Kiki’s Gift


I like when Kiki stays with me in Jakarta. He never burdens me with hospitality. He is more than intelligent company. And going to bed knowing for sure that "there is someone else human in the house" is a snug security.

That he isn’t shy to shower me with tokens of gratefulness is a whole other thing to like. Once, he fixed the house's water pump; saving me from so much worry about the basic standards of human livability. Another time, when both I and the house were too sick to receive him, he gave a bottle of my favorite brand of water and a book of poetry.

Kiki’s last gift, though, was more generous and intimate than oral sex and kept me squatting around the house for a week: He scrubbed the bathroom.

You know it is sincere when the Universe is stirred to blog about it. I could tell you how, afterward, every bathroom trip felt like a treat. I could tell you how scrubbing the house for a week - room by room, tile by tile - left me with little need for yoga and in much need for a beautician. And I could also tell you how my relationship with the house effected my relationship with my family in more endearing ways than we have had in a year. All that could bubble into long soaps.

But I want to stop at that moment when inspiration sprung and slipped through my nose. That moment when everything that could be wrong in the world dimmed with renewed faith in housekeeping.

When Kiki bid us, me and this old house in Jakarta, his kind and clean leave.

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