I can’t tell how long it’s been, but I’ve been running at my top speed. Just like everyone else, I go out there and chase my goals. And I’ve always been the happiest man to be able to do everything my heart tells me to. The horror to that thought is to bleed over and over again and still not getting what we think we deserve. It hurts. But there’s worse.
Last week somewhere around Thamrin, I found myself staring at the ceiling of a coffeeshop (something I frequently do) ready to wrap everything up and call it a day around 11pm. Like a lot of millennials would, I was scrolling down my calendar asking my phone what’s tomorrow or where’s the best place to drink to forget. A friend’s message popped up on messenger: ‘Hey I brought my mom to the city yesterday to try to live with me and when I came back home, she was not there.’ (the message sounded like this). He lives near where I happened to be that night. So I went to see him right away.
Some background: My friend’s mother is quite old. Did not know how to operate a smartphone. 0 knowledge about this megacity of Jakarta or his son’s address. Some sources said she was walking around the neighborhood looking confused in the afternoon. And boom she was gone. Like missing. When I was told this news, she’d been missing for about 20 hours (4 hours before you can report to the authorities).
I hacked my schedule so I could finish my errands earlier on the next day. The time when I met him, he was pale, lost, sleepless (especially working for one of the world’s top consulting firms). From where I stood, I could never imagine walking in his shoes at the moment. I’ve survived multiple breakups, both in personal and professional context. And this is nothing like losing an ex-lover, someone you happen to fall in love and find hard to let go of, or losing a job you think you would die for. This is the person who fought extremely hard to carry you for months, worked hard in the delivery room and yet you do not know how else to fight for your number one woman. In a city with 13 million people breathing, I do not know where to begin to describe the loss.
I suggested that night that he took a break and trust me with putting up flyers on the streets of Jakarta and disseminate this on social media. We did everything we could from that to reporting all groups we thought necessary.
15 hours later, when all the hustlers commuted back to their loved ones, and I was…drinking something, he texted (all in UPPERCASE): ‘I’ve found my mom!!!!!!’. Someone found her around Pasar Minggu. She bled and fell from a mini bus.
Funny how life came to a true pause because we’re too busy making plans, ignoring the part that makes us all humane. I do not want to have a life built upon the weak foundation like a great success in the money-making game or changing the world mission we claim to be a part of. If I were to ever save the world, this would be the first I’d save with everything I have.
We’re all unimaginably fucked. And it’s terribly hard to hope for miracles in the dark. But we hope anyway. We hope today, and tomorrow, and always will. I still do not know exactly how, but miracles do happen in times when the world seems to fall apart dreadfully and it’s so hard to hang on to hopes, too hard to hear through the noise.
And in the loneliest times of my life, I’ve learned to come home to myself and have faith in everything I do. If I’m lucky, the universe will conspire to help me in some ways I may not be able to see. Yet.