Friday Night Post

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2006 at 2:40 am

This is a translation of “Cerita Jumat Malam”

Working in the entertainment world had me accustomed to meeting Indonesia’s public figures. And as accustomed as I am, I don’t anymore feel the need to take pictures with them, and if the celeb isn’t in my circle of friends, I don’t even feel the need to do small talks with them unless I really have to. You know, for professional reasons. Well, this clearly didn’t apply when I came face to face with my long time favorite Indonesian actor, Roy Marten.


Things were a little bit different since last Wednesday when antv announced that “Om Farhan” will feature Sumanto. Yes, the cannibal. I was a wee bit worried about the decision to put him on air because, well, that might be the spontaneous reaction of somebody who just heard that she’s going to meet an ex-cannibal.

But as my workload was heavy, I kinda “forgot” about this Friday’s topic. This afternoon after a meeting in my boss’ house and jumping around in his gigantic trampoline while looking for inspirations (oh this is so very effective), my boss forced me out of the jumping frenzy and reminded me to work on the cannibal’s material research. Boom. I remembered again that tonight will be THE night. I was about to come face-to-face with Sumanto.

I was spent and groggy when I reached the office, not knowing whether it’s the trampoline or the fact that I am getting nervous about meeting this guy. Not to mention the ever so stupid email that wouldn’t open. My head was filled with ‘what if’ thoughts. What if he eats me… what if he nibbles on my boss… what if… what if… and I went on.
Finally my internet research was done, and I went to the studio. I began my routine of briefing my boss about the interview materials and all. Anna, the make-up artist worked as if she was chased by a hurricane, as she was terrified with the idea of being in the same dressing room with Sumanto. She stormed off the room the minute she finished doing my boss’ hair. It wasn’t only Anna, the rest of the (usually very chatty and talkative) dressing room staff suddenly disappeared into thin air. I stayed by my boss’ side, trying desperately to control my unstable heartbeat. Then out of nowhere, the antv producer came up to us and announced that our guest star for tonight had arrived, and will soon be transferred into this very room with maximum security to avoid the crazy journalists who had been waiting outside for ages. I cringed and tapped the producer’s shoulder.

“I am so fucking afraid. Can I just stay out?”
“Chill man. Don’t be scared. Just act normally.”
“What if I’m scared?”
“It’s just that… if you’re scared, he’ll turn SCARY”
“Ok, that is NOT the way to calm people down.”

The make-up room is quieter than before. There were only four of us left: me, my boss, Riana and Okke. Not so long after that, the (not too) awaited guest appeared. Sumanto. Wearing his pesantren attire and carrying a smal radio he takes everywhere. I had a serious case of goosebumps when he politely greeted everyone in the room: “Good evening…” I was screaming in my head: “NO HANDSHAKE! NO HANDSHAKE!” But I couldn’t do anything because it would just be rude to avoid shaking his hand. To avoid my scared look, I pretended to be busy helping Riana and get my boss dressed for the show. Yes, it’s a very crazy sensation to work AND have goosebumps at the same time. After a session of small talk, my boss excused himself to smoke outside before the show begun. I was relieved and glad to follow him.

The show went smoothly as usual. I, of course, had to stay in a safe distance with Mr. Cannibal sitting just a matter of inches from me when he was waiting for his grand entrance. AAAAAAGGGHH!!!

The point of this post is: I surprised myself with the reality that I still can be judgemental. When I see overly-publicized celebrity divorces, I used to say, “There must be a real problem… Can’t be just one-sided.” When I hear stories about a high school girl getting pregnant out of wedlock, I used to comment, “Well… young love. It just needed better contraception…” When I read about the Lapindo Mud Explosion, I said, “There are many people who suffer from this catastrophe. But Lapindo alone can’t be the scapegoat, because there is an accident element in this…” And so on.

When I first heard about Sumanto’s case, I said: “Well he’s got a mental disorder. Will the press just STOP making a big deal out of it?”
When I came face to face with the cannibal himself, I thought: “I’M SCARED OF YOU, SICKO!!!” And the result of this echoing thought in my head was stiffness, cold sweats and restlessness. These things were wrapped into a behavior some would call “snobbish”.
It’s dangerous, and it’s so NOT me.All in all, tonight had really taught me a lesson. There is a difference of “not judgemental” and “trying to be not judgemental”. And sadly, I fall into the latter category. It’s damn difficult to be a non-judgemental person…
What do you want me to do? The man ATE a human being!


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