Archive for May, 2016



It was Friday night in the midst of monsoon season and the usually hectic city was slowed down by soft drizle of rain and calm blows of wind. It was the Jakarta that ‘Babe’ liked the best: silent, still, and cold. While he just recently graduated from college, his facial hair and overall jaded complexion gave him the impression of an old man, hence his nickname. Babe turned from the main street of Sudirman and entered a rather quiet alley surrounded by tall office buildings and high rise apartments. Just between two small office buildings, he could see a dim light coming from a small cafe by the name of ‘Mistletoe’.

As Babe opened the door, he was greeted by the owner: a woman in her late thirties with slightly curled red hair. She wore an elegant red one piece that matched the colour of her hair. Babe did not know her personally, but he heard her staff called her ‘Mel’ before. He usually referred her as ‘The red woman’ in his mind.

“I almost thought you weren’t coming today. Would you like to order the usual?” ,the owner greeted him with a warm smile.

Babe nodded while closing his frail plastic umbrella and putting it in a box near the entrance. The cafe was a little more crowded than usual. He could see an older men in business attire occasionally looking at his rolex watch. Perhaps a higher-up in one of the nearby banks. On the other side of the room were university students from rich families, judging from their choice of handbags.

Babe sat down in his usual seat near the window and unpacked his leather bag. As he tooked out a novel,  a familiar waitress brought his drink.

“Hot Latte” said the girl as she served it from her tray.

As Babe nodded, he noticed  she looked different than the usual. Today she tied her hair in ponytail. A welcomed changed, he thought.

“You always sat in the same spot. Ordered the same drink. Read the same book. Why?“ asked the girl.

“Why?”, he said while almost stuttering. It was the first time she talked to him and he was rather unpreapared to start a conversation. After a short moment of thinking he answered to the girl.

“They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again. Hoping for different results”.

The girl looked slightly bewildered at his answer.

“Sorry. It was a random quote from Einsten that I happened  to recall”, said Babe while letting out a little laugh.

“I guess I’m just the type of guy that prefers familarity”. He continued, hoping to better end his answer.

The girl then closed her eyes and took a deep breath, seemingly try to process his answer. For a second, there was an akward silence with Babe wondering if the conversation had actually ended and the girl just standing still with her eyes closed. When she reopened her eyes, the girl gave Babe a small head nod before she excused herself and walked back to the counter. After letting out a sigh, he went back to his book and tooked a small sip from his now cold latte.

Why am I reading the same book? Well, it was a difficult book, why couldn’t he just say that?

‘Random quote from Einstein’, his own word echoed in his mind. Where did that came from?

A small movement on his left field of vision then brought him back to reality. Just beside his book now lies  a matcha velvet cake on a small round coffee plate.

“A different result” said the girl, before she went back to serve the other customer.

Babe spent the next five minutes staring blankly at the cake.

“Guess I am not allowed to be insane yet”,he said while taking a bite and watching the distorted car light passing through the wet windows pane.






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