it’s the epic of gilgamesh up in here

our mess flooded again today, the worst so far. i was stuck in the admin building, while adult indonesians were pointing and laughing at me as i ate peanuts… when i thought i couldn’t feel anything more like a monkey in a zoo. and now i am eating my words prior from my colorful racial epithet.

but you know, the racial slurs in times of war make sense. i mean, the people that piss me off want to be my friend. they’re not like, shooting at me. so, i totally get it.

anyway, so i got a text message from kristyna (which i didn’t hear) that i should come back right away. but i saw it about two hours two late. i borrowed a laughing indonesian’s cell phone because mine had ran out of credit, and the little bit of intuition and anxiety in me that had told me: “hey what if your room floods?” was spot on. because she said “i saw water coming out of your room.”

my dread lies in this: i had just done nearly all of my laundry. and packed my bag for bali, which i leave for on friday morning. this bag is chillin on the floor of my flooded room.

i come back, and the carpet that was in our sitting room was outside, totally destroyed from the water. and i got to my room and told kristyna as i was unlocking it: “please look inside and tell me if i need to cry.” thankfully, it was mostly dry, but only flooded on the side that my wardrobe was on. dry bag. thank. fkn. awllah.

i pulled the wardrobe from the wall, which was soaking. and also revealed the lizard turds that were now floating in nasty flood water. the dirty clothes waiting to be washed by my door acted as a miniature levy and protected my bag. oh thank god.

later that night, i was sitting there with trang eating noodles. just thinking about how different i would have been feeling if my bag had been soaked. just how very, very ruined my night would have been. how much laundry i’d have to do. washing over half of all my clothes by hand. tears in eyes. and how i wouldn’t have been able to get over it.

and i remembered an incident that i really couldn’t get over from last week.

i went to the pasar to buy some pants with this femme from my vokal tradisi class, bobi. he’s a chunky femme with his hair dyed auburn, a soft high-pitched voice and a swish when he walks. i tried to explain to him why i couldn’t wear pants five sizes too small and explained to him that the pants that he was trying to sell me at his mom’s shop were giving me a huge muffintop. he said “tidak papa, jackie.” which is like, no problem, or, hakuna mata. “because we’re fat, we’re always going to have muffintops. tidak papa, if you have muffintops.” he kept on using the plural of muffintop.

i bought the pants.

because i’m an idiot. and there’s no high pressure sales like the indonesians can push. and now i have pants that are five sizes (at least) too small.

anyway, we were walking back towards campus from the pasar, and with his swish and his softy femme voice is chit-chatting about this and that and then HOLYSHIT, he just turns his head a bit, finger to the side of his nose and launches a booger out of it.

the velocity.

the size of it.

i was totally, totally shocked. the sound it made. the casual manner in which he so artistically fired the thing out of his nose. whaaaaat the fuck. and he keeps on chatting, and i think, i must have made some kind of face because i was so shocked.

i’ve seen people do that here, no big deal. i didn’t even really think too much of the really petite girl wearing a jiljab from the dance department who hunkered down in front of our mess and started to hack up a really fucked up loogie in my direct line of sight.

but something about bobi’s booger-arrow. oh my god. we kept on walking, he’s just chatting (to himself at this point) and i keep on replaying it in my mind, incredulous. he stops at a store and says, “i’ll stop here, be careful on your way back.” and i say okay and i am thinking to myself “i can’t get over this, i can’t get over this.”

so i’m eating my noodles remembering bobi’s booger and i am like “wow, i can’t believe i’m thinking about this now.” and i have to pause a little so i can regain my composure to eat again.

so yeah, i would have been washing my laundry with tears in my eyes thinking “i need to trust my intuition, wish i’d hurried back sooner, why me, i can’t get over this, etc etc” in general not being able to get over it. but instead. i’m sitting on the mattress in the sitting room, trying to stomach my noodles, rehaunted by the video playback of bobi’s booger.

more planning, more packing, then i’m off the baaaaaaaaaaliiiiiiii!

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