Flash Fiction: A Day in the Life

Muhammad Aulia Rachman

A Day in the Life

Muhammad Aulia Rachman – 180410160007

Entry 1

It is been five years since I first worked and lived here as a street cleaner. Sure the place had its changes over the years and I cannot believe that what I am seeing today remains indifferent than when I saw it five years ago. An old man like me should stay at home and taking care of my grandchildren, says the students I have met, but here I am, keeping the streets clean no matter how much trash those students threw in front of me or to the “nearest” trash bin available. I am known as Babeh to them, probably because my long beard. With old earphone and a very outdated phone on my hands, I carry on cleaning the streets as those students threw their trash either in front of me or on the nearest trash bin, although saying “nearest” is way too far beyond reality. Being old not so bad, some of the students fed me with a simple lunch or dinner and I have not to worry about anything else besides me and my portion of the street that I needed to clean.

I feel, as the years gone by, my strength left my body without any warning and it is getting hard for me to write or find the urge to write, as for someone who suffered muteness quite a while ago. I found that by writing, is the only way I could ever speak my thoughts about anything in this world, anything that irritates, annoys, or even triggers me. I might be old, but the news, be it fake or not, is something that I found… exhilarating to read, as people are misled by lies and persuasive way of thinking to think that one side is right and one side is wrong – fanatically.

Well, I always think that people would overlook me and think that I am a weird old man because I speak with writing. Maybe they spend too much time reading a Japanese comic with a female protagonist named Komi-san. It has been a mental conflict for me to write or not to write, as if this activity is weird and considered as one of the unusual happenings around post-modern communities and millennials. Although diary is beyond outdated, I find peace in writing it – in a place where technology is far more superior and far more convenient.

In times when men stalk their brethren like beasts and societal problem have become a personal matter, and people who watch a lot of news considered themselves as “politically” correct, I am still here wondering if this could get any worse, if this even lead us back to the way when common sense is still lacking, and when people comment on a matter you know best, it counts as an attack to you and the followers of your belief. Ah, I might talk too much about societal problems here, but what can a mute man do besides writing while others conveniently use their voices and mouths to blatantly spread lies?

Maybe, that is why things were indifferent. Different year, same old habits. And people have the urge to keep it that way. Somehow.

Word count: 546 words

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