Tag Archives: book

Call me by your name – exploring myself

Hmmm… Hmm.. Peaches..

I chuckled as I thought of the word, the fruit that I’ve never tasted, the experience that I’ll never have. Yet, I chuckled, not of the absurdity, but of envy.

I don’t envy the pain. But I envy you the pain.

Has it started out of the curiosity? started with the movie, the intentions were so subtle, especially of Oliver’s. The famous, everyone loved, Oliver. What did he want. Why did he want it when he could have everything. But not the love of another man?

Anger was what I felt after the movie. More than curiosity. I was angry with Elio. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Would Elio’s pain worse by not knowing that Oliver would love him back? Would hating Oliver been better than to have lost him after the intense love affair?

Is it better to speak or to die?

I hated Oliver for being such a cold hearted bastard. What do you want? What do you want from Elio? Does Oliver really love him that much? Can’t you leave everything behind and be with Elio? Why would you lift him so high only to crush him to the ground? Maybe he chose slower death, for speaking would also mean death.

I moved to the book as soon as I finished the movie. I wanted answer to Oliver’s coldness. There has to be more than fear of people finding out. For love should be stronger than fear.

On my bed in the mid South Australian winter, it was ten degrees Celsius out but it was cold enough to be snugged up under my warm blanket in the middle of the day. Page by page I got hooked into Elio’s simple, plain, honest narrative. As he ushered me to his version of curiosity, I forgot about Oliver for a while and wonder around my own teenage memories or anytime I’ve felt attraction to someone. Where did it start, why did I like them.

It was late afternoon when I took a break. Oliver was still a stranger, Elio had grown into hate loving him. He hated his coldness, his “later!s”. He hated that he desired him while unsure why.

The next few days for me was hell. I was drowning in this melancholic, saudade. I searched myself for answers. Why did I feel this way? Why do I feel this way? What am I feeling? The longing for someone I desire who desires me back? I thought of people around me, the beautiful people I desire. Is any of them my Oliver?

As I lived through my days hiding this piece of emotion I was carrying, Sufjan Stevens songs fed my sorrow. His simple voice, so simple and beautiful. His was the music that I would play in the background when I read the book. His was what I listened when I write this piece of me down.

I yearned for free time to continue Elio’s story, which I don’t usually do with books. I read when I have absolutely nothing else to do. But I was willing to give up my dancing time and tv time to read this piece of work.

Continued on Elio’s struggle in acting on his desire, the movie was really close with the book, to the exact conversations they had. The one when Elio vaguely confessed his desire and Oliver weirdly understood. The one when Oliver touched Elio’s lips and kissed him. The exchange of notes and the midnight meeting.

What Oliver said after the first time they kissed was the only obvious clue for me on the struggle that Oliver was having. That brought me back to being curious about Oliver. Was he afraid of people finding out. Was he ashamed of what he desired. But he had kissed him. That was something to be ashamed of.

So far we’ve behaved. We’ve been good. Neither of us has done anything to feel ashamed of.

On the note, what does that even mean, grow up? Grow up and understand the world that they were in? Grow up because love between two men is wrong? Grow up and do what you wish. Talk to me if you want it. Touch me when you desire it.

Grow up, meet me at midnight

I loved that one detail in the book after they had made love for the first time. Elio was physically uncomfortable and emotionally disgusted by what they had done. Oliver was showering Elio with great love and caring while Elio was unsure if he would still desire him. Oliver was scared. Maybe scared of both being found having sex with another man and scared that Elio didn’t love him as much as he did. He went to the town later after breakfast and was so happy that Elio came to see him and shown that he didn’t hate him. And that was when I fell in love with Oliver.

From that moment on, I longed to read more about Oliver. Say something, Oliver. I wanted to know him more. I loved that scene when Elio found Oliver on the rock next to the sea. I loved Oliver’s relationship with Vimini. I loved it when Vimini was around talking about Oliver. I loved it when Oliver ate the peach.

It struck me that all I wanted was for someone to love me back.

One thing I didn’t like about this book or movie was that there was no much detail around the friendship between the two. There were summaries. Oliver loved Elio for his abundant knowledge of music and literature. While Elio seemed to have attracted to his coldness, fame and physique. There were many unwritten conversations between them on their routine next to the pool, swimming or jogging. Oliver was also a very intelligent man. But the lack of details made the story less plausible. Do they really love each other that much?

Even when they were in Rome, their relationship was not more than physical. However, I loved Elio’s interaction with other people in Rome. There were moments where Oliver was not in his mind. And just like that Elio was alone in a train station.

And that brings me to Elio’s conversation with his father. That was when I weeped on a Thursday night cozy in my couch. Out of the whole book, this was what touched me the most. I understood why I was weeping. I wasn’t sad because Elio lost the love of his live. It wasn’t because I felt lonely either. I weeped for I wished I’ve had someone like Elio’s father who would say those words to me. Words full of understanding, compassion and love. For he was not there to judge Elio, but to be there when he needs him. I was longing for someone to know my struggle in its purest honest form, without saying a single word.

Just remember: I am here. Right now you may not want to feel anything. Perhaps you never wished to feel anything. And perhaps it’s not with me that you’ll want to speak about these things. But feel something you did.

Feeling something, emotion, even the terrible ones, is what make life feels alive. For feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all. I enjoyed this week as I was filled with this unusual emotion. I am looking forward to finding more books like this. Something that make me wanna throw everything else away and be with the it. Or maybe someone.

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The Incomplete One

I am wishing that what I’m going to write now is going to be the truth of what is going to be created soon. If you’ve remembered that I’ve attempted to write a book called One Way Ticket to Mars. I have the idea, I have the start of the story, I have the end of the story, but I’ve never yet to figure out how to link the start to the end.

But if it were to be published one day, here will be the summary.

Julian knows what he wants. But not many people agree with his way of life. When he first saw the news about sending people on a mission to explore Mars, he applied straight away. But he then realised that getting accepted is the easier part of his journey.

The harder parts came after the acceptance letter. When he have to say goodbye to all the people close to him, being lectured and begged to stay, to walk the Earth for the last time, and counting the days that remains.

Yet, the hardest part is when someone right came into his life, someone he has been needing in his entire life. Will he change his mind? or will he go ahead and leave Earth for good?


Cellar Door

I actually get a post ready because I really wanted to write about something and thought that hopefully that can align with today’s daily prompt topic but unfortunately it doesn’t. So, I posted that earlier and if you are interested, you can check it out at https://pheliorandom.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/shredded-armor/.

So, what is the science behind attractiveness? what makes you choose a book, a song, a love partner or a blog to read? it all has to do with the attractiveness.

First of all, let’s start with the title. Some titles are easily attractive. Of course, attractiveness is a subjective matter, but there are things that people in general will like to know. For example, “Justin Bieber is undergoing  transgender operation”. See, human’s curiosity is the answer here.

Next, the relevancy of a subject. If the content is what I think it is, there is a higher chance of me reading it. The expectation matter. If the content is contradicting the title, I will definitely skip that. But the content is somehow attractive as well, why not? And that brings us to the next point, preferences.

I like drama, sci-fi, comedy and all kind of stuffs in between. I like a lot of things, actually. But I do have a “no-way” list as well. Horror is absolutely a “no-way” thing for me. These are preferences. So, if I pick up a book and it falls under my cup of tea, I will read it.

What’s next? you ask me? curiosity of course. And wanting for more because you are curious. Start with a question (figuratively) that the reader want to know the answer for. Dan Brown like to start with a murder, a mysterious murder with a mysterious artifact and setting by a mysterious murderer. He starts with, not just one, but a hundreds of questions. And that’s what I’m attracted for.

And what is “Cellar Door“? You should watch “Donnie Darco (2001)”. It’s not the only reference, but that’s the first reference for me. But as far as this post can tell you is that

Words are beautiful. Some more than the others.


Connection matter

The last book I read was “Angels & Demons” by Dan Brown. I read it because I’ve read “The Da Vinci Code” because I’ve also read “The Lost Symbol” which was awesome. I think I still prefer Da Vinci Code for its strong feminism (I’m not so sure if this is the right word to use) and I really like The Lost Symbol as well because it’s the first book I read with such an awesome mystery plot. But Angels & Demons is kind of mediocre and boring.

It’s probably because I’m so used to Dan’s way of writing or what. So, when reading Angles & Demons, I’m so keen of finding plot holes, illogicality and absurdity. But in the end, I do still enjoy the whole thing. So, I’m going to read his other 2 books plus the one new book “Inferno”.


There are things, but no book

My parents are both illiterate. Well, to be more accurate, my dad do know how to read and write in Chinese. But, we lived in Indonesia, which means that we will find more Indonesian books that my parents don’t know how to read more than the Chinese books.

I have 6 sisters. But only 3 of them received a formal education to some extends. Two of them (first and fifth) managed to get a Diploma and I remember that both of them read a lot of books. My eldest sister reads Indonesian Novels while my fifth elder reads Manga that has been translated to Indonesian. My other less fortunate sisters ended up being busy working or taking care of their own family. But explicitly my third elder sister, which didn’t receive any formal education at all but managed to pick up Chinese in her 20s, reads Chinese Novels a lot.

I, being the most fortunate of all, didn’t like to read at all. I hated novels, so I’ve never touched my eldest sister’s books. And it’s funny to think that I’ve never really read any novels in Indonesian language before though my First Language is supposed to be Indonesian.

So, to answer today’s daily prompt question, nobody read me any story when I was a kid and I wasn’t that keen of reading anyway. I only started reading, and surprisingly in English, 3 years ago. But I do remember browsing through my father collection of Chinese books about Chinese traditional medicines and practices where they have pictures of dots around the body with its name. It was damn boring so it doesn’t count as my favorite.


Please listen to me replaying my life

I don’t know why suddenly I want to be heard badly. I want people to know what’s happening in my life. I want people to know me. I want to share it here for two reasons; first, you don’t know me in real life, so I am not afraid of you coming to me face to face and judge me. And second, of the entire Internet, here is probably the only place that strangers like you guys read my posts (I’m assuming that you do read my posts, don’t you?).

I almost closed my twitter account last night because I don’t see any point of updating it anymore. I used to update my Facebook a lot. I update the world about what I do everyday from when I’m studying, to killing my laptop with a cup of water, to what I’m watching. Most people in my Facebook are my real friend, so it was lively and interactive. I felt connected. But at some point, I started to hate everybody and don’t really want to tell them anything anymore (the main reason is because my boss added me as his friend). So, I switched to twitter. I have 4 real friends in Twitter. One from another planet, another one from another another planet, third one doesn’t really active, and the forth one is my housemate, the rest are just those desperate twitter accounts that added you wishing that you will add them back. So, my tweets are kind of a broken radio, broadcasting to the world but nobody really listening. So, I decided to just stop updating it because closing the account is too big decision to make.

I finished the book “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I laughed, I cried, I thought, exactly like the author said it will be. And I want more of it. My new favorite book, apart from Dan Browns series and Harry Potter. In fact, I love every book that I’ve ever read (including the Bible).

DSC_1397Starting from tomorrow, I will be back to my hometown (Indonesia) for Chinese New Year holiday. It’s going to be a boring and long holiday. But I wish that I can finally force my parents to go for a trip to Brastagi and Parapat (where the Lake Toba is located). But, I’m still prepared for the worst, and the worst is that I have to stay home for 10 days, so I brought some new books including Angels and Demons and The Lord of The Rings trilogy (which I haven’t read yet). So, wish that it’s great holiday ahead.

I also bought a Rubik’s cube last few weeks and had been able to solve it and kind of addicted to it for a while. My next goal is to learn the advanced technique which you can solve the cube in less than a minute (currently I need at least 3 to 5 minutes).

That’s it for now. I’ll probably stop posting for a while (hometown Internet sucks like hell), but I’ll definitely will keep writing as long as people keep liking it. Happy Chinese New Year and 恭喜发财.


The previous versions of me

I was seated next to my little bookshelf when I read today’s daily prompt and the nearest book next to me happen to be the holy Bible that I’ve never been touching for almost a year.

Numbers 15:27 (NKJV)

27 ‘And if a person sins unintentionally, then he shall bring a female goat in its first year as a sin offering.

Well, this experience remind me of two things. The first is about why am I not a Christian anymore. I’m from a Taoism family. But I went to Christian school and study the bible since I was in the first grade. I was a believer and a server. And for my whole teenage life, I spend most of my time serving the Christian God.

I read the bible. I have few versions with me. I’ve done reading the Indonesian translation and moved on to read the New King James Version. The verse above is one of the reason why I stop believing. I realized that the Christian God is just like any other gods.

I’m a Chinese and my family practice the honoring to the deaths and gods or they will bring bad lucks. But I’ve never did because I thought those rituals are stupid and doesn’t make sense. But I believed in Christianity because I thought their God is a rational God. The one who only demands true love and doesn’t demand any symbolic rituals and sh*t. But it turned out that Yahweh is a demanding god like any other gods that I’ve ever known. He demands the Israelite to give sacrifices according to what kind of sins that they’ve done.

Reading the rules and all the rituals that Moses teach to the Israelite when they came out from slavery in Egypt makes me feels that those are exactly what other religions do during that time. If God is not changing, the Christians should still be practicing what God commanded in the entire book of Leviticus. And there will probably be a lot less Christians in the world.

Even now, the Christians still do rituals like the Communions and baptism which I never understand the needs of them even when I was a still Christian. As if you will not be accepted in Heaven if you’re not baptized or your sins are not really cleansed if you don’t take the communion.

The second thing that the bible reminds me about is that I need to clean my bookshelf. It’s awfully dirty and that’s probably the cause of all my sneezing and hard breathing.

Happy weekends.