photo by Banyu Bening :

I found him. In the bushes with a million unspoken words in his eyes. I don’t know if he recognized me as a woman or not. Space and time had given us a long gap of silence. Half his body glowed, a strange golden colour. A colour that dazzled the eyes, but, even so, half of my soul was open to that colour.

‘This colour is from the moon land,’ he said. The silent moon. I just nodded, saying yes. A strange land, I thought. It was like the man could read my thoughts. His hand then touched the tips of my fingers, kissed them softly one by one like he was spelling out the letters that beat in my chest.

‘The moon land is very beautiful, my dear. We must go there, I will go with you.’

The man was definitely a dreamer. There was no land on the moon. I wasn’t into fantasy. Because for me fantasy was like fragile bubbles of soap. When we blow one, the bubble emits colours that make our hearts believe that our hopes will get bigger every time we blow. We will blow the bubble bigger and bigger and release it to the sky. When the wind takes the bubble further up, we get even more delighted and start to believe that our hopes will always be answered.

Pop! When the bubble breaks, the empty vacuum is suddenly like a dictator invading our hearts. I really hate fantasy. Really. The man continued to smile. His hand moved in the direction of the sky, like some kind of unceasing worship with the universe. He remained silent while every now and then the light in his body blinked along with a tapping sound. I decided the glow was fake.

He sat right beside me. The bar began to fall quiet. The smell left from the drummers’ rice wine  wafting everywhere. He shifted his body closer to me. I inhaled the smell of his body. The smell was so anxious, steaming up the halls of the bar. Anxiety that began to proliferate with a variety of anger. The man continued to emit the strange light from his body.

‘What are you doing in this bar tonight? This is a place for worshipers of the night, or are you the owner?’ he spoke to me without moving his mouth, hissing like the sound of a snake, mumbling. Half his body constantly throbbed. The glow from that half his body gave off a variety of feelings. Sometimes I saw he was in pain from the light, but sometimes he seemed to be enjoying every blink. A really strange body.

‘Ha, ha, ha, you are amazed by my body, right? You are wondering how I can have a body like this. There’s no need to pretend. I know you are really impressed by my body.’

Damn, so narcissistic. How could he read my mind? He was really impolite, but what he said was true. I really didn’t have the power to refuse the half of his body that glowed. He came closer, and my heart beat wildly. His hand gently began to stroke the back of my body.

Magic. I began to move my hand to touch his body. It was like entering a kingdom of clouds, the body was so soft and almost without bones. The glow felt cold. I gasped, the feeling in his body was not foreign to me…. A feeling of loneliness that grew from his veins and branched into various questions. Truly, the branches were like an endless spider’s web. Questions that were rare, often very rare.

Ah, this man was not as mysterious as I had thought. He was only a man like all the others that usually stopped by this bar. Men married to loneliness. Loneliness that fated them to be Lords of the night. Strangely enough, I always fell in love with men like that. They were like fawns lost in the dark. So fragile and delicate even though they were always trying desperately hard to become giants with a dazzling grin.

I often pretended to be frightened of that grin, though I always wanted to hug the fake deer to my chest. Yet strangely, I always hoped that the fake deer would become a real giant, even though I knew that after they became a giant, they would crush me alive, chew me up and finally throw my half-dead body to the side of the road. My broken body never really dead, reuniting itself again.

‘Why did you come to this bar? There’s nothing interesting in this bar. I can’t even sow passion in you. Look at my body, already half disabled. Over and over again the fawns that turn into giants crush me, chew me and spit me out just like that.’

I kept my questions in my heart. I was really afraid to say them in front of him. The glow from his body was too dazzling. We were really quiet in the silence that danced in the room. One by one the men in the bar began to leave, only one or two were still reluctant to part, reluctant to return to their loneliness. The man with the half glowing body moved a little in my direction, suddenly turning his face right beside my ear. Like magic, my head turned right in front of those eyes that were so black. A dark labyrinth beneath the ground. I was riveted in front of his eyes. The space between the partitions of my heart an incredible hole between which flowed my pink-coloured blood.

‘I like your eyes.’

The labyrinth in his eyes spoke softly. I laughed to hide my embarrassment. My face must have flushed like a ripe plum. I blinked to avoid the invasion of the jet-black colour of his eyes with their hint of prophesy. Thousands of poundings in my chest beating for a sentence that I’d often heard from men who sought the sprinkling of my passion. Strange, but those intense eyes stored a truth that made me very comfortable with the possibility of another lie.

‘Ha, ha, ha, ha, thanks, darling. Watch out you don’t fall in love and miss me when you go home,’ a line that so often slips from the mouth of dancers in the night like me,  trying to escape the beating of my heart from those intense eyes. A sharp stab of pain because I knew I was really lying to him.

I really hoped he would always miss me. Even just an unknown longing. Maybe I had broken the rules. As a dancer, I could only move according to the rhythm of the night. Every sweat is sound and every bellow is rhythm from the sigh of loneliness that so stings the night-worshiping men. Like I had already guessed, the man only smiled. Those eyes still dark.

‘You really don’t want to know about where I come from?’

Those eyes had begun to look sulky. His hands continued to stroke my back and the dark part of his body became more intense, while the luminous half of his body sparkled more. An unusual paradox.

‘Why are you so keen that I ask about the place you come from?’

‘Because I want you to come there as soon as possible.’


‘Yeah, as soon as possible. There’s no more time.’

For awhile there was silence. Flattened without sound. Time was ticking. The beat from our own hearts. Like the dances of clouds, time moved randomly forming pictures of events that were never really clear. Time, after all, is only in the mind. I once thought that if I could stop thinking, I could stop time. How happy I would be if that happened. I’d be able to choose the time for my youth. Time can always be lost in silence.

The man kept looking at me intensely. The half of his body that glowed becoming more and more dazzling. His lips were closed tightly and moved in my direction. A kiss in the light. So I called that moment. I began to make guesses about him. Maybe he was a fallen angel and this kiss would make him whole again so that he could flap his wings and run to the place where the sun comes from without fear of being burnt like the unfortunate Ikarus.

‘Are you a fallen angel?’ The man laughed until he nearly fell from my side. His smile was stroking my hair. My fingers were being kissed again one by one and the dark eyes looked at me with magic that continued to amaze me.

‘Absolutely not, my dear. A fallen angel wouldn’t have a glowing body. He wouldn’t need light, having traded it for a place where no colour would ever be seen. Dark.’

The man’s answer was a relief. It meant there was still hope that he was like the other men that visited this bar. Men who always filled the night with their silent songs that were deafening. The man’s lips were still very close to mine. The clear smell of his heartbeat through a roaring blast of his breath. Slowly I ventured to stroke his hair with a hand that, frankly, was a little shaky.

‘Why did you come?’

Suddenly my chest was filled with an intense pain when I asked that. I was choked up. I knew pain would definitely become a new occupant of my breath while loyally waiting its turn to inhabit. An incredible stupidity and I was willing to be stupid. Really, really stupid.

‘I found you in a space called loneliness, I continually searched for you and I am happy that I finally found you.’

I really hated it when the man said that. I hated it because I liked the words. Who knew if those words had already been thrown to a thousand creatures, it seemed I still liked those words. Stupid that I trusted them. Even though I was often wounded by the words, I was addicted to them.

‘Maybe we met at the right time. But at the wrong moment, my dear,’ I tried to be a dancer of the night when I stroked his hair, filled with an extraordinary sense of wonder when I realised I wasn’t sowing passion in the blink of an eye. I was often trapped in time that wounded. The wrong time when I chose to be a lover.

‘Maybe yes, maybe no. I am cursed because I tried to split the moon. I was curious about the black behind the glow of the moon, but the moon land got angry. They stoned me. Because of that, half the glow of the moon is in my body, while the other half is always in darkness. I am searching for the half glow to fill the dark spaces in my body until my body can became whole.

Damn, I wanted to be half luminous. I hated. I was flattered. I was happy. I was glad. I blew the soap bubbles. I worried that the bubbles would break. I flew. I was at a height. I would definitely fall. I waited for my time to break. I was so weak. I was sad. I was afraid. I was wounded. I was in love.

‘Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha… you really are strange. You’re looking for the missing half of your light, but you search in a night as dark as this, and you are talking to the wrong person. I have no idea about the glow that you are looking for.’

I was really angry with my own words. I was afraid that he knew I was hoping to be his half light. Being a dancer of the night and accompanying men had already made me very comfortable. I never dreamed of becoming Engtay who waited for Sampek in death. This legend of eternal love was sickening. A legend that created soap bubbles for millions of followers. I called those people the Love group. Whereas for me the Love group must love all colours, including black and night.

‘I really need that dark half of my body to be filled with light.’ The man stored gallons of tears that had never been spilled. Tears that made the moon split when he blinked his eyes and become greedy with light.

‘Go, it’s already near dawn. Go back, later you will find interesting crossroads in your journey. Maybe you will be hurt, maybe you will be happy. But you will know that at the crossroad life will begin. Go my dear. I won’t wait for you. There are so many men who need my nights. ‘

I went with him to the door, his half luminous back still emitting a smell that was exactly the same as when I met with him in an episode at the end of an evening one time. I knew I was probably the half glow that he was looking for, but I thought lying to him about that was the best for his life. That man continued to fluoresce from half his body, nervous.

Ah, right now, I needed a space that was vast in my chest. My heart wavered. ‘Come again at a night in the grave My dear.’