This is the official blog of Winna Efendi, author of several bestselling Indonesian novels.

Jumat, 09 September 2011


Like everybody else, I was sixteen when I started to drive. I wasn’t very good of a driver, but the feeling of obtaining a valid driver’s license was supposed to be so overwhelming that I demanded to get mine right away. My dad was a little grumpy when he took me to get it, and was still cranky when he let me drive us home afterwards. I was giddy with excitement, of course. Looking at my best photo plastered on the glossy card felt liberating, somehow. Like I was an adult. Like I mattered.

But then, that feeling didn’t last. I would always remember it, but the memory didn’t linger. It seemed trivial, years later, when a sixteenth birthday felt like aeons ago. Things like a crazy assignment or a math homework, whether school was canceled during a heavy snowfall, who asked who out for prom, and getting a first kiss – those things were so important back then, but now they are nothing but memories.

Sometimes I feel like children live more than adults too. They breathe more, they laugh more, they talk more, they notice more. More.

So why are we behaving this way?

Have you ever been sitting on swings, late at night? When he asked me that, I was so surprised I suddenly smiled.

That’s a great idea.

We got a pack of beer, cigarettes, and a bag of chips for me, and headed to the park by foot. The air was chilly that night, but I wasn’t cold. I sat at one of the swings and swayed slowly, none of us really speaking.

This is where I got my first kiss. He was the first to break the silence, as always. I looked at him, and he spoke again, shyly but not without confidence. Her name’s Anita. I was fourteen. No, that wasn’t right. It was midnight, and the next day it’d be my fourteenth birthday. Her skin was so pale in the moonlight, and I felt like I was floating.. His voice was quiet, and I listened without interrupting. When he was done talking, he looked up at me and gave me a tentative smile. It’s a silly story, isn’t it?

No, I replied. Actually, this is my first time sitting on swings, this late at night. It feels kind of good, surprisingly.

Sometimes I wish we’re children again. Or feel that same exhilirating rush again. We’re adults now and I bet we don’t feel much fun out of swinging high in the air. The feeling of being airborne…

He doesn’t continue. I know how he feels, and he must have sensed that I understand. And when he kisses me, I know that for a milisecond, I’m transported back to the feeling of being sixteen, getting my driver’s license for the very first time.

-a creative writing piece, 9 September 2011, 14.30-

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