Raining Romance

Gloomy January with its dark cloudy skies and constant downpours made me retreated into my comfy bed, entertaining myself with a bunch of blankets, pillows, cups and cups of hot chocolate and a stack of DVDs. These are some of the movies I would put under my movie selection post this month. I’d call it Raining Romance.

1. Two Lovers

Two Lovers

After hailing this movie as one of my all-time favorite, I found out later on that it was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s short story White Nights. And I said to myself, oh, no wonder. It’s a lonely story about Leonard, a guy with a suicidal tendency who falls for his neighbor, Michelle. Everything about this movie is lonely. From the gloomy opening act to the photographs Leonard are taking, the scene at the club where Leonard goes out dancing with Michelle and her friends. I love it when Sandra, a daughter of a family friend, comes along to Leonard’s life. I love it when Michelle’s boyfriend, who happens to be someone else’s husband, talks to Leonard at a restaurant. I adore the twists and turns a little bit too much.

2. Restless

Restless

I love Gus van Sant. I love reading his interviews. I love books and movies with misfit characters. I guess those are enough reasons for me to love this movie. It’s about a teenage boy, Enoch, who loves going to strangers’ funerals and befriends Hiroshi, a dead Japanese kamikaze pilot from World War II. On one of the funerals, Enoch meets a curious girl, Annabel. Like, seriously, aren’t you going to be intrigued just by knowing these snippets? The movie is visually stunning; and I love every small details of Enoch and Annabel’s lives: the things they do, the things they wear, the things they talk about. And you can read Hiroshi’s love letter here.

3. Bright Star

Bright Star

It’s a beautiful movie and beautiful love story between the poet John Keats and his “girl-next-door” Fanny Brawne. And I love this movie so much because I love letters. Hand-written letters. Hand-written love letters, to be exact. And I am in love with John Keats. And Fanny Brawne’s cat. I am in love with the two of them. I love the recited poems during the movie and the scenes where John and Fanny walked and kissed in the woods. I can relate to Fanny. I can relate to Keats. I want that red sealing wax for my letters. I can’t stop indulging myself to read the selected love letters written by John to Fanny here.

4. Adam

Adam

Beth moved in to a new apartment building where she met Adam, her ‘strange‘ neighbor. It is a very grounded yet beautiful movie about loving someone; and whether there are boundaries or limitations in doing so. I love all the small details in the movie: the raccoons, tea, the cleaning of the window, the theatre, those talks about stars and galaxies… and I love Adam, too!

5. Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

Jesse and Celine met for the first time on a Eurail train and decided to get off in Vienna and spend one day together. I love the quotes from the movie, the premise of being young and stupid and carefree, the artsy shots around Vienna, the fortune teller, the street poet, the bartender, the cemetery… I’d like to go to Vienna and do my Before Sunrise tour. There’s a sequel to this movie, Before Sunset, but if I have to choose, Before Sunrise is a lot better, and stronger.

6. Like Crazy

Like Crazy

Jacob and Anna need to struggle with their long-distance relationship that spans between US and UK. But as it turns out, maybe it’s not really about the long-distance relationship at the first place. Maybe it’s just about the relationship itself. I love the fact that the movie feels real, instead of just plain romantic or pretty. I love the characters’ mean words as they are fighting with each other. I love the silly thoughts Anna has. I love the matter-of-factly way of Jacob. I like it because this is what happens in real life. Sometimes, love sucks.

I Won’t Give Up on Us.

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 6.29.27 PM

It was 4 AM when you found yourself awoken to the sound of thunder and the pouring rain outside. You pulled your blanket closer, tighter; the dark clouds were looming over your bed as you fixed your gaze onto the white-painted ceiling. You scratched the back of your right leg with your left toes and you remembered the days when things were not as silent: when there were other sounds but rain and emptiness. That breezy summer-like desire that was so intense you could feel its passion over the distance. You grazed your fingers following the floral pattern of the unused pillow next to you–listening to the zip zip zip sound as your nails traced the lonely lines. It was so darn cold, so you turned to your left, reaching for the aircon’s remote control only to notice that you didn’t turned it on last night. You closed your eyes again but the weight of your feelings made you decided to tiptoe to the kitchen for a cup of hot chocolate instead. In the dark, you fell for the faint hum of the refrigerator which you found comforting for some reason, and you sat there on the cold floor, resting your back against the warm refrigerator door, watching the raindrops fell into the little stone-garden next to the kitchen. As you sipped the hot chocolate from the small red mug, you realized that all you wanted was just to show how much affection you had inside of you; but it wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be, not now, not after what had happened. Something was welling up inside of you as you came to this point: you wanted to let things go, but you realized that you were not ready. You were not ready to give up. You had given up many times, but this time, you didn’t want to be that someone who walked away too easily. You wanted to know how it would feel to stay when you were being pushed away. You wanted to be loved for who you are, not what you can be. You should have said them all a long time ago instead of holding things back. You were thinking where you would be at the moment if only you had. Nothing seemed to be going right. There were too many misunderstandings that all you could do was laughed it all off even though you blamed yourself for the fact that they kept happening. You watched the shadows on the wall, the way they stood there in the border between existence and non-existence, and you tried to understand which was real and which was not. But it was too complicated at times. The only thing you wanted was for things to be okay; but they were not and you just had to deal with it. It was just too much and too overwhelming for you to handle. But no, you would not break down and cry. Not this time. So you chased away your tears and shut down your mind, and for a moment, there was silence all over, as if everything stopped moving for a while; but then your heart started singing. It sounded like Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up, and you hummed along until the call for morning prayers broke in the gloomy sky.

I won’t give up on us / Even if the skies get rough / I’m giving you all my love  / I’m still looking up / And when you’re needing your space / To do some navigating / I’ll be here patiently waiting / To see what you find… [I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz]

Membalas Surat Cinta dari B.

#30HariMenulisSuratCinta

Dear B,

Ini pertama kalinya saya menulis surat cinta untuk seseorang yang tidak belum saya kenal. Jadi, sesungguhnya saya tidak tahu persis apa yang harus saya tulis :”) Tetapi, satu hal yang pasti, sungguh mengejutkan menerima suratmu kemarin. Mungkin kamu tidak tahu ini, tetapi kemarin adalah hari yang panjang dan melelahkan untuk saya. Ketika saya memutuskan rehat sejenak, saya menemukan suratmu. Seperti sesuatu yang diantarkan secara khusus sesuai dengan suasana hati saya ketika itu. It made me feel so happy and touched! Jadi, terima kasih, B 🙂

Dulu sekali, saya pernah menyukai seseorang yang namanya sama denganmu. Menerima suratmu membuat saya teringat dirinya, dan aneh rasanya, melihat bagaimana perasaanmu berubah mengikuti kedewasaanmu: bahwa hal-hal yang dulu kamu anggap penting kini menjadi tidak penting, dan hal-hal yang dulu kamu anggap tidak penting kini menjadi penting. Saya pernah bilang, B, bahwa orang yang kamu sukai menunjukkan tahap kedewasaanmu dan apa-apa yang kamu inginkan dalam hidup pada saat itu. B, siapa yang sedang kamu sukai saat ini? Apa yang bisa kamu katakan tentang hal-hal yang kamu inginkan dalam hidup ini ketika kamu bercermin terhadap dirinya?

Saya baru saja melalui satu lagi proses ‘menyukai’ seseorang itu, B. Dan, ketika kamu menulis 30 surat cinta ini, saya telah menulis 30 surat (cinta) untuk lelaki itu. Semuanya ditulis tangan dan dikemas dalam amplop-amplop berwarna kuning pucat. Belakangan, saya mengerti. Mungkin alam bawah sadar saya sesungguhnya telah memberikan semacam peringatan dengan memilih amplop-amplop itu—yang warnanya serupa mawar atau anyelir kuning. Dalam bahasa bunga era Victoria, mawar kuning berarti friendship, jealousy, infidelity, apology, a broken heart, intense emotion, dying love, and extreme betrayal. Dan persis seperti itulah yang saya alami, B. (I know, twisted, right?) Dan anyelir kuning menutup semuanya dengan singkat, padat, dan jelas: you have disappointed me.

Saya sedang berada pada tahap di mana saya hanya ingin mengalami, B. Mengalami sebanyak-banyaknya. Jatuh cinta. Patah hati. Tertawa. Menangis. Berpelukan. Bertengkar hebat. Saya sedang ingin hidup sehidup-hidupnya, merasakan semua emosi itu bergejolak dalam diri saya. Saya sedang ingin mereguk semuanya tanpa banyak berpikir, tanpa banyak pertimbangan, tanpa banyak pertanyaan. Saat ini, itulah yang sedang saya inginkan dalam hidup ini, B.

I just want to feel. And maybe, it doesn’t really matter what I feel. At this stage, it’s nice to know that I can still feel something. Anything. It’s been quite some time. Senang rasanya mengetahui bahwa saya tidak lagi kebas.

Dan kamu adalah salah satu bagian dari merasa itu, B. Ya, kemarin. When I felt happy and touched with the letter you sent me. It felt like holding a cup of hot chocolate; a very nice feeling, indeed.

Sekali lagi, terima kasih, ya, B :’)

—Hanny

When I Called You Handsome.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to a pair of wonderful eyes that you have: not because they are light brown or protected by such gorgeous eyelashes or stuff like that, but because whenever they looked at me, gently, I could see my reflections there; smiling back at me, and it made me feel so loved.

Beradadisini

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your nose: sometimes, it brushed my cheek when you were about to bury your face on my neck late in the evening, after a tiring day–and it made me feel so comfortable, knowing that you were near.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your shoulders: not because they are broad or whatever, but because you would bring my head to your left shoulder when we talked, so I could just lie there comfortably and sniff the familiar smell of your perfume. It made me feel so warm—listening to you, having someone to share my fears and dreams with.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your chest: not because it’s wide and muscular, but because when I got sad or angry, you would hug me tight and I would find my face—damped with tears, resting on your chest, sobbing there until your shirt got wet, until I was able to breathe again. It made me feel like… around you, I was allowed to be sad. That it was alright to be sad every once in a while.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your lips: they kissed me silently on the bus when nobody was looking, they voiced some intellectually-stimulating topics we could argue upon, they read the hand-written poems you scribbled for me out loud, they uttered stupid jokes that made me laugh, and they said simple things like thank-you or you’re-amazing; or other sweet things so casually in front of your friends, as if I wasn’t there. It made me feel like the happiest girl on earth.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your hands: when you held mine in yours as we walked, when you brushed my hair or my cheek mindlessly as you typed on your laptop or made a phone call, when you grabbed my waist and lifted me up a few centimeters above the ground as we danced. Those were the times when you made me feel tall.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your feet: not because they are strong and athletic, but because they had walked miles and miles away to find me, and walked towards me again, and again, and again. Those were the times when I felt wanted, when I felt like this time, someone was actually making an effort.

When I called you handsome, I was actually seeing something beyond the way you look. I was referring to your back: because I had spent so many times staring at it as you slept, grazed my fingers along your spine to convince myself that you were real, and even at the time it turned away from me and disappeared under the drizzle one day as you bade farewell, it left traces of memories from the days I cherished, and it made me feel blessed for once in my life, I had known someone like you.

Twenty-nine.

Owlish Birthday

Seven months and a week after my 29th birthday, I turned 29. It happened yesterday. A Sunday. I was sitting at the dining table with a bag full of chocolate, a great book on love and heartbreak and poets and writers, stacks of hand-written drafts, and a cup of hot tea. I could see the raindrops from where I sat and sniffed the comforting smell of wet soil that was wafting in the air. And suddenly, it felt like whatever I had experienced in life started to make sense.

Maybe we don’t have to understand everything (that can be really frustrating at times). All we need to do is to believe that time is indeed a good friend. Time will tell us what each missing pieces in our lives means—when we are ready to learn another lesson, when we are ready to move on, when we are ready to know the truth (because you can’t change the truth, but the truth can change you, so they say).

And just like that, I turned 29.
And I am still here: counting my blessings; and feeling solemnly content.