the one weird encounter

on the right circumstances, i can sit and write, single-mindedly. laser focus. however, that circumstances oftenly not in line with the right circumstances for me to get ideas flowing. so, the moment i got any ideas, most likely is when i don’t get any motivation to write. and vice versa, when i have the motivation and energy to write, it is likely when nothing comes up to mind. the moments where the two circumstances exist simultaneously are uncommon–if not rare–and when those times come i always welcomes them.

and this is one of those times.


yesterday, i had a peculiar encounter–if not weird. i was walking in the lobby of a mall i frequently visit, only because there is a small import bookstore where i get many of my books. that time, i caught the stare of a girl walked from the opposite direction. a bit startled to find a random girl staring straight at me, i stared back at her. at that time i recognized that she stared at me like she was seeing someone familiar to her but couldn’t quite recall who or when or how–and i admit, i felt that she was familiar too, but only vaguely. we passed each other. and after a few steps, still wondered why would some random girl stared at me like that, i turned at her. to my surprise, she turned at me too, and we kept our stare at each other while we walked away and ended when i walked into a corner. strangely enough, that bothered me, and thought, well, this is just like something that comes out of a murakami story.

later that night, still bothered by that event, i told the encounter to my closest friends. they responded, as always, with some lighthearted, joke-ridden comments. (perhaps you’re lovers in past life. or maybe you are her great grandpa.) i can always rely on them to not take everything too seriously. a friend told me that if it was him, he’d go after the girl and ask for a dongkrak. i laughed. the hell did i thought of that at that time, i replied to him. that is the lamest and most used pickup line ever. why a dongkrak though? why not something else? another responded. i agree with him, why not an obeng kembang instead? i mean, that thing is small enough to carry everywhere, and there is also the word kembang–flower–that mostly regarded as feminine. a girl carrying a tool as small as a screwdriver she called flower in her purse is believable enough anyway.

my buddhist friend asked me whether the girl i encountered was cute, and honestly, i don’t remember much. i told her she was a random girl. beside the way the girl stared at me, all i remember is that she wore a red lipstick, a black shirt or blouse, and with long-ish hair (at least a bit more than shoulder’s length). she also told me that it was because i have a strong karmic relations with the girl. what we experience is the result of karma. how we react to the experience creates karma. she added when i asked her about that karmic relations. i don’t object to that. what we do will always have an effect, creating a ripple in the fabric of reality, however small it is. and while karma is originally a hindu-buddhist concept that eventually got adopted into the popular belief, there is also chaos theory and the butterfly effect that have a similar idea. and she also said, you felt that way when you met her mostly because you’ve had a relationship with her in the past–sibling, friend, parent, spouse, anything. but, on the matter of past li(v)e(s), i don’t think i have a firm belief. on one hand, i have the belief of the afterlife, and yet on the other hand, i wonder what if that afterlife we believe in is really some other life at another time, another place–another dimension, even. and perhaps time is a flat and round thing where everything took place simultaneously–past, present, future–a place where everything possible that have happened is happening and will happen. you died here tomorrow and you live again three thousand years ago in a village on a coast somewhere in the middle east; you will die two days ago somewhere in a planet in the vicinity of betelgeuse and lived again in renaissance venice.

but i am rambling now.


still, that encounter bothers me. i didn’t satisfied with all those explanations proposed to me. i need something tangible to work with, and so i wonder, what if we really have met before–in this lifetime–somewhere sometime ago, but we didn’t registered each other properly? or if that the whole encounter was really all just a misunderstanding. a misread of some sort. that the girl at that time was just creeped seeing me smiling (i do that often, either out of politeness or when i got lost in my own thoughts) when i accidentally caught in her sight, and she, mine. or that she thought my face a bit funny. and that she turned just because she thought perhaps he was trying to flirt with me? or okay, that was weird. what the hell he was smiling about? or that goddamned moustache irritates me or some other thoughts that might or might not be harsher than i imagined.

either way, i’m still a bit bothered by that peculiar encounter, wondering who she was, and why? why did she stared at me like that? why did i thought–even if vaguely–that she was familiar? i guess life is full of things like that, of weird encounters and mysteries you can’t comprehend that bothers you. to whomever the girl was, i don’t know you, and perhaps someday i’ll forget the encounter, but thanks to you at least i have something to write about.


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