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03      Everyday Matters

  Throughout a period of time, there are certain people who have profoundly touched our lives.

It was Summer of 1996, the first time I knew SJ. Before, we used to meet on our ways to the restrooms in college. A pointless “Hi, gorgeous!” was swapped at each meeting.

For all those years of college, SJ and I had never been in one class. I hardly knew him but his name. He never knew me but my skateboard incident — of me trying to do a 5-0.

It was the time when most of my fellow citizen friends went back to either Jakarta or Bandung for a Summer break, I was stucked in North Sydney. My friends asked me for a favor — to take care of their high-rise apartment unit — and I said yes.

That night I was asked to go to their place, I agreed to it and promised to cook Rawon. Later on, SJ and I were formally introduced. It was then we began doing things together — pools, pub crawls, coffee talks, bush walks, rock climbs and all that jazz.

We became good friends, just like Cheech and Chong, Will and Grace, Dharma and Greg. It was almost like we were proving them wrong, that a guy and a gal can be just friends.

On his mother’s 50th birthday, I was introduced to her. She was such a lovely lady, it felt like I had a mentor in Australia. It all became clear why SJ thought very highly of his mother. Before I had known her, little would I consider being nice first to people unless they were to me.

The short period of time I knew her, it was the most I learnt how to be humane. She referred to me as her little angel but the truth was, she was the one to me. I had never met anyone who was so positive about life than she, so passionate for other human beings than she, yet so strong in dealing with life issues. It was surreal.

Then one day I got her news from SJ, I broke down to tears.
“To see a world in a grain of sand
and a heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.”
— Billy Blake

In memory of D.J.. You are always in my heart.