“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
I have recently moved back to Jakarta for three months of internship. In contrast to the laid-back and slow-paced Yogyakarta, Jakarta is a chaotic mess. It’s pandemonium space filled with busy people who never seem to stop, even just to take one deep breath and pay attention to their surroundings. People are always moving here in the Big Durian and it never failed to amaze me how active those Jakartans are. It is perfectly logical though, if Jakartans are not in the move, they cannot live, they cannot survive; this is Jakarta, the merciless capital city of Indonesia which pressurizes its’ inhabitant to never stop in order to live.
More often than not, I find myself to experience an utter feeling of desolation in the midst the hopeful and bright city lights and boisterous sounds of living being in Jakarta. I walk with an unbearable restless state of mind in the middle of bustling urban noises. Jakarta is a Greek tragedy; picturesque tall buildings and gorgeous people overlaying a deep corrupted and empty sphere of its’ people’s soul. Glamorous and poverty-stricken society live side by side, drowning in the pursuit of affluence; blinded by the hopeful empty promise of big city dream.
I’ve spent 14 years in Jakarta and I’ve been very much accustomed to the ruthless environment of Jakarta where people won’t give a shit about each other and would probably kill each other in order to survive. I always wonder why people don’t even have a slightest decency to queue peacefully when waiting for TransJakarta. People here are selfish and it’s breaking my heart. My loneliness comes from years of watching the depraved city and not being able to do anything about it but just to play along. And again, this is Jakarta, the merciless capital city with a capability to numb the hearts of its’ inhabitants.
The ironic landscape of Jakarta always render me helpless because I’m aware that I’m one of those privileged people who could afford a decent living but I just don’t think it is right to live in comfort when I go home every night with the sights of poverty-stricken people flocking in every corner of Jakarta. The tall skyscrapers and sights of malls with luxury brand are only a temporary illusion of what Jakarta really is and the illusion like every illusion does, will always fade away.
Jakarta is a sad sad city and I always feel like I am absorbing the feeling of loneliness and sorrow from all the living being in these concrete jungle.
And there were nights where I would stop walking and just sat in one of the bench provided by the newly elected government in Jakarta. I would just sit, watching cars passed by and inhaling the contaminated air of the city; and in that peculiar quietness in the midst of urban’s noises, I always found comfort when I just think about you.
Is there a cure of loneliness? I’m not sure. I haven’t found one. But at least I have you who actually understand that my loneliness is not something that can be cured. At least you understand the weakness in my heart and still love the idea of my inane sentimentality that I carry within my whole being.
And I love that.