Archive for the ‘where arts collide’ Category

Border of sanity is never clear… normal is what people see in majority… the rest we call abnormal… but can we still stand by this rule so far till now…

The thing about darkness is that you can choose whether to be afraid or to be carefree. At first I was afraid, but now I just don’t care. It is immensely surprising how people can simply not care after few moments of fear, sadness, and sorrow. I shut everything down, I embrace the darkness, and somehow I found her.

Cecilia, are you there?

Yes Nick, I am here. I am always here.

I am feeling more than just grateful  when I kiss her and hug her in my arm.

Thanks God. I miss you so much. I miss kissing you and hugging you like this. I am tired of not having you around.

How you find me? I thought I will never see you again.

I don’t know. I just close my eyes. I feel myself falling so deep into this darkness and somehow I find you here. Oh, Cecil, you just don’t know how hard it is to not having you around.

Do you know where are we?

Let’s have a walk Nick, this place is too dark.

We walked out from a gate and enter a park that fills with light.

I almost forgot how pretty you are under the sun.

We have not met that long Nick. So please stop it. We are not together anymore.

I am sorry Cecil. I should have not divorced you. I love you. I don’t know why I make the call. All my reasons sound foolish now.

I am sorry too. I was a bitch. Oh, Nick, what life has done to us? Why we ever hated each other? You are perfect for me. Why we ended up like this? What have we done wrong? What have I done wrong?

It doesn’t matter anymore. Now we’re here and nothing can keep us apart anymore. I thought I will never see you again. And that feeling is just too hard for me to handle. I am on verge of my sanity when you’re not around. I realized how important you are to me, how I can’t hold myself together when I am not having you around.

But don’t you want to go back? What we have right now is not real, and I know that you know that. I cannot hold you here for long, nothing meant to be forever Nick. That is just the way it is. People need to learn how to let go in certain period of their life.

I don’t care. I DON’T CARE, Cecil. It’s real for me. And I want you. I want you here with me. I want nothing else. Isn’t that too much to ask for?

Oh, Nick. It actually is. There’s a reason why time is so precious.

Since nothing in the world can buy it or turn it back. I remember that is you’re favorite quote. But there’s should be something I can do. We can work this out right. We can still be together. There must be a way. When there’s a will there’s a way. You believe in that too right.

Yes, Nick. But not for now. Not for this time. Now come on, sit here. Sit next to me, let’s spend every seconds that we have now.

I kiss her lips, hug her in my arm as tight as I can. She is real in my arm. I feel her hands caressing my hair, what other proof that I need. She is real enough for me. Why does it need to matter now? I don’t see the reason to trust my logic. There are some things in life where logic do not play good parts, this is just one of them. I am in a logic free area, reasonable thoughts are no use here.

I suddenly feel pain all over my body. I feel my body move uncontrollably. I can feel myself convulsed. My body is jolting out in every movements possible. What happens to me?

CECILIA… I call her name out loud, but all I can see is darkness… Something is pulling me out.


This time it is different. You can just see it in his eyes. I have seen a lot of them but nothing was as staggering as him. This is ultimately unscientific, I know that for sure. But there are several things in life that you cannot neglect, no matter how impossible it seems to be, how abstract and unscientific it appears to be. Just like his eyes, the way he stares. You can see… life. It oozes out uncontrollably, enormously overwhelming. Just by seeing directly to his eyes, you will surely believe that nothing is wrong, everything is and will always be alright. But of course, that is not the case. It is just not normal, well, regardless where the line is being drawn at. He is smiling, he occasionally smiles. And if I don’t know what happens to him, I will assume that he is smiling at me. I wonder what happens in his mind. He seems so happy.

Now I need to prepare him. No matter how ruthless it may seem, but we’re already running out of choices. This thing needs to be done. If this doesn’t help then I don’t know what will.

Doctor, we’re ready.

I walk closer to the ECT machine. I press the button. His body convulsed hard due to electrical shock we have just gave him. He’s been catatonic since the first time he came to this asylum.He stoned like a statue. His vital signs were normal but he acted like a dead body. Senior doctor here diagnosed him with schizophrenia catatonic. He was transferred under my care ever since. He is unresponsive to any medications I gave him. I have tried everything I could. I always tried to use ECT as the last possible resource. It is so rare to find someone in such a young age being unresponsive to medications and it is even rarer that I left behind with ECT as the last resource possible to use.

We release him from the strap, untie his body from the bed. He blinks several times, he groans, and showing independent movements. He is awake. Oh dear, I feel so happy and so proud of myself. I finally able to wake him up. I know that I am good at my job. I am checking his vital signs. Everything seems to be quite normal.

Okay, let’s leave him to rest. I guess he will be fine now.

Wait… where am I?

Hi, Nicholas, my name is Doctor Sampson. You’re at the hospital. Please try to rest, I will talk to you soon.

He looked me in the eyes. Firm gaze, showing that he’s serious.

Please doctor, I beg you, don’t wake me up…


And that was it, the only time I saw him being responsive to people around him. The last time I managed to talk to him. He was again catatonic afterwards. He was again a dead body, with eyes full of life. Full of love. I want to talk to him. I want to know what he sees every time he smiled like that. Could it be Cecilia? I read his chart. He was just divorcing his wife, Cecilia, one month before admitted to this asylum. I found out a week ago from his family that Cecilia died in an accident at the same day he was brought here to this asylum. If it is indeed her that he sees right now. He just made a choice to live in his dream, and no matter how hard I try, I don’t think I will be able to wake him up…

Nick, if you can hear me? Is it Cecilia that you see?

He’s not responding, as always. I place my hand on his. He slowly moves his hand to hold mine. And somehow I know its a yes.

However, the system finally got into us. The senior doctor reviewed what I have been doing to him. He asked why I had not made any further progress after my last ECT. I was running out of words. I said I did not know what else I can do to him.

Another ECT.

I know he will say that. I just don’t want to do it. I know the ECT is effective. He was awake the last time. And so here we are, in the ECT room. The senior doctor was standing nearby the machine. I came to him once again and try to give him another idea about drug combination that might work.

You know that the ECT works. You know that drugs doesn’t work. What is actually you’re trying to do?

He did not want to be awaken.

Nadine, you’re a doctor. As doctors, we need to stand in our sanity to be able to help this people…

He press the button. His body is once again convulsed. He blinks, he shows response. But wait a minute, something is different. I see the chart, he is going into shock.

It is impossible, he should not have a shock. Adrenaline, vasopressine, bring them all here.

I see my senior doctor struggling his best. Sweat is coming out of his pores. I know he feels panic, he is the one who make the call at the first place. I am checking his vitals. I know we’re losing him. He’s struggling his best not to be awaken. And he probably just reached his goal this time.


This is ridiculous Andrew. Stop accusing me of cheating. I did nothing but being loyal to you all this years. And please stop already with your silence attitude. I am not a guinea pig which you can only observe in daily basis. I am a fucking living human being. Speak to me. For God sake, speak to me.

How was your breakfast Lisa?

Dry, plain, this hotel is just shit. All their foods are tasteless. Why we need to stay here anyway? Can we just check out tonight? We can spend the night somewhere else. It doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be anywhere, I don’t care. I’ll do anything that you want, even the craziest thing you can possibly imagine. I promise. I don’t need anything Andrew. I surely don’t. I just need you. But a tongue friendly food would not hurt, right? Would you at least do that for me? I am craving for caviar and a good white wine. And somehow they don’t serve that here. How dare they call themselves a hotel? Hotel is just a hut until they serve a decent bottle of wine. Isn’t that what you have always told me?

But I heard you enjoy the egg. It was fried but not scrambled, just like how you wanted.

Stop it Andrew. STOP IT. I am losing my patience. You cannot treat me this way anymore. You cannot torture me in a circle of agony. What else do you want from me? What I need to do to make you believe in me again? I miss you Andrew. I miss the old times. Those times when this bizarre coldness and distance we have now did not exist. Can we please put everything behind us? Can we just start new? I deserve that Andrew. YOU KNOW I DESERVE THAT. I did a lot for you. I sacrificed a lot for you.

Do you feel better today Lisa? I mean in general. The sun shines bright today. I hope the weather makes you feel better. You cried a lot the last time we met.

And it’s your fault. It’s all your fault. And what kind of question is that? And why mentioning weather all of a sudden? Don’t act Dutch on me right now. I am so not in the mood. And I am now angry. Really angry. You better explain to me now, why are you so persistent with this coldness mood around me. I can’t stand it. I really can’t stand it.

I heard you mentioned Jason in your sleep.

Oh so that’s the issue. Jason… again… I can’t believe it. I mean I know why that becomes our issue. But come on Andrew, I thought we already behind this. I am tired arguing about Jason. He is not between us, believe me.

You’re married to him. Ten years.

Yes. But you know that since the first time we met.  I told you all reasons why I can’t leave him, at least not in this mean time. I had told you everything since the first time I spent the night with you. And you say you are fine with that. Jason barely touched me. How many times I should tell you that? Yes we live under one roof. Yes we are still married. But I disgust him Andrew. I just know it from the way he stares at me. Since I lose our first daughter. Since I have that damn miscarriage. Damn Jason… I am just a garbage for him. But still, he doesn’t want to let me go. He tortured me. And you are my savior. You make me feel alive.

Lisa raises from her bench and hugs Andrew tight. She cries her heart out. She never cries that much in her life before. She loves him that much, there is simply no better reason to cry that much and smile at the same time. At least, that is what she believe.

Hold me tight Andrew. Tighter. Touch me. I miss being touched by you. Don’t go away from me. Don’t walk away like that coward Jason does to me. I beg you. Please. Pretty please. I’ll do anything. I promise. I am not kidding. I am yours. I love you so much Andrew. Don’t you love me, Andrew? Don’t you?

Yes, Lisa. I do. I miss you so much. So much till it hurts. I am sorry. So sorry for everything.

I will kill him Andrew. I will do that. I will prove how precious you are to me. I am willing to do that. I don’t care anymore. I want to be with you.

How long have you been thinking to kill him actually?

I don’t know. I think I have been thinking about it too much till I forgot when I did actually start. I hate him a lot Andrew. I hate him for a lot of reasons. I think there are just too many reasons, until I forgot which is actually initiate my thought of killing him. I want him dead now, and somehow the rest is just not matter anymore. It manifest as the utmost happiness ever in my life. You know, seeing him dead. Laying on the floor, drenching in blood. Begging for mercy. That son of a bitch deserves it, a slow painful death.

Don’t you remember your old times with him? You did ever love him right?

I guess I did. He used to be so sweet. He cooked my breakfast every morning. I am so not good with waking up early. You know that already. But I forgot other good things about him. I remember that I ever love him, but I forgot for what reason. I forgot the essence of it. The question why. Why I fall for him at the first place.

Did you always believe that you need no reason to fall in love?

Hahahahahaha…. don’t make me laugh Andrew. You need those reasons. Without reasons everything will be shaky, will be easy to erase. But I have all the reasons in the world to love you Andrew. You makes me feel alive, feel safe, and not to mention feel good. About everything, and about myself.

They hug. He kiss her forehead and hold her tighter. He wants time to freeze. He wish to hold her like this forever.

Excuse me, I am sorry to bother. But Ms. Randall needs to take his medication.

Oh, that is fine.

Nurse, please take Ms. Randall back inside.

It’s okay Lisa. We will meet again soon. I need to talk to him for a while. I still need to finish my work if you want us to go to a better hotel.

You promise Andrew?

Yes Lisa. I promise. You believe me, right?

The nurse slowly pulls Lisa from him. He stares at her with love, with every single pieces left in his heart.

So Mr. Randall, as you can see there has been no significant progress with your wife condition.

Please Doctor, call me Jason. Yes, regarding my wife, I can see that. But I believe that she will get better. Please let me know if I can help more. I can visit her more often.

I am sorry Mr. Randall, I mean Jason. But isn’t it hard for you that she sees you as Andrew instead of who you are? You are allowed to visit her less frequent. I can understand how everything is hard for you to handle.

Hm… I guess it is hard after all. My wife got crazy after accidentally killing her secret lover with my pistol when she intended to call me at the first place. But I don’t mind actually. My wife may call me with whatever name she wants, as long she feels happy with it. I owe her that much. And I also love her that much. No matter how stupid or crazy it may seems.

But why? Oh… I am sorry. I am being unprofessional.

No Doctor. I don’t mind. Probably I feel guilty more than I feel angry. Or probably I just don’t know how to be alone… but I know for sure that I don’t know how to leave her alone… Probably at this moment you are wondering… who’s crazy… To be honest, sometimes I think the answer is me…

Wave of Farewell

Posted: September 30, 2010 in where arts collide

I was in a classroom of Pharmacy Class… with my sleepy head trying to keep my eyes open, while listening to a lullaby voice and crunchy jokes of my dear lecturer… So I ended up writing a short poem on a peaceful farewell, which stated how both people accept that the separation was meant to happen.


Admit it to me that you shall see
That life is an adventurous highway to be
Maybe its us, maybe its we
Two people wander accross the sea

Tell me thousand of fairy stories
about thunder or cold snow breeze
exchanging love, yet exchanging kiss
those are things we surely will miss

here watching you standing, waving goodbye
from this moment on we swear not to cry.

Feel free to comment.
Thanks for reading

In a cup of Cappuccino

Posted: September 19, 2010 in where arts collide

My best friend Hendra from Indonesia ever taught me once about how to read people’s mind. He said the way people prepare their coffee would describe what is hanging in their mind. The theory seems silly and worthless, but I do not know why it still stuck there and never leave. Maybe in my deepest consciousness, I do believe it. It is definitely not the first time we witness truth wrapped in silly package, right? People did think Galileo crazy when he announced that earth is round, didn’t they?

I have opened a coffee café since 2 years ago. I adore coffee, well cappuccino actually. There is something unique inside its taste. I was introduced by it right before I decided to open this coffee café. I named it Bodenstein, a German name. Well it does feel weird since I open this café in Holland. History definitely does a great job on emphasizing this peculiarity.

Oh ja…, before I forget, my name is Jacques. My mother has certain admiration on France, which definitely will explain my name.

Back to the theory, Hendra may be proud of his theory if he sits here with me right now in this café. He certainly will be able to develop a descriptive study upon my customers to prove his theory. Yeah… if you know Hendra as good as I do, you will also definitely sure that he will be happy with it. He likes to read people. Well at least it positively better than reading thousand chapters of bio-psycho-molecular. That is my study majority by the way.


“Morgen Petra. How is life?” Petra was my first customer. Two years ago, it was a hard-rainy day. She came and ordered a cup of coffee. Afterwards she said that I made a great coffee and she promised that she will come by to my café at least once a day. She still keeps her promise till now. She is so trustable.

“It still morning, Jacques. Life is still too short to tell. I was not really sleeping well by the way.”

“I hope it is not because of my coffee.”

“Ah, I hope it is. Then at least I have someone to sue.”

“Seriously…,” I say impulsively.

Petra gives a simple slight smile, “Insomnia. That’s what it is.”

“Huh, thanks God then. Here is your coffee. One spoon of sugar like usual,” I say as I serve it on her table.

“I think I will need one more spoon of it. World does circle too fast around me today.”

“Busy huh?” I respond.

“I got examination this afternoon, discussion on my research proposal two hours from now, hectic job in the hospital in the evening and presentation to prepare for tomorrow. Well, no… I am not busy. It ever became worse.”

“Then, be my guess,” I serve a cup of sugar on her table. “Enjoy your coffee.”

“Thanks. You’re my savior, who keeps me awake every morning.” I smile and then go back to my spot, coffee-maker table.

The theory relies on sugar. It describes your state of life on certain moment. Briefly I can say that the more you put sugar in your coffee, the more miserable the life you have. So simple huh…??? Well you are definitely going to be really curios if I say that Hendra took almost 8 hours to describe his theory. Well, he did use broad perspective, sophisticated examples, and astonishing approach.

The girl in the corner is Noor. She asked for a pure black coffee, with nothing but coffee itself. She keeps on smiling every time she sips her coffee. I just know without even ask that her life is perfect. She needs no sugar to light her day. She has no complains. Life is so faultless in her eyes.

The guy near the door is Rob. He stares at his laptop continuously since two hours ago. His tired eyes like begging for a peaceful bed rest. He had ordered four glass of coffee. Each time he ordered, he put more sugar in his coffee. And now he is asking for more coffee.

“Here is your coffee.”

“Thank you,” he says as he put five spoons of sugar in his fifth coffee. Now instead of taking coffee with sugar, he had taken sugar with coffee. Not a fascinating way to start your day. Horrible it is.

“Hard day I suppose.”

He stares at me impulsively. “Sorry, yes Jacques. I am pretty tired now.”

“Well maybe you need several hours of sleep, Rob.”

“Sleep? Oh… not now. Got to finish this report first.”

“Should I serve you some bread? You have not had your breakfast right?”

“Yes, that will be nice.”

Rob has just finished his study. We were in the same faculty. Now he is doing his internship in one of the finest laboratory in Netherlands. He is so lucky since his supervisor asked him to join his experiments. Yes, not only one single experiment but several of them. It is definitely a success breakthrough for a fresh graduate. Success that cost you your sleep time.

Oh dear… what a word it is… success. A word that being run after by billions of people in this world. Some rely on money, on their mind, and some only on their sweat. Success… what a delicate word to describe happiness, since people often forgets what relies behind it. Yes, we call it… sacrifice.

“Morning, what would you like to order?”

“Hi, I am Paulien. I am new in this city.” She nicely smiles and offers me a hand-shake.

“Nice to meet you, I am Jacques,” I answer as I shake her hand.

“Would you like a coffee, latte or cappuccino?”

“Hm… do you serve tea?”

“Well yes I am. Would you like green tea, fruit tea, British tea or…”

She cut my sentence and say, “Any tea will be fine. Please choose me one best tea to start my day.”

Nice customer I think. I only had few customers that like to order tea. Hendra said there are only two possibilities when someone orders tea. One is absolutely obsessed with health or has a philosophic reason for background. Tea is light, not like coffee. She probably had a light life or vice-versa; she tried to walk on her tough life lightly. She rejects my offer for sugar. I think it defines her characteristic as a tea lover. She is simply happy enough without sugar.

The girl in the center table is Babs. We are friend, best friend. She ordered two appleflaps about half an hour ago, without drink. She ate them slowly as she read her new-bought novel, The Atonement. Now she walks towards me, smiles and sits in front of me.

“Would you like something to drink, Babs?”

“Only if you drink with me.”

“Oh… you know I am working.”

“Well, the café is pretty quite this morning.”

“Yeah, but…”

A girl is rushing suddenly to my coffee-maker table. “Sorry I am late. I got to drive my boyfriend to the airport this morning.”

“It’s OK Aimee.” She is Aimee, one of my staff. My café is pretty success since I already had 15 staff that work based on shift 7 days a week.

“Well thanks then. Oh hi Babs. Long time no see. How are you?”

“Me? I am fine. How about you?”

“Well, Jacques is less grumpy lately, so I guess my life is fine.”

“I am here Aimee,” I respond.

“Hei…, don’t start being grumpy. I just gave you my complement,” she replies with a smile. “Well, as my apologize why don’t you sit together while I serve you both.”

“Well, thanks Aimee. I have asked Jacques to do that but he kept on searching for excuses,” says Babs.

“That’s my pleasure. In fact I can force Jacques later to pay me an extra tip for caught him of duties in café,” answers Aimee.

“I am here Aimee. Stop acting like I am somewhere in the outer-space.”

“I am just kidding Jacques, and stop being grumpy. So, what you both like to have?”

“Two cappuccinos please,” says Babs as she fixate her gaze deep on me.

“I am on my way,” says Aimee as she rushing to serve our cappuccino.

Cappuccino is served few minutes later. We spent some time gazing on each other. Babs sips her cappuccino as she start talking.

“How is life?”


“Cappuccino… I actually hate it, you know that. This drink is only meant for complicated people.”

“Yes, I know.”

That is what also Hendra ever said to me. Cappuccino is a complex drink. It has a thicker suspension than coffee, because of its milk. Cappuccino lover used to stare life in an intricate perspective. Their way of thought is unusual. They often rely on heart. They may move as fluid as coffee or just stagnant as milk. Hendra said it is fascinating to read the mind of Cappuccino lover. Their composite mind and thorny thoughts are their peace and comfort. And those reasons are also Hendra’s reasons why he likes to chat with me.

“Amelie… your mind is still fixated on her?”

“Always, she is the one who introduced me to cappuccino.”

“Yes, she is a nice a girl. But you need to change. You need to move on. I hate to see you stay in despair.”

“I am not Babs. I am OK. I like the way I live now.”

“What life? How? Taking time off in your study and build a café? No more hanging out with friends? Even with me, your best friend?”

“I need some time to relax.”

“It is almost a year Jacques. You have turned into someone I had never known. Please… bring me back my old Jacques. My best friend, Jacques.”

“I can’t turn back time Babs. I just can’t.”

There is silence between us for a few moments. Babs put two spoons on sugar in her cappuccino. I am not. I never use sugar in my cappuccino.

“The cappuccino definitely had penetrated your brain. Maybe you should stop drinking this.”

I give her a small delicate smile. “Like I said before Babs, I simply cannot turn back the time. And I will never ask for that even once.”

“You got me tired Jacques.” She pissed of as she put more sugar in her cappuccino. “Huh…, now I ruin my cappuccino. It’s too sweet. Well, I have to leave anyway. Bye.”

“Thanks for coming.”

Babs is hurrying to leave but I catch her hand to hold her attention. “I am OK Babs. I will always be OK, don’t worry about me.”

“I can’t Jacques. I can’t. I am your friend.” Then Babs releasing her hand and leave.

I sit there still gazing in my cappuccino. As you can see, Hendra’s theory is not working on me. Well, Hendra did half drunk when he told me this theory. So it is logical if his theory is not a complete truism. It did have errors just like his consciousness at that moment I guess.

Amelie died one year ago because of an accident, car accident. She drives too fast at night from Amsterdam on her way to see me. It is so ironic since incidence level of car accident in Holland is pretty low. It is even more ironic with Amelie, my true love, my fiancé as its victim. However still… how miserable I feel nowadays, I never put sugar on my cappuccino. I think I never will. It is just faultless the way it is.

Like Amelie ever told me, Life is like a cup of cappuccino. Its bitter, its sweet, its perfect.