What’s Your Earlier Work of Fiction?

I can’t remember at what age I started to write. Maybe in elementary school. Writing diary. Stupid diary, to be more specific. I didn’t remember much about my junior high (yea, I have a selective amnesia *eyeroll*), but I do remember my writing from high school.

The first year of it, I wrote about a boy who accidentally opened a door to the 4th dimension. The creatures from there were the worst of our nightmares. The boy could only close it if he defeated Deity, God of the Moon. And it was possible, because apparently the boy was a descendant of Apollo, God of the Sun. The battle was not to be fought alone. A vampire from the 4th dimension somehow decided to help him (back then, vampires not as sparkle and popular as now). It was a tragic happy ending. If only it was finished.

One story that finished actually a fanfiction. Still in my high school years. Silly story about Oasis vs Blur (those were the era of British Invasion). Noel was the king of Planet Oasis, with Liam as the prince. They had to overcome the rebellion of the refugees from a small planet called Blur. And because I was pro-Oasis, of course they were the winner.

My college years were filled by fanfiction. Posted two of them, here and here. You who aren’t familiar with the Japanese rock might want to skip it. Yea, I was such a big fan back then. But of course I didn’t want to write fanfiction all my life – not that it’s wrong.

I remember one day, sitting on one of McDonald’s bench in BIP, Bandung, talking to a friend. Random things to another, he asked how I saw myself in many years to come. I said, I pictured myself at a corner of a coffee shop, deep in thought or frantically typing on my laptop. I pictured my novel(s) on the shelf of bookstore. We were laughing it off. At that time, the dream seemed so far away.

Years later – in 2013 to be exact, I did have a novel on the shelf of a bookstore. A duet novel with Vanny PN, titled Sketsa Terakhir. It was one of the best moment in my life, to see my dream had embodied. I hope it’s just a beginning of a dream, not the end of it.

So, that’s my story. How about yours?

[Movie Review] Last Vegas

Last Vegas - poster

Ini kisah tentang empat orang sahabat yang telah berusia 60 taunan. Bersama-sama, mereka melarikan diri dari kesehariannya, untuk pergi ke Las Vegas, menghadiri bachelor party sekaligus pernikahan satu-satunya dari mereka yang masih single. Pernikahan yang cukup kontroversial, karena calon mempelai wanita berusia separuhnya. Perjalanan ini juga sekaligus menghidupkan kembali masa-masa kejayaan mereka, dan memperbaiki hubungan yang pernah rusak di antara mereka.

Rating film ini di Imdb.com boleh tidak mencapai 7, apalagi Metascore-nya. Tapi terkadang untuk menikmati sebuah film, saya gak butuh angka tinggi. Bagi saya, film ini sangat menghibur. Dialognya lucu dan cukup cerdas, tanpa kesan berat. Mereka punya nama panggilan bodoh-bodohan yang hanya boleh dipakai mereka. Like a boss, kakek-kakek ini juga mencoba keep up dengan apa yang menjadi tren di kalangan anak muda saat ini. Saya suka ide bahwa persahabatan yang baik gak butuh kuantitas kontak yang sering, karena yang penting adalah kualitas. And boys will still be boys, no matter how old they are.

Pemain: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline
Tahun Rilis: 2013
Gambar diambil dari specevents.net

Die’s Bad Hair: A Dir en grey Fanfic


Another day at Dir en grey’s practicing studio…

Kyo entered the room without any suspicion at all. After mumbling an “Ohayo![1]”, he put his black leather slingbag on his usual chair, paid no much attention on the greeting’s reply, and headed to the nearest mirror to check his appearance. With his fingers, he combed his hair to arrange it, while humming vaguely. After a while doing so, suddenly he felt a sharp stare stabbed his back. Horrifiedly, his eyes moved to another reflection at his side. God, it was Toshiya! The vocalist turned around alarmingly.

“What?” he demanded defensively.

“Ne Kyo~~~, your hair…” Toshiya stared at Kyo with an obvious amazement. “…it’s black!!” His eyes grew bigger in excitement.

Kyo backed a little in surprise. “Yeah…” he said carefully. “Is there something wrong with that? Your hair is black, too, right?”

“Don’t misunderstand me, Kyo. It’s not like I’m complaining,” said Toshiya, advancing Kyo. His arm extended both slowly and excitedly, to stroke Kyo’s now black hair gently. “I love it,” he added amusedly. “I love black hair…  And you look so kawa—”[2]

Kyo looked alarmed. “Hey, don’t say it! Or you’ll regret it! Besides, it’s only black hair, Toshiya, black. There’s nothing so special about that. Don’t get over-reacted … Hey-hey, don’t hug me! … Let me go! Or I swear I’ll bite you!! … Toshiyaaa!!!”

Acting as a responsible leader, Kaoru came to separate them. But he got carried away, becoz Toshiya hugged him, too.

“Uwoo…  Another black hair!!”


Shinya moved slowly to Die’s side, who was watching Kyo and Kaoru wriggled free from Toshiya. “We’re so lucky, ne Die?” he said, smirking.

“Huh?” replied Die, distracted. “Lucky? Why?”

Shinya rolled his eyes. God, no, Die was wearing that stupid face again. “My hair is blonde, and yours is red. Otherwise, we’re gonna end up like Kyo and Kaoru.”

“Unn…yeah…” Die answered not so sure, frowning slightly.

Shinya raised an eyebrow before deciding to leave. He wasn’t sure Die was in the right state or not.


“He loves black hair…” Die sighed while looking at his reflection in the toilet’s mirror. He stuck out some of his hair with his fingers. “…while mine is red…” he added miserably.


Couples more Dir en grey practice sessions …

“Ohayo!” Die came both cheerfully and energetically to the practicing studio.


The reply came from Toshiya. He turned to look at the guitarist, but soon gasped in shock. “Mygawd! Your hair!”

Die grinned rather nervously. “Yeah, I dyed it black. All black. Jet-black!”

(Okay, Toshiya, you can hug me anytime!)

But Toshiya still stared at him horrifiedly. His mouth was opened, but no voice came out.

(C’mon, Toshiya, don’t you think now it’s the right time for you to hug me? What are you waiting for?) “Toshiya?”

“Who are you??”


“You’re not Die!! Not the real Die! You’re just look like him!!” Toshiya stated in shock. “Kaoruuuu~~ Someone has kidnapped Die~~!!! Heeelllpp~~!!” he howled madly, rushing inside to look for Kaoru.

Die was left in a complete disarray. He blinked, then, “Does it mean that I won’t get a hug?”


“C’mon, Die, tell me what’s got into you!”

Kaoru leant on the couch armrest, arms crossed at his chest, watching the other guitarist who sat on the stool in front of him. He had to sort this thing out by himself in a separate room becoz in another room, Toshiya was still howling madly about the red-haired Die who was being kidnapped and now replaced by this black-haired impostor. Kyo was getting so sick of it that he had to slap him hard in the face. It did stop him, though. But now they involved in a series of punches, slaps, kicks, bites, and scratches. Shinya decided it was the best time to finish the thick novel he hadn’t been able to touch for ages. So he walked rather merrily to what he thought the most quiet and peaceful place in the building: the fire-escape.

Die rolled his eyes, shrugging a little.

“Then why you dyed your hair black?”

“Well, you did, Toshiya did, and Kyo did, too!!” Die answered, a bit irritated. “Why shouldn’t I do it?”

“Becoz you’re Die!”

(-_-) Die stared at his leader for a while, before sighing, “Ne Kaoru, if you don’t have a better reason than that, I’ll leave. I’m hungry.” He got up from the stool, heading to the door.

Kaoru hurriedly grabbed Die’s arm. “Wait, Die!”

Die turned his head lazily. “What?”

“Are you going to eat ramen at that street corner stall?”

“And what’s it got to do with my hair??”

“Nothing… Okay, sorry… Where were we?… *ahem*… I mean, it’s true, Die, you can’t dye your hair black becoz you’re Die. Everyone recognizes you as the red-haired guitarist of Dir en grey. Us, the staff, the fans… Don’t you remember what they wrote in their fanfics? The red-haired guitarist…the red-haired bishounen[3]…(Who on earth thought that this stupid thing in front of me is a bishounen?) If you dyed your hair black, then what would happen to them? What would happen to their imaginations?”

Actually, Die didn’t give a damn on what would happen to the fanfic writers or their imaginations. Just changed the “red-haired” to “black-haired”, what was so difficult about that?

“But, Kaoru, I have my own reason why I dyed my hair black.”

“Then what is it?” asked Kaoru. To see that Die looked hesitated, he added rather dramatically, “Tell me, Daisuke![4] Tell meee!!”

(+_+) “Knock it off, Kaoru! You’re making me dizzy!” said Die to Kaoru who grabbed his shoulders and shook him hard. Die got dizzy easily if he was hungry.

“Sorry, a little bit carried away…” Kaoru mumbled apologetically.

(That’s what you called “a little bit”? -_-) Die cleared his throat before, “My reason is… *ahem* …anou~~…”

“Yes? Your reason is…?” Kaoru urged him.

My reason is becoz Toshiya loves black hair and I think I have a crush on him, so I… Dream on! There was no way Die could say that! He blushed at the thought of Toshiya, which made Kaoru eyed him curiously.


“It’s for a personal reason, Kaoru!” Die finally said, looking away from Kaoru. But the older man had spotted Die’s red face, and made it clearer.

“Aha! I know! You must be in love, Die! Look, your face is red! You have a crush on somebody, ne Die?” Kaoru exclaimed loudly.

(Great, Kaoru! Why don’t you use the microphone instead, or even call the press, so all the world would know?)

“C’mon, Die, we’ve been friends for long. You don’t have to be embarrassed. Tell me, who’s this person?” Kaoru said sweetly, clinging coaxingly to Die’s arm.

(Yes, you’re right, Kaoru, we’ve been friends for long so I have learned not to trust my love life to you!) Die smirked. “I don’t have to tell you everything…”


Die sighed. “Have you finished, Kaoru? I’m going to get something to eat…” he said, once again heading to the door.

This time, Kaoru didn’t stop him. He just said, “Remember, Die, everyone loves your red hair!”

(Yeah, everyone. But not Toshiya! And that’s what matters to me!) Die didn’t bother to look back or to reply. He just walked out of the building, desperately for a bowl of ramen to eat.


After fulfilled his hunger, Die was now longing for a place to be alone. He wanted to skip the practice and headed to his apartement instead. But if he did that, the only place he was heading to would be his grave, becoz Kaoru would have killed him in the first place. So he shoved the thought of his lovely comfortable bedroom, and headed back to the studio building.

If Shinya thought fire-escape as the most quiet and peaceful place in this building, then the guitarist got a better place: toilet. So he entered it and headed straight to the sink. He turned the tap on and washed his face with the cold water from it. Then stared at his reflection in the mirror.

(Maybe Kaoru was right. I feel like I’m not looking at myself. Everyone is very used to my red hair, even one would think I was born red-haired!)

But didn’t matter how he looked, red-haired or black-haired, Toshiya didn’t seem to care.

(He didn’t notice me while I was red-haired, and now he screamed at my black hair! Really!)

Die shook his head. If they said women were hard to understand, then try to understand Toshiya.

Well, speaking of Toshiya… Without warning, the door cracked open. A black-haired poked from it.


(From all the black-haired men in this building, why it has to be him?) The guitarist scowled. “Die’s not here,” he grunted.

Toshiya grinned appologetically. “Unn, sorry about that, Die. Guess I was just a bit shocked back then… Ahaha…” he said, absent-mindedly scratching his hair.

Die didn’t say anything but sat on the sink edge. Looking away grumpily and somehow miserably. Toshiya approached him and stood right in front of him.

“Look, Die, I don’t know what happened, but I just want you to know that I miss the red-haired Die already…”

Die slowly turned his head to stare at Toshiya.

(Oh no, he doesn’t like it!) Toshiya went nervous. “Well, of course it’s okay if you want to keep you hair black,” he said hastily. “It’s your hair anyway…”

“What did you say?”

(Hyaa, Die’s mad at me!) “I said it’s okay to keep your hair black. Really, Die, it’s okay,” Toshiya went more nervous.

“No, before that,” Die said impatiently.

Toshiya blinked. “Before that? Unh…well…I can’t remember it. Aha…sorry…” (My head goes blank when I’m too nervous ^^;)

(-_-) “Then go away, and come back here if you have remembered it.”

(^^;) “Not that rude, Die… *scratch-scratch* Chotto[5]… I said I miss the red-haired Die already…” Toshiya scratched his own hair and looked away to hide his slightly flushed face.

“My red hair? But why? I thought you like black hair,” Die said, staring deeply to the bishounen in front of him.

“Well yeah, I like black hair better. But you’re an exception, Die,” Toshiya let his eyes stared back to Die’s. “Your red hair is special. You and your red hair can’t be separated. It almost feels like a crime to get rid of red from your hair…” he paused a while, then, “Sounds silly, huh?”

Actually Die didn’t think it sounded silly. Becoz Die of Dir en grey was red-haired and he felt like he wasn’t that Die if he was black-haired. But he didn’t really know what to do or say. So he just mumbled, “Hontou[6]?”

Toshiya nodded, smiling sweetly. “Umh!”

Die smiled, slightly shaking his head. He felt a bit relieved becoz actually Toshiya liked his red hair. But he also felt a bit silly, becoz if he had known it before, he shouldn’t have dyed his hair black…

(Well, silly things you’ll do for a silly thing called love…)

“Toshiya…” Die said softly, lifting his hand to gently touch Toshiya’s cheek.

*doki-doki*[7] “Yea, Die…?”

“…your cheek is red…”

*blush* “Umm, well I…”

“…and it suspiciously looks like the shape of a hand palm…”

“What?!” Toshiya remembered something, then went furious. “Ano baka![8]

“Huh? Who?”

“Kyo! He slapped me!”


“Don’t worry, I slapped him back,” said Toshiya proudly, like it was the bravest thing a man could do to a devil named Kyo.

“Huh?” Die went confused. “What were you two doing actually?”

Toshiya cleared his throat. “Something stupid that you shouldn’t know,” he said, grinning rather embarrassedly. “Well, whatever it was, I’m the winner!” added the bassist proudly.

Suddenly, one of the cubicles’ door opened. “How dare you said you’re the winner, Toshiya! Do we have to hold a re-match?”

All eyes were staring at the vocalist who had just turned up. “What are you doing here, Kyo?!”

Kyo rolled his eyes. “Doing things that a normal man does in the toilet,” he answered.

“But you’re not a normal man…”

Kyo narrowed his eyes. “D’u really want a re-match, Toshiya?” he asked menacingly.

“Hey, Kyo, are you sure you’re not eavesdropping us?” asked Die, jumping from the sink. Toshiya was rather hiding behind him, stuck his tongue out to Kyo.

“I’m not eavesdropping,” said Kyo, slowly walking to reach the toilet door. “And if you said I’m eavesdropping, then what would you call this??”  he pulled the door in a sudden. Two men then tumbled in.

“Shinya! Kaoru!”


“So,” Kyo started up when the five of them were in the corridor, heading to the practicing room. “Die dyed his hair black becoz he wanted to get attention from Toshiya?”

Die went crimson. “It’s not… I’m not… Kyo!!”

“Wahahhaa… you hit the right point, Kyo!” said Kaoru smuggly.

“While actually Toshiya has already liked Die’s red hair?” Kyo went on annoyingly.

“Gwahahhahhaa!!!” Kaoru and Shinya were laughing merrily. While Toshiya suddenly became interested at his sneakers, so he could look down, hiding his smile.

“Shut up, Kyo! Knock it off!!” Die pushed Kyo’s body aside, making his way hurriedly so his bandmates wouldn’t be able to make fun of him anymore.

“A small thing like hair color could make all this hectic?” Kyo grumbled. “My hair was blonde for a long time, and no one complained when I dyed it black…”

“That’s becoz you’re cute (waa, don’t give me that killing stare, Kyo!) in both color. You have fans who like you in blonde or black. Becoz it’s not your hair color that they fuss about. You have talent, you have you own characteristics that they like,” explained Kaoru. “Right, Shinya?” he asked to Shinya who nodded in agreement. “While Die? *sigh* His selling point is only his red hair color. Well, unless you count that stupid grin of his…”

“Oy, you three! I hear that!! And I’m so pissed off!”

“Uh-oh!” Kaoru went pale. “Better run for your life!” he mumbled before setting off to the front door in top speed.

“Hey, you irresponsible leader!!” shouted Shinya. “Wait for us!”

“I don’t understand why we should run when it’s only Die…”

“Just shut up and run!” Shinya grabbed Kyo’s arm right before a pair of Adidas sneakers zoomed and landed exactly where Kyo had stood a second ago.

*gulp* “What the…?!”

“See, Kyo? That’s why we have to run!”

“Hai, wakarimashita![9]” *swoosh*

“Chickens!!!” Die shouted, scowling. “What?” he demanded, seeing Toshiya who grinned amusedly. “Are you going to make fun of me, too?”

“No,” Toshiya replied, still grinning amusedly. “Coz I like your stupid grin…”


“Waii~~ Nice! Red suits you so well, you know?”

Die pushed Toshiya away. “Shut up and go away!” he growled.



At the next practice session of Dir en grey…


“Uwoo~~ Is that you, Die?” Toshiya got up from his seat to approach the guitarist who had just turned up.

Die stood in the doorway, wearing an extremely wide grin. His hand on his hair. “So, what d’u think of this? Cool, huh?”

His hair was still black, but now it had red streaks here and there which glinted under the room’s neon light.

Kaoru and Shinya both looked amazed. “Wow, you looked great!”

“I am, huh?” Die turned around to show his hair to all his bandmates, grinning widely.

“Yeah,” said Kyo, a bit of jealousy in his voice. “Where did you get the idea, Die?”

“Thank you, Kyo, but it’s my idea,” replied Die proudly. “I was thinking –”

“No way! You’re too stupid to think of such a good idea!” Kyo splurted out automatically.

(-_-) “I swear I’m gonna kill you someday, Kyo!”

Kyo smirked. “Someday maybe, Die. But not today…”

For a brief moment, Kyo and Die were staring at each other, exchanging killing stare, before Kaoru automatically clammed his hand on Kyo’s mouth, while Shinya strangled the vocalist’s both arms. “Ahaha… don’t mind him, Die. Just continue whatever you were doing…”

Die gave a gratitude look at Kaoru and Shinya. Then cleared his throat. “Well…*ahem*…everyone (including you and me, Toshiya) loves my red hair. But you also love black hair. So I thought, what if I own both of red and black. In that case, I can have double your love, right?” he said proudly, as if it was the best thing his mind could think of.

(-_-;;) “What a stupid…”

“Shut up!” Die threw a frown look at his bandmates.

But Toshiya performed a bright smile. His eyes widened in excitement. “That’s brilliant!!” he exclaimed childishly happy.


“Hey, Kaoru, is Toshiya okay?”

“Dunno. Maybe he’s just crazy…”

“Tell me,” Kyo started up innocently. “Which is more stupid: a stupid person, or a person who likes that stupid person?”

Kaoru and Shinya cracked up in an instant.




[1] ohayo: good morning
[2] Toshiya was going to say “kawaii” which means “cute”. But one thing that Kyo hates much is being called “cute”.

[3] bishounen: handsome/beautiful guy

[4] Die’s full name is Daisuke

[5] chotto: wait a moment

[6] hountou?: really? is it true?

[7] doki doki: the sound of heart throbbing

[8] ano baka: that stupid

[9] hai, wakarimashita: yes, understood


Kei’s note:
  • Die is my favorite Dir en grey member. He got me at his red hair. When he dyed it black, I was like, “Huh, Die, why the black hair?”.
  • This fanfic is shounen-ai, means boy x boy. Nothing indecent, though. It’s not yaoi :D
  • I wrote it in 2006, when I was still young, stupid, and innocent (^^;). It’s far from perfect, but I like the spirit :D
  • The picture is taken from http://chinchikurin.deviantart.com. Left to right: Shinya (d), Kaoru (g), Kyo (v), Die (g), Toshiya (b).


Malem ini terakhir kita bareng ya, Peanut. Thank you for the last 9 weeks. Mama loves you.

The Great Dane

The day was Saturday. The date was March 30, 2013. The highlight was Peter Schmeichel. Yes, that Great Dane. My favorite goalkeeper ever.

He came to Jakarta to attend the nobar Sunderland vs Manchester Utd. Not a member of any community or fans club, I was lucky to get the invitation to the event. So there I was, wearing the MU t-shirt I just bought the day after, with the MU scarf and the MU slingbag my sister bought me years earlier.

Schmeichel_01 Schmeichel_02

No, I couldn’t get any closer than 2m to the 1,93m tall guy. But seeing he was standing in front of me like that, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Pretty much I was just gapping in awe, hahaha. He couldn’t stay long that night. Had promised his wife that he’d be home for Easter with the family. Aww…

He was Peter Schmeichel that I remember. Huge, tall, pale blonde, and big nose that got red easily in the cold.

Since I couldn’t take a photograph with him, so I satisfied myself with his poster and cardboard instead :p

Kei-Schmeichel_02 Kei-Schmeichel_01


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