like to hide behind work, too, if that helps to settle a place to long for. Anggi was clear upon his answer. He was completely practical sticking to 'I have work, friends and cars there' respond. The only hesitation in his voice was probably he was afraid to offend me because in our position, I was the one in this room that was more attached to this city. And somehow, I also feel obligated to like this city thus at least one of us does. But I am not sure, myself. Even though I know it is my default settings to root for Jakarta, because the thread that tie us both is thicker than blood, but Jakarta isn't the same; and if I have to follow his context, I don't have work or cars to bound me over a place. If the question addressed back to myself: do I like it here? I don't think I have a definite answer. Jakarta has changed since last time I was here.

I have noticed things have shifted into different equation while I was away. Being the one who leaves, I remember better where exactly I left off my life before leaving this city. It was almost like my life was a movie that was on pause, and I'd just need to press play to resume the last scene where it stopped. My high school friends were the ones who dominates the biggest chunk of my life back then. And they were also the scene where my life was on hold. We were young and naive, we'd go anywhere, everywhere after the sun set and home before the sun rise. I didn't realise they have grown and changed. I returned with the expectation I could find them easily, then we could reminisce the good old rebelion days together. I thought they were exactly where I left them. But they weren't. They are now somewhere farther beyond the pine trees. Not all of them, of course, but the changes were so severe in most of them I could tell they were not really laughing, or present for that matter. It seemed I have missed a phase in their lives that even though they were trying to tell me through stories, I didn't think it would be the same as being present while the phase was happening.

For instance, one of my closest friends that used to share each other's darkest secrets and was capable of loving great things, now stood quietly in his shell trying to keep distance as far as possible from love. Maybe that one time he was broken hearted, it traumatised him. We went from hours of talking to short text messaging that lasts no longer than five replies. And another good friend of mine, the joker in the group that I have never recalled seeing him frowned, had changed from the funny happy-go-lucky one to sour, and almost bitter. The loud laugh that used to paint his face bright was absent. They have gone quiet. The flickers of naivety, reckless, and freedom in their eyes were missing. I'd like to tell them, look I'm here. To listen, to laugh at or with. I'm here, let's be young and naive once again. Let's hang out, drive the night away and curse to the sky. I'd like to tell them don't change. But maybe, I have changed too. I can't reach them the way I used to. They used to be a quarter of my life that keeps me longing for this city, but somehow, I felt like I have lost them, though not entirely, to the nature of growing up.

Maybe it's time to get a job, and fancy cars, to get the absolute answer. Just like Anggi did. 
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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For You, Forever Ago

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I think loving you has become a habit. I have you programmed in my brain, that I have to love you, you the one with thick glasses and husky voice. Even though I do not have any sensible reason to, I cannot stop. It is non-negotiable. A done deal. It almost sounds like I loved you in a manner of science  my brain cells conspire in the most selfish way to only recognise you as love and associates with nothing else but since the day I fell in love with you three summers ago.

The world was still in a box when I met you, but the feelings I had was larger than life as I loved you with everything I had and able to give. I loved genuinely and unconditionally. I loved you alone, unselfishly without involving me. And I loved you for so long, I thought I did not know how to stop.

I have loved you closely as close as sitting next to you, and through the distance as far as twelve hours flight and time difference. I have loved you more and I have loved you less. I loved you even in between the awake and the sleep. I have loved you everywhere and in every way. I have loved you everyday — but not today. Because just like the death of snow, I am melting away to the equator line, farther from the Northern Hemisphere, and you. Today, I learned that the older the brain gets, it loses its cells but continue to grow and make new ones; I think I have lost some parts of you. And also today, is the day I decided to stop loving you.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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I Should Have Told You

I hate to see you go. I should have not let you go. I should have told you that I want you longer than the summer. Hell, I want you longer than forever. I did not want you just over the coffee break that ended when the melted ice leaving traces by the bottle like the morning dew. I should have told you to stay, not to go on that plane that take you back to your life. Just stay  with me. We could count the stars, watch the sun rise, filmed the world, go on arguing which row is the best seating on IMAX theatre or we could just talk under the moonlit sky. I’d tell you how much I loved the sea side yet how scared I was of the ocean. I’d tell you stories I would not share with anyone else, like my mum’s habit. I'd tell you this not just because you know her, but because talking to you gives me the sense of belonging and being acknowledged, though in the least bit, in the way I have always wanted. Then I’d listen to you too, as this would be my favourite part of the day  I get to listen to what’s in your mind. I loved the part when you told me that you have just visited the place where you grew up last weekend and how surprised you were because it had not change a bit, unlike this metropolitan city with vast growth of construction and traffic. You'd rolled your eyes trying to remember the sound of cricket at night, and then you'd smiled. You'd smile over the fact that you used to collect stones and buried it under the mango tree when you were seven. You’d smile, like it was the best day in your life, as if you have just won the world at the carnival and you disclose happiness. Across the table, I’d smile too, for you and with you, noticing I have found the best version of you. And over dinner, you'd say everything starting to matter in your last night before your flight calls in the morning. Even though we were just having small bites of fried chicken in one of the overrated American fast food chain at this newly-built mall on the Southern part of Jakarta, you said, it matters. Right there was where I should have told I want you to stay in this this city and grow old on the road with me. We’d speak the same language and continue to love and hate this place at the same time by mocking the laws, economy and politicians in between the empty seconds before the red light turns green.

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I should have told you I want you to stay.

I should have told you that I want you.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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So Close

Have you ever felt so close, like the border line between two states, so precise and absolute, to fall in love with someone? You met this person with the least expectation you have got as you only prepared a notebook and a pen for yourself. You figured the rest would find its own way. Maybe this person was someone from the past; a childhood friend that you had a secret crush on. The first time you have seen this person's face again after years, everything suddenly escalated so quickly into a firm existence of realness. You did not know you were about to get caught off guard.

He sat before you, looking as exceptional as he was expected to grow up to be since you were playing swinging rope together in his backyard twelve years ago. His hair was still as dark as dark as raven's wings, matched with his thick eyebrows. Whilst his eyes utters the coldest yet brightest impression in shades of caramel-coloured iris. He did not smile so often, this scares you because you were dying to read his mind, but when he did, that was the kind of smile that lights up the room.

You hid your shaky nerves in between the sips of your caramel latte as the conversation began. It started off quietly, like calm pool with steady surface till he jumped right in and create this magnified wave of perfect curls. In a glimpse, you thought, if this carries on, something big could happen. Maybe like the second big bang, where both of you would explode into million bits of micro-particles, dissolve into the air and create this new universe that you were bound to exist forever.

By the time the blended ice melted under the arch of plastic bottle lid, you were reminded that he had changed from the person that you held impulsively when you were nine, and fell into foolish monkey-love with. But somehow you liked him even better, the darker-and-more-real version of him, in a way you could not explain, in a way you could never be able to shake off the idea of him that was so persistent and impeccable, no matter how fucked up he was.

Right before you had to say goodbye, your eyes met his. It was not the first time throughout conversation that you just happen to caught in a crossfire of glances, but this time you saw the sunset of your childhood dream disappearing at the end of the horizon of his eyelid, shifting into clusters of stars where you look up to. There you noticed, you had been longing for him without even knowing. That he could be your muse and you were so close to fall in love with him. Even closer than the length between your pointy nose and your soft lips.

Have you ever felt so close to fall in love with someone, for his mistakes, achievements, his words and past, you were just one blink away to fall head over heels towards him? But you couldn't. It was not because a moment of hesitation or sprinkles of doubts. But because your fear of falling, failing and getting hurt once again was too much. You just couldn't, so you let this one go.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Good Enough

I am so tired, I'm so tired I cannot feel anything but. As if those three days had consumed the entire supply of joy for the next three waking weeks. It is tiring, it is bloody tiring. Not being able to get ahold of myself, and everything seems to be not good enough. It's never good enough but you were more than good enough. And I want more than good enough. It gets harder to breathe, almost literally, when a little too often the memories of you strikes back, follows with a clotted blood stream right in the middle of your chest; even though it lasts only for two good seconds, but I can feel it - right there. It is real, it is not myth or a made-up story. I want to make it go away but instead every corner of this city reminds me of you, then it hit again. What bugs me the most, is you are more than good enough. I thought you weren't. Hence nothing, no one, can be just good or good enough because now I want more than good enough. Not even the Atlantic ocean by the New York skyline, it has lost its appeal once you stand near. And how can you expect me to swim when your current is too strong? At least you could have warned me. And now I am drowned and tired to fight back. I have been staying up most of the nights, counting the stars just because I can get busy thinking what comes after 771, and eventually I can close my eyes without wondering all the what ifs of us that has dissolve into oxygen. I just want to take a rest for wanting everything to be good enough. It's confusing. Gravity is starting to revolve around you - and I am falling. And I'm falling alone.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Find Me

Listen what I have got to say: Find me now. Not tomorrow or the day after. Do not wait. I have waited long enough. Although I am not lost, I want you to find me. Find me between the trees, above the ground, dirt and pebbles. You do not need to leave traces of bread in case if you get lost, I'll get lost with you. But find me first  when the daffodils bloom in the midst of cold spring, when the wave clashes to the shore, when bubbles of salt and water seeps into the sand. Find me in the least familiar place; like a tourist finding their way in a crowded traditional market of a strange city, when they bump into sweats of strangers, bizarre local language; I may be somewhere in the long process of understanding the broken English and funny accent. Or in the aghast of discovering blatant beauty far from home. I may be somewhere in between the spaces of your fingers, or your sentence. I am not lost, I am right here; building the bridge that I have burned, for you to cross once again. Find me in between your hope and regret. Find me before the sun rise, in between unguarded conversations about the future and ashes of wasted cigarette with your car's window half opened. Find me in a verse of a song that catch you in weird mood that makes you sing along or dance to it when no one is around. Find me between the time difference across the Atlantic. Find me in between the announcement of departing flight or at the arrival gate. Better yet, find me at the airport  because I can't stay. You can't stay. We can't stay. We are not here to stay. But still, find me, look for me. Find me before someone else does.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Please, Stop Looking At Me

There is something different from the way you look at me. Maybe if I can see myself when I look at you, probably I would see you differently, too. But I can feel it brushes my bones, there is something different from the way you look at me. Maybe it's because we have not seen each other in flesh for more than two good years. You are off collecting possibilities in Uncle Sam's land while I am busy having afternoon tea with the Queen. There is something different when you try to catch my face from the driver's seat. Although I do not time it, it feels like we are on freeze. It's not like you have seen me for the first time and you need to take some time to programme me all over again, it's more like you are being very cautious, as if you are afraid to make mistake in front of me; you are afraid to make me fall in love with you. There is something safe from the way you look at me. It seems like you are finally acknowledging me after all this time, though we had spent the entire senior year of high school sitting next to each other. I almost ask you to stop looking at me because I can feel the mild intensity of your eyes, quietly, seeing through me as if I was an ice cube under the spotlight of Summer's burning sun and you would like to melt, or break, me.

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It is not a serious stare, or the opposite. It is enough to start a mystery. To make me wonder. You look at me as if we are on a stake, as if we have something to gamble for and we are at risk. A good risk. I'd like to shake off these thoughts because I am finally in the same space and time-zone with you and I don't want to think about the past or present  I don't want to think at all, for that matter. I cannot deny, your stare is much comfortable than the last time I saw you, which I hardly remember when. Was it two August ago when you drop me off in my apartment lobby and tried to scare me with your made-up ghost story in the elevator? Was it the time when I was pretending to be afraid just because maybe you would walk me till my front door while I hide behind your back and get closer to you? Maybe it's because I forgot how you look at me for so long; and to finally see and feel it again, raises questions in my head. That's not the look of love nor the look of hatred. Maybe that's the look of almost-love. Or maybe, that's not the look of I'm-afraid-to-make-you-fall-in-love-with-me, but instead that's the look of I'm-afraid-to-love-you-back.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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The Curse of First Love

Coming home always give this certain rush of nostalgia  when things were just things, when love was just love that hit on your nerve like an anaesthetic injection sending you straight to your subconscious within the count of three. Only this took one arranged meeting. I met Charlie a couple days ago. Charlie, the tall, dark haired, good looking guy from that band whom happen to be my first love. His hair seemed longer now, it hid the colour of his eyes which was caramel-brown. And he looked older, not just that he was actually a couple years older, but much older than the last time I saw him. Regardless, he arguably, looked more attractive. That night we met again after years of absence, and I could not wait to show him that I, too, have grown older. I initiated to order a bottle of cold beer on a fervent Saturday night in the midst of crowded bar with poor air conditioning  I did not mind as long as he was there. I could feel his eyes staring at me in mere disbelief as I placed my order; probably because the last time we met I was not even legally allowed to buy an alcohol. I pulled my victory smirk, not that I know I had one, but I felt like I have just won whatever contest I was in. I was one step closer to convince him I was not the little girl that was once following him around the neighbourhood.

The night was young, he ordered another bottle of beer and a snack. I was expecting French Fries or peanuts, but the bar maid handed over a package of Indonesian spicy cheese stick like local elementary school kids used to buy in between their recess at their school canteen. There it started, the (kind of) conversation that had me fall down to the deep abyss of his everlasting charm. Conversation with him was always safe. So subtle and delicate my heart and ego would immediately swollen and sail up above the clouds like a balloon. He would say I looked thinner, he liked the way I dressed or concerned whether or not I was comfortable on my seat just because my eyes looked slightly red because of the smoke from the table next to me. He would even offer to switch place if I wanted to  I could not care less about how I look, let alone how I dressed, but the fact that he paid attention to the details of my boring eyes or my figure, pleased me. Then after an undemanding refusal, I carried on ignoring the entire universe as he filled in the space with his classic jokes, which might just sound funny to my ear. Present and future were starting to lose its matter. Therefore, I was back to square one. By the time I had to leave when the clock showed two hours passed midnight, I knew I was once again that little girl watching him playing his guitar like he was part of the seven wonders of the world.

I walked out of that bar, feeling nothing but nostalgic. He walked me outside, and gave a brief hug before we parted. Honestly, I was afraid of every touch because I was aware of his capability to drag me back to his cold arms in a jiff. I smiled, hiding what was happening in my head. He replied. Holly hell, he was even more attractive. The blue cab that brought me home, locked me in an invisible bullet-proof time vessel, as I stared blankly to the window watching Jakarta's best moment of tranquility passing by. In my head, I watched how it began and died respectively. I remember the reason why I fell in the first place on every blink, smile, joke, hit on the arm and conversation I had with him which got me thinking for a solid two seconds maybe I never stopped loving him. But then again, isn't that the thing about first love, so pure it is cursed to stay beautiful, forever? A millisecond after, I shook my head as I also remember the reason why I got out at the end. My blue cab stopped in front of my apartment lobby marking the end of the trip down memory lane. The present stood before me, softly whispered, 'Hey, you're home.'
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Maybe This Time


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There is certain kind of relationship where you know as clear and pure as Heisenberg's blue crystal meth, that both of you are not working well. Thus, it leaves the best option: to end it. But there is a part of you that so stubborn and dominant, invading your mind saying that you don't want it to end. You still want him; over and over again. Because you thought this would work -- this should have worked as you had put a great deal of effort and feelings. Feelings that you are not easily give away to, that you used to keep in a safe-deposit box behind 1000 feet tall brick of wall but somehow he managed to climb and figured out the secret code or the feeling that you think you may not be able to feel it again. And what's worse is the past keeps playing a magic trick on you; as subconsciously turns everything that you see or hear will remind you of him. But solely reminding about the good things, like your first date at your favourite Japanese restaurant, spontaneous trip to the amusement park, the first kiss. Not the spilled drink over your favourite shoes when you were trying to convey your point in the middle of an intense argument or the unreturned texts that made you worried to death. And all of those interrupt you to make sense of everything.


You are too focused on the fact that you are no longer with him not why you are no longer with him. All you remember is you were once shared good memories together. Your current self is blinded to foresee a long way ahead that moving on is actually possible. Not just some myth or a fairy dust waiting to happen, but a concrete outcome hiding in space and time. You forget that you will meet someone, by chance, not having enough common things to like but enough to start off a conversation which lead to the stage where you are no longer strangers; you will learn to understand the other half of his interest that is apparently completely different than yours or what you thought he would be; he likes to write poems, his favourite movie is a Korean cold-blooded action-thriller film with a lot of killings and bloody scenes and he listens to British Rock from the 60s but regardless, you will still like him. The kind of movie he'd like to see or the kind of music on his Most Played Playlist does not matter. What matter is he makes you feel like more than a diamond ring; he makes you feel wanted and belong. He fills in the void. There, you will realise that it is possible -- to move on. Or maybe, just a tiny bit of a hopeful maybe, you will grow older in a few years time as so does he, and your path will come across with his again, and the older version of you may turn out to be far more compatible with each other. And maybe, this time both of you will get it right.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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Carry On

Some nights I woke up in the middle of the night, finding my hand sore because we had been sleeping holding hands as if two layers of duvet was not warm enough in early Spring days. We would ended up letting go of our hands and continue to go back to sleep, having our back against each other. In the morning, when the sun creep in through the gap of pastel-coloured curtain, I would turned around, closer to you, hoping I'd wake you up so you could kiss me on my forehead as a good morning greeting. There, I'd pretend I was still asleep, listening to your heartbeat, calming myself whilst I was secretly over the moon.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicBy the time we were hungry, we'd go to the kitchen to find something to eat. Though what I had inside the fridge was nothing compare to the Korean food you made on our second date, we would settled for instant noodle (and tea, of course) and had quiet breakfast on the round table next to the window. Talked about random things. The weather, your new suit, my pink bathrobe. Then, you would ask me to switch on the TV and watched Come Dine With Me. I always enjoyed listening to you when you were watching TV because you always had something to mumble about; how they should have cooked the meat longer or even their hideous clothes.

Now, those nights are gone. Now we are just like when we were in the morning; but we were not in bed. We were not asleep. Now we are awake and I can't get any closer to you, to steal kisses, to slip my fingers between yours. We are facing the opposite directions; walking away with our back against one another. Those nights are the things I miss the most. Maybe not us, but you. The way you made me feel like sunrise on the east; even for a while -- I felt like I was worth it. Now, the only thing that left were just traces of memories in every corner of this town, in every picture we that took and every song we had shared. Now, I just need to learn to wake up without you, feeling fine and try to convince myself, 'It's okay. It's fine. Carry on.'




But it's goddamn hard.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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The Last Phone Call

We were sitting on the table for two in one of the most crowded restaurant in town. It was a farewell lunch before his departure to the land up north. It had been a while I have not seen his face. His exquisite jawline made him stood up among others. At that moment, it felt like we were never went wrong. Everything was in place. As if no scratch or broken heart was ever happened. I was not sure whether it was a good thing or the opposite. All I knew was I was glad to see him again.

He sat before me in his favourite black sweater. The sweater that reminded me of him. He did not change a bit. Only perhaps, he lost few pounds judging by his thinner cheek. He was still the best friend he claimed to be; all loud and pretty much attractive. During the second plate of main course, we stumbled upon the conversation about plane crash regarding his irrelevant research on the internet about the recent history of his choice of airline to South Korea in three weeks.

‘It’s not about the idea of dying alone that scares me. I just don’t want to die with bunch of foreigners and strangers.’ He said as he raised his shoulder to show his objection and his typical arrogance. ‘I would probably just get out of the plane before it crashed, and sky dive a little.’ His eyes drifted away from me. Staring empty towards the table next to us, ‘Feel the air pressing against my skin, and probably will get a boner at some point.’ I chuckled. His pervert side never failed to amuse me.

I was busy forking the remaining paprika bits to the side of the plate while listening to him. Before I got the chance to comment, he put his two fingers by his ear as if he was holding a phone, and said, ‘Oh, and I’d call my girlfriend and say, “Hello? Katherine? I love you. Bye.” Then I can die in peace.’ I stopped; giving all of my attention to him. I did not expect to hear what he just said. It was a good thing that I was not chewing anything because I might have just spill it out all over the place.

I was not sure what that was – the shocking nerve as if I just got tasered. Was it the unspoken affection I felt towards him that never been mutual, shared and should have ever existed or a genuine amazement to acknowledge after all, he could feel love too? Under our undefined relationship half a year ago, he tried to imply he was capable of everything but loving. Just now, he sounded the opposite. Maybe, he was just incapable of loving me. Slowly I ate the last bit of my grilled chicken with dry throat, idly processing thoughts more than the food.

The fact that he is in a relationship with someone always involuntarily missing under my consciousness. I had to keep reminding myself, he was not mine. Never was and never will. We were together at that moment though; but only within the literal meaning of our presence in the same space and time. Then I smiled. They both were just so lucky to find one and another. It would be nice to have someone who loved you that much they would choose to call you in the last moment of their lives. I was never been that jealous.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz
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