Dances and Sniggers
Days like these don't come often. I had to resist the lure to romanticize it, but I know I will fail. So, why not push the romanticism envelope even further - further than the truth? Pardon me if the words you're about to read will trigger acidic reactions down under.
Last night, I went to my first Indo wedding of someone I actually care for. The groom is a friend from the states, much older than I am, had been in this relationship for a couple years short to a decade. His reception was definitely a romantic's dream: pink-purple lights against white sakura trees, food to feed a few hundred mouths, a full jazz band (4 trumpets, 4 violinists, etc etc). It was simpler than other richies' weddings, but one thing that was most evident from the event: The groom's joy. He was beaming. He was vocal. He was bopping and snapping his fingers, walking to the stage! The sweet but reserved Ko Jul is overjoyed!
From the stage he pointed at us, tiny group of Seattle-lites, and we waved our hands excitedly like he's some sort of a superstar. The MC followed with a deliberate mushy line like "Julius is marrying the love of his life" and we kampung cheered as Ko Jul's beam grew brighter (If you know me at all, then you know I would roar out my signature "Ow Ow Ow!"). When we walked up to congratulate him, He shook our hands proudly and we made a 3 person dance party. I had never seen a happier, more relaxed groom. And I've been to my fair share of weddings, big to private.
Echa commented that Ko Jul was such a hopeless romantic. He told her that he knew he was going to marry Ci Lisa the moment they went out. That kind of a romantic. What was funny is that the three girls that was in the tiny Seattlelites group are, in a way, quite the romantics too. We like hearing love stories, and dreaming out loud of our perfect guys. But none of us has been swept off by this glorious, wanted romance yet.
So, I play make believe. Let's believe that, one day, Joe came home with a racing heart. This tempo has never occurred before in her lifetime. So, it was a confusing sensation. Her mind went straight to something that was quiet out of the ordinary that day: the man with a low rumbling voice whom she sat by for lunch. Quickly she shook her head and said to herself, "There is no way you're in love over a cup of shared tea. Such a thing do not exist in real life." So she chose the second option to reason out her racing heart: the tall vanilla latte she drank while in exhaustion. She chose to believe that until the next time she met him.
Let's say that a week after, Joe had to walk out of a conversation with a shocking recurrence of the palpitation. In the bathroom, she shook her head and murmured to her reflection, "Stop this idiotic romanticizing right now." Her stomach rolled as she thought of what happened moments before she fled to the bathroom.
Lilly and she was talking about something incredibly nerdy, say, a Harry Potter associated joke. Knowing the two goof balls are always up to something worthy of a face palm, Lilly waved her invisible wand, and motioned the spell "Accio!" Like a well rehearsed skit, Joe jumped closer to Lilly, sucked in by the spell. The two broke out in laughter. How could two people be so in sync with each other? Lilly hollered. Are we meant to be together? Joe sniggered. Is this true love? The two clapped in triumph, still in unison.
What they didn't know was this supposedly loud, but private conversation was being inspected by the Tea Man. Yes, let's call him the Tea Man. The Tea Man happened to be standing right beside them. Seconds ago, he was listening to a boring list of compliments about his work, but hearing the initial roar of laughter behind him, he turned around and watched the two girls laughed like sailors. He smiled his big, wide grin and looked Joe right in the eye.
That was the moment.
Joe went silent, and got a sudden interest in the floor's carpeting. Lilly looked at Tea Man and asked: what? He replied with something that made Lilly laughed an awkward laugh, but Joe was too caught up by those eyes that she couldn't concentrate in anything else but the red in the carpet below her feet. So, she turned her feet to the nearest snack table and took down 3 big bits of chips in one go. From two meters away Lilly pointed her finger at Joe and said something intangible. Tea Man flashed a smile at Joe again, which sealed the deal. Joe's brain went numb for a bit, fast flashes of rom-com scenes went through her mind, then her uterus exploded, and green liquid bursted out from her naval button. Shocked, she gathered herself and walked to the bathroom.
Oh my god, this can't be true. She clenched her fist and took a deep breath. "Asli, lu salting abis," Lilly grinned to Joe's reflection. Joe sighed and replied, "Ah gila. Masa gua ke sem-sem sama om-om?" Lilly laughed a big "HA!" and slapped her knees. "Semoga doa gua kejawab: lu kawin tahun depan!" God, damn it, please.