I Saw You in My Plate Today
Just tonight, I ate my dinner on the side road near my house. It was a very modest food stall. It took me quite long to realise all the beautiful experiences I’ve experienced when eating street foods. I remembered all the beautiful experiences back in Solo and Jogja. I remembered eating after working long office hours in Jakarta and Depok. I even missed eating Nasi Bebek Madura with my friends every time we went near Stasiun Pasar Senen. And I particularly missed when I ate with you.
We rarely talked when we were in the midst of eating. You were so focused on eating and little did you know I loved watching you savoured your foods. It amazed me how you savoured street foods as much as the pricey foods. I remembered I realised I liked you for real when we ate in a food stall. It’s a quiet evening. The seller was also sitting quietly next to us, sometimes he took a glance at us who quietly ate. Suddenly, you whispered, “is it good?” And I nodded. I really want you to know that I enjoy the foods I ate with you.
We just solved our whole-year fights. I resented you so much, I remembered vividly. I hated you when you put everything in blurred terms and I hated myself for using you to get over things. I remembered everything was cruel and we were not really in good terms at first, you turned to your cold self and I was my carefree self. There had been a lot of things in my head every time we met and it all concluded to my single question, “what are we?” I blurted out questions as if it didn’t hurt your head; that was really my habit. I even remembered asking one day before your biggest event and what the fuck, am I right, huh?
Tonight, when I ate alone in the middle of cold weather and busy street in a village, far far away from you lived right now, I wonder, what are your thoughts? I’d ask for one more time to eat sate padang with you, as a dear friend who wanted to share things with me. I lately think that it’s more scary for me to lose you as a friend. Twice, I asked you to leave and twice, I came back to say hi like it was nothing. Lately, I realise I am also capable of being a jerk.
I bet it is hard for you as well, to have a friend that demands a lot of things, even things that you may not comprehend. Do you know that I used to think of you as someone who was cold and emotionless? Lately, I just realised how you were really warm but sometimes, you could be clueless. It took another year to realise what kind of a person you are.
Let me tell you a story when I had dinners with my first love. Mostly after our fights in undergrad, maybe I wanted to prove a point. He wanted to eat in pricey diners and desserts. I loved him, a lot. Too much to even think about it, but that night, when he paid for my dinners, even paid for my personal purchase, I thought of you, for absolutely no reasons. Maybe I liked how you treated me, how you wouldn’t pay for my things. Maybe most of the times, you made me feel like I was my own person.
You never paid for my food, but you asked had I eaten well. You never paid for my food, but you asked had I slept well. You never paid for my food, but you offered your help. After all this time, I’ve seen you as a good friend, who is sometimes clueless. Just that.