6 p.m. over wine and Jean-Paul Sartre

I had a resolution once. That I would not drink this year to earn the body weight that I desired to be. I failed terribly in Changkat Street. It was a bright melancholic night in May with new friends whom after 5 glasses got so deep and consumed with life that we, somehow, have befriended ever since.

I bathed that night, 2 a.m., the hotel was in dim lit. The three of us were a bit drunk, they went straight to bed. I prepared myself a hot bath and stayed there soaking wet with jasmine bubble and gazillion thoughts on things we talked about a little late after dinner. I bathed for 2 hours and got up after feeling like there were no point on staying there a bit longer. I went straight to bed.

I promised myself that this was the last time I drink.

We were so tired of looking for people on his list. I did not have a list of people I wanted to meet. To be blunt, I left the office early that day just to follow my impulsivity. To see him, to only be with him. Nothing else mattered that day I was dressed in black as I always had. When I got off the station, there was massive crowd pulled over to the same direction to get out. There was a graduation. People were faking happiness and cheered over the end of college life as if it was the great end of the whole journey.

He carried flowers with name tags and beautiful wishes in Holland’s language. His ex girlfriend is living in Holland. Once in while he would go drunk and called out her name and all memories of hers rushed in like the sea. I was always amused by how he loves and adores her. He had one flower left on his hands. It was dusk and we were tired. He handed over the flower and said, “this is intended to you.” Liar, I thought.

I could not accept happiness. Not in this form, not from him. To me, sadness has deeper meaning than flowers.

I am a stoic.

We found ourself rushing for the earliest train departing to Jakarta to get there before 8 p.m. We were late. The museum was closed already. “Let’s just go,” he said.

So on we walked along with both of us mumbling about things we wanted to do like I said I wanted to climb a mountain while regretting that we walked. His sarcasm went like, “would you tell me how to climb a mountain when walking in a pathway bothers you?” I laughed.

We were late again to see the grand monument at night. They were closing at 10 p.m. So on we went again to a dim pub behind a building near my office. His parents used to bring him there he said but It got renovated then they just never went there again.

That night was the second time I drink this year. With him and his concerns about work and eyes looking straight at me and said, “I know what I want to do for the rest of my life.” That night, all unanswered questions about why Roark had been there all along failed to stand. For him just to be himself, for me was enough. That I do not need anyone to sweet talk when I fall, or to be an impostor of one kind. Roark was Roark. I objectively admired the way he thinks and lives in this world. Even though he once said that things for him were in grey hues, to me, looking at his point of view, everything is either black or white. Nothing, to him, stands in between.

I compromised my resolution to the mind of people I can stand when they are sober. I do not mind to drink with people whose mind is as caliber as those of Ayn Rand’s and Sartre’s.

6 p.m. and the sky turned pitch black. I entered a wine cellar with such great collection of wine from all over the world. She waited me in the corner of the room. I brought her cambodian silk and a coconut bowl. She screamed to the coconut bowl while I chose the cheapest bottle. She is living a double life she said. That in weekend like this she is Sartre, to exist from nothing to nothing, with no end and no beginning. In weekdays, she is an investment banker. Fucking hard. I told her that I was in peace. The night was young and the bottle was half empty.

If my view of the world is evolving to be objectivism, hers is existentialism with admiration towards Ayn Rand. She believes in Sartre. “Once I was in coffeeshop and I was detached to the whole world and thought ‘there is a flesh in front of me with brain and eloquent bullshit coming out to the thin air’. I often detached from the world I live in and questioning more things. It is hard to absorb the monstrosity of the war I am having; a battle between my ideals and the reality that I am living.” I asked if she was tired. Indeed, she said, she was hell tired.

Sartre is a french philosopher whose books such as Nausea and Being and Nothingness are amongst the most brilliant literature in philosophy. He developed the existentialism which focus on what the existence of human means rather that to understand  the world itself. Sartre being Sartre, turned down a Nobel Prize in literature on his works.

You see, the world is not Ayn Rand’s extreme views of dystopian world. We are living in reality which somehow true laissez faire is not applicable, that government’s intervention in some sorts are needed to create order and balance out the economy. That if I am as extreme as the views I am carrying, I would not have pity to the Uber driver who just sold everything he had because the economy slowed down. He said the demand was off chart, no one came in again to the shop while he was expecting a baby. If I carry true laissez faire, I would and should not have the thought of pity toward his condition.

A little late after dinner again, over Sartre and over good friends, I weighted my resolution less important than the time we had. Sometimes I thought about how lucky I am to know such people like Roark, my family, and some people in my life whose ideals are like the Monet’s; a big beautiful mess.


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