Kittykat Honey

Proud people bring sorrow upon themselves

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It has been some years now. I do not think of you anymore, and only recently has removed every photo of you from my computer. Every once in a while, I would suddenly feel, what it has been like to hold you in my arms again – but that is not exactly thinking, nor is it even remembering. It is a physical sensation, an imprint of the past that has been left in my body, and I have no control over it. These moments come less often now, and for the most part it seems as though things have begun to change for me. I no longer wish to be dead. At the same time, it cannot be said, that I am glad to be alive. But at least, I do not resent it. I am alive and the stubbornness of this fact has little by little begins to fascinate me – as if I manage to outlive myself, as if I were somehow living a posthumous life. I do not sleep with the lamp on anymore, and for many months now I have not remembered any of my dreams.

I no longer accept any invitations and avoid most of my friends, all of whom profess themselves anxious to see me, perhaps they are, but I can anticipate the conversation, the avoidance of a certain subject. And I feel protective of their naïve kindness, far more protective of them, than of myself.

In any event, I am scarcely aware of hurt, only of shock. This has a curious effect on me. I become polite and humble, searching people’s faces for the assurance I can no longer find in myself. When I look in the mirror, I see that my expression is one of pleading. If I live at all, in these months, I live automatically, eating without hunger to combat fatigue, exercising in order to afford myself some vestige of healthy activity. There is one change: I sleep a lot. I become a sleeper of heroic duration and consistency. In the early evening, I think of my bed with longing but wait until suitable hour before I permit myself to pull off the coverlet with relief. During weekend, I camp inside my room permanently, sometimes spending time outside only to use up the time before I can decently go to bed. Sleep is what I most want and crave. It seems to be the only need I will ever have again. Sometimes before going to sleep, you will enter my mind even if your life has excluded me for an appreciable time which I accept, however regretfully. I tell myself over and over again that our parting is inevitable. I go through this reasoning every night. Then I enter sleep as others enter religion.

In time, I regard the whole tragedy objectively and is successful in dismissing it from my mind for a good part of every day. What remain of it is incorporated in my loneliness, the one contingent upon the other. Because of the part I played, I am condemned to go through the world uncomforted, and because I accept this the burden remain oddly manageable, so manageable that I think few people are aware of its existence, whereas to me it is a physical accompaniment, a doppelganger, and the price it exacts, or the one that I volunteer, is a form of celibacy, interrupt only briefly from time to time by a transitory impression of closeness which do not survive than a night or two.

I have no one. I am, despite my many friends, to all intents and purposes, unsupported, or rather deprived of primitive parental and siblings’ support that one craves in the time of loneliness. Even though it bothers me greatly, I feel sometimes my self-communing is so intense that it is an effort to spend many hours in company.

My past experiences now appear to me as one vast divagation, a series of inevitable mistakes. Or maybe these mistakes are there to stop me from repeating them in the future. But usually too little information is known at the outset, especially when other’s do one thinking for one. I have simply failed, as others no doubt fail, when the fledgling judgement proves inadequate to the trials one encounters.

Friday, April 22, 2011


I knew about love and its traps. How it starts well, how mistakes are made, how in moments of confidence or unbearable pain, things are said and never can be unsaid. How caution intervenes, and you behave like a polite friend, aching with the need to renounce that caution, if only to say intolerable things again. How those intolerable things, how cruelty comes into it. And terror. Suspicion. How you are bound by those rules of politeness, self-imposed, once again, never to seek out the vital information. How not knowing become worse than knowing. How your life becomes devoted to finding out. And how you find out. I knew all that. I never speak of it.

I wanted an end to shabbiness, to pretence, to anxiety, to dissembling. The last time, the time of which I never speak, had been so unendurable and also so baffling. I found myself rising, somehow, to expectations which I did not understand: grossness, cruelty, deceit. I had been humiliated, and had been enjoyed precisely because I was humiliated. It was all so different from what others had believed of me. I had managed, somehow, to live two lives. But in the end, it was the more respectable of those lives that I had inherited. I minded, of course. Oh yes, I minded. But at the same time, I know that whatever people say and whatever they put up with and whatever they get away with, love should be simple. And it is. It is.

And then you came along. You fell into my lap like a gift from God and you enlightened my otherwise uneventful days. Ever since I had known you, I was smiling all the time. When we were together, everything seemed right. I could go on with my days, doing things I did not want to do, seeing people I did not want to meet. You pleased me to no end and I thought I had it right this time around. And ohhh how you spoiled me. Maybe because I wanted to be spoilt, at the same time, in a same way, I suppose, that fortunate women are spoiled, or lucky ones. I wanted to be treated a bride, of course.

And the best thing was, I always knew when I would see you. You did not keep me waiting. You did not keep me wonder or speculate. This was so unlike the last time. I could only say that everything that had happened was miraculously reversed, and I embarked into this venture with full confidence. The worst thing that a man can do to a woman is to make her feel unimportant. You never did that. Finally, there were no images in my head. I did not write. I was happy.

But at the end, I know nothing about love. The only thing I know is I am losing you and I can feel my heart sinks at the thought of it. It seemed to me that I, rather than you, had brought this about, and my despair is extreme. Lately when I think of you, I tremble steadily, close to anger but not quite angry enough. I am tense with anxiety, with great sadness, for I doubt my ability to inspire love. If, as it seems, I have become so uninteresting so quickly, how can I put matters right at this late stage? I am not a powerful woman, able to bend others to my own will, nor am I particularly malleable, and therefore able to bend to the will of others. I could have been different, I think. Once I had great confidence, great cheerfulness. I did not question my purpose or the purpose of others. All that had gone, and I have done nothing to replace it. I have become diligent instead of spontaneous; I have become an observer when I see that I am not allowed to participate. I would do what is required of me - although I am by now so confused that I cannot quite decide who requires it.

Still, I miss you so very much. For now that I know I love you, it was your whole life that I love. And I would never know that life. Changes would no doubt take place, and I would never know what they are. And if I wish to please you, I must simply stay away. And your life…your life…would go on without me. And I would have no knowledge of it.

And yet, every single night, it is you by my side. I curl my body around you in my dreams. You are in my subconsciousness during the night and in my consciousness during the day. Even though you are stucked in my head now between the intersection of the imagined and the real, I know it is you I love and it is you I kiss...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Melayu - Usman Awang

Melayu itu orang yang bijaksana, nakalnya bersulam jenaka
Budi bahasanya tidak terkira, kurang ajarnya tetap santun
Jika menipu pun masih bersopan, bila mengampu bijak beralas tangan.

Melayu itu berani juka bersalah, kecut takut kerana benar
Janji simpan di perut, selalu pecah di mulut
Biar mati adat, jangan mati anak.

Melayu di tanah Semannjung luas maknanya:
Jawa itu Melayu, Bugis itu Melayu, Banjar juga disebut Melayu, Minangkabau memang Melayu, Keturunan Acheh adalah Melayu, Jakun dan Sakai asli Melayu, Arab dan Pakistani, semua Melayu, Mamak dan Malbari serap ke Melayu,
Malah mua'alaf bertakrif Melayu (setelah disunat anunya itu)

Dalam sejarahnya,
Melayu itu pengembara lautan, melorongkan jalur sejarah zaman,
Begitu luas daerah sempadan, sayangnya kini segala kehilangan.

Melayu itu kaya falsafahnya, kias kata bidal pusaka
Akar budi bersulamkan daya, gedung akal laut bicara.

Malangnya Melayu itu kuat bersorak, terlalu ghairah pesta temasya
Sedangkan kampung telah tergadai
Sawah sejalur tinggal sejengkal, tanah sebidang mudah terjual.

Meski telah memiliki telaga, tangan masih memegang tali
Sedang orang mencapai timba, berbuahlah pisang tiga kali,
Melayu itu masih bermimpi.

Walaupun sudah mengenal universiti, masih berdagang di rumah sendiri
Berkelahi cara Melayu:
Menikam dengan pantun, menyanggah dengan senyum
Marahnya dengan diam
Merendah bukan menyembah, meninggi bukan melonjak.

Watak Melayu menolak permusuhan, setia dan sabar tiada sempadan
Tapi jika marah tak nampak telinga, musuh dicari ke lubang cacing
Tak dapat tanduk telinga dijinjing
Maruah dan agama dihina jangan, hebat amuknya tak kenal lawan

Berdamai cara Melayu indah sekali, sillaturrahim hati yang murni
Maaf diungkap senantiasa bersahut,
Tangan diulur sentiasa bersambut, luka pun tidak lagi berparut

Baiknya hati Melayu itu tak terbandingkan, segala yang ada sanggup diberikan
Sehingga tercipta sebuah kiasan:
Dagang lalu nasi ditanakkan, suami pulang lapartak makan
Kera di hutan disusu-susukan, anal di pangkuan mati kebuluran.

Bagaimana Melayu abad dua puluh satu
Masihkah tunduk tersipu-sipu?
Jangan takut melanggar pantang, jika pantang menghalang kemajuan
Jangan segan menentang larangan, jika yakin kepada kebenaran
Jangan malu mengucapkan keyakinan, jika percaya kepada keadilan.

Jadilah bangsa yang bijaksana
Memgang tali memegang timba
Memiliki ekonomi mencipta budaya
Menjadi tuan di negara Merdeka.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I remembered the first time I laid my eyes on you, impossibly handsome, too good for me. I thought I had been granted my heart's desire, and was almost frightened. Now I realized that I had been frightened almost from the beginning, frightened of losing you, frightened of boring you, frightened of my own feeling, even of yours. Since knowing you a certain degree of fear was so natural to me that I no longer even noticed it.

You always stressed upon me that we could never be together because I would never understand you. I understood you but I kept my opinion to myself because I felt that even if I managed to open my mouth at the time, no sound would come out. True, at first look, you struck me as complicated, and whose complexities I had promised to study and to understand. But at the end, you appeared to be just a simple man. Your entire emotional life seemed to consist of an enthusiasm for other people, for faraway places, even for activities far removed from my own settled expectation. I understood you had a limited attention span. You always needed new people to break what you experienced as the monotony of the old. You were so used to living in complexities, difficulties, ambivalence. You would rather, I thought be intrigued by a woman than be disarmed by her. You told me many time, I was able to leave you speechless, I managed to strip you naked helplessly in front of your successes and failures. And because of that, you hated me and those moments of unavoidable truth-telling which occasionally passed between us. I understood that was what you feared the most because you felt you had forfeited or lost part of yourself in the process, as if it had made you vulnerable to criticism, to attack. I saw in you face many times whenever these moments prevailed on you. It was fretful, pained and resentful. You always said I was impossible. I made you life impossible. And every time you uttered it, the word stuck to me like a curse, like some pitiless condemnation of who and what I am. Yes, I was impossible and I understood you wanted someone who would cause you no anguish and did not challenge you. Yet at the same time, you wanted to hold her at arm's length. I understood you more than you imagined I was capable of.

It embarasses me now to look back on my passion. What I felt then could not be captured in words. I grew distracted, jumpy, absent-minded. It was clear to everyone that of the two of us, I was likely to love the more. But you were charming to me. You treated me good. Superficially all went well. Whenever I was with you, the world seemed brighter and more welcoming. I wanted to have you within my sight at all times. I would be perfectly content if you were never apart from me for a single minute. And whenever you were away, the unavoidable separation caused me a measure of pain, increasing my longing for you, and I would spend my days in thrall of breathless anticipation, agitated and alert, counting the hours until I could see and talk to you again.

And my fault was precisely this. That I would seek to prolong our moments of closeness when I could sense that you were restless for me to leave so you can resume your single life. My mistake was to hold on to you longer than necessary, when the correct stance would have to been a certain detachment, an irony as if to imply you would have to love me to a much higher standard to convince me that I had to take you seriously. I should have found such a tactic odious, but now I see it sometimes necessary to meet withdrawal with withdrawal, dismissal with dismissal. But then again, I do not believe in this tactic because it would run counter to my instinct, which is not those of an aggresor.

It is sad that I had never known you well because I had been infatuated by you and had therefore never seen you as a friend. As a lover I had to beguile and delay, distract and disarm your fleeting attention to me. I endured so many infidelities, so many lies, so many empty promises because I thought in term of paying the price for your love and that was how much I loved and still love you even now. But love of this caliber is not easy to sustain, largely because it is unrealistic, and in a sense inauthentic. Love is not the awesome prize I once thought it was but a much more daily commodity, penny plain rather than tuppence colored.

But I guess I am talking out of broken-heartedness, suffering mightily because I still yearn for you, much as one yearns for a lost of opportunity. I wanted to start again because I reached that dangerous state in which I could see every fault I had committed, and I desired an enormous confrontation so that I could cancel it all and begin again. But then again, this is of course impossible. Inevitably my false reading of your commitment to me is wrongly supplemented by my false reading on the part of my own commitment to you. There is in fact no way back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Regard a moi

Once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And, in a way that bends time, so long as it is remembered, it will indicate the future. It is wiser, in every circumstance, to forget, to cultivate that art of forgetting. To remember is to face the enemy. The truth lies in remembering.

I write to forget. That is why I write. Writing is an exile's main occupation. When I feel swamped and depressed in my solitude and hidden by it, physically obscured by it, rendered invisible, writing is my way of piping up. Of reminding people that I am here. So I could forget the hardship of living and removed all the sadness that I feel for awhile. I can switch on a current that allows me to write so easily, with an aim to make people laugh, ponder and think. And people like that. And if I manage this well enough, they will fail to register my real message, which is a simple one. Look at me, look at me. That is why I try to use subterfuge and guile, and a bit of luck and good management my message will never be deciphered, and my reasons for delivering it in the manner that follows remain obscure.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mots de sagesse

A complete woman was probably not a very admirable creature. She was manipulative, used other people to get her own way, and worked within whatever system she was in. Good women always think it was their fault when someone else was being offensive. Bad women never took the blame for anything. They were totally unreasonable, totally unfair, very demanding and very beautiful. I believed all good fortune was a gift of the gods, and you did not win the favor of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold. The world began to look promising once you decided to have it all for yourself. And how much healthier your decisions were once they became entirely selfish.

Letter to a friend

Mon cher ami, ever since I had known you, I felt strong, I felt energetic, I felt young. I thanked you for delivering me from the dread which possessed me for as long as I could remember. I breathed more deeply, slept more soundly, ate more heartily, freed from this weight. In return, I told you everything, for you loved to hear me. And I came to know how to make you laugh, it was an amusement and a diversion for you to hear me rattled on. I felt there was not enough time to show you the many facets of myself. We talked about all subjects under the sun. We discussed the merits, the pro and cons of western or Islamic civilizations, Darwinism, Bush administration and even the Taliban. We reflected upon our relationship and the fate that brought us together. My attitudes in general seemed to have undergone a change for the better, making me less sharp, more receptive. I felt myself sliding deliciously downwards into a miasma of kindliness. I found amusement in my daily routine, genuinely fascinated in human banality and oddness. I thought we were making progress towards a new kind of friendship. Yet now we barely talked, we became strangers to each other. We had become so civilized, so controlled, so expert in our concealment that we did not allow to reveal anything about ourselves and each other anymore. After so long, after so many transparent years, we had grown opaque to each other. I was aware, for the first time, you were an emotionally barren phenomenon, an unexpected visitor to my own life. You had stay true to your nature which I secretly admired and envied. With all the sharing and openness, you were still locked up securely in your own private world, allowing me no access. You had the ability to stagger on through a life exaggeratedly devoid of normal happiness, destined to be alone. The world had grown colder since we went our separate ways. I had become shrewd and watchful, mistrusting others, paying less attention to their words than the words they were not voicing. I also became wary, fearful and disbelieving. It took me awhile but now I understood that our paths were not meant to cross but to stay parallel..