Most people would agree upon the theory that nostalgia usually comes from having too much of vacant time. For me, such situation is occurring in abundance--I'm sorry if this sounds so much like a poor excuse but I can't help it. Pieces of distant frames, they are racing in my head at the speed of light, forming an incomplete puzzle no one could ever solve.
Memories I am possessing, of you, of the whites of our uniforms, of the reds of our school's roof, they are brick red. Of the greens of the rustling leaves, of the blues of the clear skies, of the grays of the asphalt on which we did our physical education. Of oranges of the basketballs, we would do a free throw or two, skip classes and then spend the rest of the day in the canteen, eating cheesy meatballs or playing with the leftover ice cubes from sugary ice tea. Of the cars' headlights, some horns blowing, of our cars in which we are hiding, trying to skip classes. A lesson or two, we throw our bags off the fences while the security was lax. We took chances, we spent the rest of the day in some mate's crib, playing cheesy flicks on DVD player, we would sob some tears in the dark, under the blanket, happy times. We would then order some random chinese takeaway, or cheap version of the western one.
The food always arrived late, so we spent more time chit-chatting, catching up with plastic trends and gossips on magazines. Girls would take photos with their front cameras, I remember they were all nokias, we didn't use fruit to make any phone call. We then went home, some with motorbike taxis, bargaining, trying to get the fares as cheap as possible. The next day, we made poor excuses, some teachers would make no fuss, some others would insist on troubling us. Our grades, I couldn't remember clearly, but they used to matter a lot. The troubles we underwent, they must be crazy at that time, but now we look back at them--we can't help but laugh, so bad until we cry. The principal's room, I still remember, there was a frame hanging, but I couldn't remember what the picture was. It was cold, the ceramics were bluish white with some awkward streaks of pink. The ceiling, it was high above us. It smelled sterile like hospital, only with some hint of pungency coming from stacks of documents and newspapers and old wooden tables.
And then, there was this library with thick brown carpet. School library was such a source of knowledge for us, but not in most usual, conventional ways. We exchanged information, mostly the taboo ones which were secretly dying to get liberated. A big well of adolescent thoughts, a collective secrecy of light, fluffy, sweet teenage dreams. Of course, girls and boys, some nasty gossips as well. In other times, to fulfill our responsibility, we would print the assignments there, after making a copy of a friend's with some slight changes. We would make some intentional mistakes to fool our teachers. I'm not saying they were that careless to not realise our mass crime, but they must be too busy to give another look.
Getting a perfect 100/100 score was a piece of cake, especially when it came to religious studies. (yes, the irony) Talking about cakes, highschool means a freaking lot of birthday cakes. One, two, three...everyone was taking turn to turn seventeen. Then, time passed by, fast, way too fast, our freshman year, then sophomore, then the senior one.
I remember, one of the most vivid memories of highschool I've ever had: the time when we were looking for a name of our family gathering session. You could say I was in charge, with some other few folks from my division. There were no specific requirements, but of course, there were always unwritten rules: 1) it ought to be an acronym, standing for something that represented our batch. 2) it ought to be one catchy, memorable word.
It was one tedious process as I had to think of relevant names that we could relate to, consisting of good words and positive key elements such as solidarity and respect towards one another. (of course, my work was incomparable to some other divisions' difficult work eg monetary division) Subsequently, I came up with some words I could think of at that moment, including FOLKLORE.
It stood for Family Gathering of Assembled Kooks with Mutuality of Respect and Integrity.
I suggested that name to my close pals, Syandi Caeresa and Anandita Hergita. They looked at my main suggestion and one of them grunted, "Folklore....sounds weird."
So I tried to come up with other words, but FOLKLORE had been stuck well in my head so I went on and recommended it to Setyaning Prastiti and other folks. They agreed on it.
My division's next assignment was to make a t-shirt design, and since I was fairly good with designing, I handled most of it. I was on a vacation at the moment and my deadline was drawing near. Ayla told me to hurry so I came with an easy design and several colour schemes. Ayla did several adjustments with the help of some other folks there and in the end they came with a final design. Then, okay, the next part is never my favourite.
I never came back to wear my design.
For some (unreasonable) reasons that I believe I had mentioned on my earlier entries circa 2008-2009, I couldn't come back to continue one and a half years of my highschool education in Jakarta. (I had my feelings out elaborately back then, so there's no good in reminiscing them all over again.)
2009 February 14th, FOLKLORE was both officially held and born. It then became the name of our batch as well. Seeing how my folks were proud to wear their tees, to wave a flag with FOLKLORE written big on it, I was overwhelmed with this sense of elation and satisfaction. My contribution and participation had not been big, but I was (and still am) very happy to be part of FOLKLORE.
Of course, it could have been more exciting and spectacular. I could've known more friends at school, our bond could've been stronger, and we could've been wiser, more assimilated, more efficient in our work. But the way I see it, I really am happy with the cracks that had given us another lesson to learn. The sweats, the commitment, I really salute you guys for coping well with them.
Memories fade away, and facebook won't be there forever. Today you can still remember my name. My face, you need a few seconds to trace its outline. But the time needed to recall my name...my face...my voice, I'm sure it will grow longer each day. Perhaps in future, you won't even be able to commemorate who the hell Amanda Rizkita is. But I am always hoping that someday, when you turn 20, 30, 40, 50, 60......this name, FOLKLORE would subtly ring a bell in your mind--not a loud noise, but a tinge of sentimental melody which plays in repeat.
So, HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY FOLKLORE.
Fratenally, eternally yours,