The Past

The Place Between Past and Present

Perhaps this what it would feel like to be idle. Like you are floating between two spaces  not quite like the place between sleep and awake where Peter Pan lives. It is much heavier, as if you are just a body and your soul is Somewhere Else. It is that place between past and present where the sun still shine and the rain still fall, but you are not whole. As if life decides to carry on without your consent and it won't slow down but yet everything still linger invisibly on your skin. You can still feel the way his hand fills the spaces of your fingers. The way his oversized jumper hang loose on your body but warms you in between the cold breeze of English summer. You can still feel your cheek sore from smiling over his bad sense of humour. This makes you hate yourself for loving it too much, because now is not enough, because you demand forever. It feels so fresh as if it just happened a moment ago although hours had turned into days and soon it will turn into weeks. And you are scared it is bound to turn into a story. And it's not enough. Although you used to settle with story, but this time, you selfishly want it to come back to the past and stay there and stop the time.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Never the Same Love Twice

It's easy when it comes to remembering how Charlie made me feel. As if I had him mapped in my brain, right there, in one tiny corner next to Adolescent Avenue. I would take a quick detour from the Present and take a little peek as a pay of visit down the Memory Lane. Not that I am planning to stay, or to re-live the Past, but remembering the way Charlie made me feel is always comforting.

It reminds me that I was once capable on loving someone wholeheartedly, almost crossing the line of stupidity and it was okay, it was great because he felt like home. And I can still remember like it happened yesterday even though it was over five years ago. He was the pinnacle of what I thought as the ideal to love someone. Exclusive, kind, honest and real; it was unconditional. Thus, I often find myself looking up to how I loved him, and thinking to give up what I have in the Present just because it happen or feels different.

It takes a while to understand if anything happen differently, it does not always mean that it is less special, that it worth less. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, there are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice - that we will always love differently. It may take three days, or three hours instead of three months of consecutive meetings. That person may be a mutual friends or a complete stranger you meet at the bar. The feeling may grow after the unexpected little kiss at after-work drinks not after the first or second date shy kiss.

At the end of the day, this is not even about Charlie, or an ideal way to love someone. This is about realising there are many kind of ways to fall in love. It is never going to be the same. Love can be as easy as turning your head. Love can be hard, happen so gradually until the shell breaks after several hundreds of meetings. Love can grow after a ten minute conversation over a cigarette, or love can be a worth of years knowing each other bad habit. It can happen in any kind of way.

Don't limit yourself when it comes to love. Just jump in.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz


Aku takut, bisikku padamu
ketika tanganmu dan tanganku terpaut satu di pinggir pantai itu.
Kamu menoleh gelisah dan bertanya kenapa.
Aku menjawab, karena semua ini hanya sementara dan aku ingin selamanya.

Ku rasakan genggamanmu semakin erat
di tengah deru angin musim panas dan langit yang hitam pekat.
Jangan khawatir,
tenangmu dengan suara halus yang tak bergetir.

Apa salahnya dengan sementara?
Bukan kah selamanya hanya kata,
yang tak lebih dari ilusi belaka?
Yang terpenting adalah kita nyata.

Lagipula, aku tidak keberatan dengan sementara.
Menurutku itu tidak mengapa,
karena aku bahagia,
bersamamu, tanpa harus memejamkan mata.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Summer Stories: London

It was the last week of July when I moved up to London for three-weeks internship. I always find London attractive, maybe not necessarily perfect, but it always creates this tension that just keeps me coming back for more. I thought this would be the chance to give it a go. A longer go. I know although London is not a stranger, but after living for over two years in a small town by the seaside where everywhere is walking distance, the idea to live in a big city sounded slightly daring, and exciting, of course. I thought there would only be two end of this: either I will grow fonder of the place or finally find a flaw somewhere in the daily commute that I ought to take part. And it turned out that I fall in love with London even better.

I stayed at my friend's flat on the third floor semi-old Victorian building with mini balcony that filled with plants in North London. She was away for the summer and she said I could crash in her room for a while. It was a lovely room. Everything was set in white but the faded blue carpet and iron-black bed frame. Somehow it enunciates life in the capital. Fast and precise. There were not much of details but still radiates beauty. There were few bits that works very funny in most corner of the flat. To flush the toilet I need to press and hold the button for a good six seconds and repeat three times until it works properly. Occasional police sirens perhaps was the city-version of birds chirping. And as the flat was located next to the main street, sometimes I could feel my bed, and the entire building too, vibrate when a bus passed by. Perhaps that was how it felt like to live in a lego house. But it was amazing, I could not help to laugh.

As for the internship, the first day of work was a piece of art. I worked at an inclusive theatre company for children and young people thirty minutes away from the central. Everything was new, and on top of it all I was still recovering from flu due to exhaustion from the week before. Thus, I was partially idle half of the day but the spirit of the children genuinely amazed me. And the rest of the staff members, too. It took a couple of days to finally settling in and get the grasp of what was happening and became a routine from that moment on. Even the commute was not scary, after all. This, however, got me thinking what's missing from the typical Things-You-Should-Do-In-Your-20s lists. Work with children. In this age, often young adults are confused almost to the point they hate life, but I believe working with children fills you in with all the make-believe that erodes in years of growing up. With their innocence and curiosity, which sometimes can get slightly annoying, may make you feel humble and like life again.

Perhaps, it is hard to hate life when you are in London (although it comes with price). One of the greatest things about living in the capital is having the unlimited choices to discover new places. Shoreditch and Camden were amazing. I found Asian dessert shop in the corner of Brick Lane. London also a great place to fall in love, too. Romantic stroll by the river Thames at night with the city lights of London beams magic spells will make you feel as if you are on page 116 of a fiction book. Another thing that I noticed, London made me forget all the little worries I've had that used to live in the back of my mind; minor things like the way I worry about my petiteness and bad eye sight did not matter in London. I was not worried any longer. Almost as if I made peace with my insecurities. And this — the part where I learned how to love the things that I hate was the most magical thing about London.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

I Miss You, Jakarta

Now Playing

Hi Jakarta,

How have you been? I have missed you. Writing to you now feels strange, as if you are part of the Past that seem farther away than one second ago, or writing to an ex lover that I had to break up with although I still love you dearly. I suppose we are just two good friends that separated by distance and busy schedules. How long have I not seen you? Ten months? One year? I have been thinking about you lately. I see you in the slow songs just as if you are right outside my window or sometimes in the warmth August sun. 

I hope you are doing great. I vaguely remember the last time I saw you. Last summer you were not well, weren't you? You were slightly gloomy, coughing dirty smoke and had the temperature of a thousand suns. But you still spoiled me with friendly surprises. I heard you are in a much better shape now, better looking, I heard. Although I have got to say, I am a bit jealous to hear everything about you only from others. But I would settle with this as I am far from you, and until I get to see you in flesh, hopefully soon, I don't mind.

I'm so sorry that I missed your birthday. In this letter might as well I address an apology that never been said, the day when I swore to leave you, stay away from you, and said that I hated you. I did not mean it. I said it because I loved you, so much, that I had to leave in order to understand. You taught me patience and appreciation. I would have hated the snow or the rain if it was not because of you. And I learned to appreciate the merry of warm weather, too.

In case if you are wondering, I'm doing great, Jakarta. London's been amazing. Oh, I wish you could have seen the way London lights up at night. It's beautiful. That bridges in the East, it glows like the moon. I thought of you, of course. I wouldn't lie if I hadn't wished you to be like that. But my favourite part is the way London speaks. The accent sounds like a poetry to my ear, almost like a magic spell that bound me in awe. I don't know, there is something magical about London that I cannot get enough. I may be in love, who knows.

But our relationship exceeds what I have with London, don't you think? We had been through so many things together and although London glows like the moon, your beauty lies in the familiarity of Sudirman street, in the same mother language, in my grandparent's house when I learned how to swim, in that local food taste, and on that stage where I found my first love. So, even though I may be in love with London now, I do still love you. I hope you don't expect me to forget you soon. Don't ever expect me to forget you at all. You are my first home, and you will always be. I may have given up on you when I left, but I never stopped loving you. I don't think I ever could.

And I miss you very much.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Don't Let It Go

Don't let it go.

I know that your best friend told you to let it go, but I'm telling you don't let it go just yet until your hand feels sore. The reason why your best friend tells you to let it go because she does not want to see you get hurt also perhaps almost to the tipping point where she is tired listening to your constant repetitive stories that just go round and round in a circle. So, listen to me. I'm telling you without being less than a friend, don't let it go because deep down you know, if you let go now, you will always come back to him in a heartbeat when there is a slightest chance no matter how steep or small it is. You have to hold on as long as you can until you can't hold on any longer. Because there is nothing worse than curiosity, all the what ifs, acting like a magnet that will attract you right back, almost naturally. Finished it now, chase him if it's necessary, put all the effort on the table, be bare, set aside your ego, talk to him, work it out and be fair. If you want him to fight for you, give him reasons to. Don't sit there in silence. I don't want you to get hurt but I would rather to see you burn now with all of your effort rather than I have to see you hurt again and again in the future in the instances when you are longing for him at its best, and the universe is playing with you over an accidental meeting at the pub after three drinks in, then you swayed with the memories of the past, you won't realize you are running into the same pit again; because we both know getting hurt is inevitable in this case. If that kind of night happens, you have the will and certainty to say no, I have tried and we'd better off without each other. Gather all the reasons why you have to let it go, validate them. There may be a slight chance with a little touch of good intention, you don't need to let go. Letting go is easier than stay and fight for it, especially when you have your ego up above everything. But if it means a lot for you, if it matters, go on and fight for it. It's okay. But if you have given it all, don't force it. Don't be a fool and hanging far too long because you may miss better chances out there that may have been right next to you all along. Know your limit, don't exceed. Remember that you have tried. Remember, it did not work out for a reason. It did not just happen because he likes Family Guy better than South Park, or because none of you willing to step back and take a good look at your relationship over stupid argument. Sometimes we are too spoiled with the options of letting go, we give it up far before we make it count.

So, I'm saving you from a sequel of heart break.

Don't let it go until your hand feels sore.

A piece by : Fiya Muiz

Summer Stories, Bartender Crush and Charlie

Lately, it has been very difficult for me to focus on one thing. I would jump from things to things right after I started it as if my attention span is a prism that refract the light. For instance, I have over nine drafts (and counting) that sits very still on my dashboard that I have not finished. Initially in the spirit of Summer, I tried to write about the Summer Stories that I imagined should have happened, and I developed this idea of writing the Frustration on Having a Crush on Bartenders, which then lastly, somehow ended up wanting to write about Charlie.

So, yes. Let's try to mashed up everything in one and start with the summer. They say summer is when Stories happen. The ones that someone would keep in their memory box and tell to their grand children ten years from now. Why summer? Maybe because of the sun and the long nights that enhance the beauty in everything. But as much as I would like to disagree and say stories do not depend on the temperature, I still found myself marching to the very one place that I believed where Stories would likely to happen: the Bar; because hey, let's admit that Story won't happen when you sit at home binge watching Orange is the New Black.

To be fair, I would go to the Bar anytime as long as I have time to spare, which summer allows me to have plenty of it. Things just happen there, does not matter when, but perhaps this time I had a little bit of extra hope that I would find Stories there. Thus, for a few nights in a row I brought back my old habit to observe the bartenders from a cozy diner-like booth less than a feet away from the bar. With frequent interactions that becomes a routine, I slowly remembered why I buried myself underneath piles of university works rather than spending few hours in the midst of intoxicated conversations.

Having a crush on a bartender takes a lot of courage. Courage to get a piece of your heart broken in every single kisses on the cheek and on-the-house shots with other customers — this kind of crush is best for those who enjoys competitive challenges with minimum amount of sensitivity. This is strictly dangerous for those Hopeless Romantic out there - although Hopeless Romantics are the easiest target to sweep their feet off the ground with the warm hugs and charming crooked smile. Courage to get your hopes high. Courage to behave slightly more aggressive to stay special, because boy you are swimming with plenty of other fish as this place is the sea that people refer to. Courage to feel something so beautiful yet momentary because they are on the fast lane to fall in love  they made it so easy to love them, I was perhaps in love every night with most of them at the same time. Almost equally, but in a different way. And what scares me the most is that I liked it.

This then reminds me of the way I loved Charlie, which was the complete opposite. I remember that I loved him deeply and exclusively, I did not even have the time, nor real interest, to show interest in any other parties. I came into that bar with the thought this was the ideal way (right way) to love someone. That it took more than a bottle of Desperados and ten minutes intense conversation over a cigarette. But then again, if we think about it, is there such a thing as falling the right, or better, way? Because at the end of the day we all are aware that it will hurt the same way, either way.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz