In the big family of my mom’s side, where you can find many-many kinds of family drama-and we now have learned to laugh over them-, me and my cousins have a similar symptoms of a fugitive: wanted, but nowhere to find.
When I was 8, as I’m told by my nanny (at the time) and neighbors, I had a pile of clothes wrapped in a big fabric, we called it here ‘buntelan kain’. When I remember that I had a younger brother, I made a higher pile of the ‘buntelan kain’. Here’s a simple visual brief of the first kind of bag I ever know beside my yellow Tuxedosam school bag.
Now, imagine that high pile, put them all on a big fabric and wrap them up. More or less, is going to look like this.
Well, at the time it was a lace fabric, leftover from one of my mom’s (she was a tailor) client. And in a way you can put the ‘buntelan kain’ on your shoulder. So you, would look like this, er, more or less. And yes, most of the time, I didn’t wear any sandals, socks, foot wrap. Just went total on Tom Sawyer mode.
So every other night, I would pack my things and wait until dark and silent, so I can walk out the door and leave my house. The funny thing is, at first my nanny was panicked to not find me on the bed. So she looked for me everywhere in the house. She knows very well about my up and down moods, how easily disappointed I was. She remembered that and started to try to find me outside the house. Her works wasn’t really hard, because then she found me in front of my house, falling asleep with my head on the ‘buntelan kain’. Wondering in her mind and holding her laugh inside, it was 3 am, she said, my nanny carried me back on bed. And I woke up innocently, didn’t remember anything about it.
For a while later on, she asked her son (who is 7-10 years older than me), to stake out on me every night. It went on for years. Some nights were very dramatic with tears and get tired my self, fell asleep inside a little booth where all the local security worked, made friends with troubled teenager in the area (was occassionally drunk and very chatty like crazy to me at the time)-this boy turned out to be a good man in the end-, seeing and hearing things I never thought I would at night (and this no means in whatsoever meanings of ghost)-never understood what they were, actually-, and found my own peace sleeping on the road side under the stars. I was just disappointed with too many mosquitos surrounding me.
Almost everyone knows, I’ve been learned, including my neighbours. But my own parents didn’t. When they knew it, I already done with the phase.
Later on I’ve learned that at the same time, my cousin, DD, who is 3 years older than me, struggling with the ‘dynamic’ of life. She put her stuff in a suitcase, yes a real suitcase, and put it at the corner of her room. When she was 18, she put her passport inside the suitcase also. She brought the suitcase to her friend’s home, put it there, so ‘in case of emergency’ she said, she can use the suitcase to start a new life somewhere else-not home.
My brother has a rather different kind of symptom. He bought like 5 or 9 motorcycle helmet and put them like everywhere. He planted couple shirts here and there to managed to be able to go anywhere needed.
There was a time when I myself bring my passport everywhere in my bag. My boyfriend at the time found out about this, and he gently asked me one night, “Babe, are we going somewhere?”
I don’t know what happened. I just love to have my choices in my bag. The consequences that no one could understand (really) about my habit to bring my toiletries everywhere everytime was more like a privilege for me. To feel freedom, or at least a sense of it. Especially when I know I actually had no other choice but to stay and deal with whatever hell in front of me. Then I put my passport inside my bag, and there was born, a new choice, for me to consider on.
For some of my friends, this makes me a fugitive. They believe that I’m wanted (by them, from time to time), but I was never anywhere to find, physically. Well, here goes the hard-truth-fact, along with the irony for you. It wouldn’t matter wether I was there or not with you guys. Or with anybody else. We all know that. Life goes on.
And I will still carry that passport in my bag.
So keep up, my beautiful friends, I will see you when I see you ^_^
me and my new version of ‘buntelan kain’