I moved back to my rental room. Somewhere in an area where the workers from the mall reside. It is always really nice to be the part of them again even though I am not working in the mall anymore.
This year I only got some saving, not very much. I am afraid I would not be able to do that thing that I did back in 2018 which was quitting all jobs and just spent time in the rental room writing and reading. I know people might be curious on what I am doing, especially people who don’t really know what writing is and what comes out of it, (and only recently that my mother finally understands, perhaps giving up), but, I insist to do this. I decided that I want to spend the half year of 2019 writing again.
With the saving that left in the bank account, I will be able to live simply by 3$ a day for the meal, and some extra stuff like internet and toiletries for the whole six months. I don’t own a motorcycle anymore, so I don’t have to worry about gas. I am thinking about buying a bike for my birthday present next month, though. With rent being paid up front, I think I will succeed to do this. Well, this is not London or Germany, it is Karawaci, Tangerang. And for me, it is same-same, I am going to treat this as another writing residency program.
I don’t have gigantic project, but just to finish the novel that I am writing, which is the sequel to Not A Virgin. I hope I will be able to do that within the planned period.
Oh, my rent is not a really a hoity toity crib, just a room with a small bathroom. I don’t even have AC or a fan. Not that I am complaining. But it reminds me of Jerry C, a reader from the States that I met in Yogyakarta last year. He invited me over for dinner to talk about the book that I am writing and art in general (which I don’t really understand).
Well he said, “This is the very first time I met a real writer, that the book I read,” he was smiling, and he’s old. And he said again: “I can’t believe… you design your own book cover (the painting one) and wrote the book (Not A Virgin)… and you said you live in… what? Kos-kosan, rental room?”
I honestly didn’t know how to react to that. I smiled though. How I am supposed to live? In a castle? By the beach so I can get inspired by the solemn and the fresh hot air blowing to my face? We don’t always got to work with the thing we want, we have to work with what we got.
“So, what are you going to do next?” he asked.
“Looking for job, and back to real life.”
Maybe he said something like: “But being writer is your real life,” in response. But all I remember was his facial expression and the next gesture he did: he opened the car door for me. And on that five seconds I felt like a prince.
I remember my publisher Amir Muhammad once told me that:
“Writers are not real people.”
I think maybe that is true.
I probably am not real, but hopefully my works are.
pic of part of my room