A Little Girl and an Old Man by a Cart

A Little Girl and an Old Man by a Cart

        A Little Girl and an Old Man by a Cart. In a roofless flyover in the center of the city, the sun was shining fierce in the sky of Surabaya which covered carbon dioxide. The people hurried across it, their drenched in sweat skin filled with air blobs loaded of exhaust fumes. An old man was still sitting there, relying in iron fence, right in the middle of the bridge. Lowered his head wrapped in ragged pandanus hat and his body clad in very dirty clothing, sitting on a sheet of bottled water cardboard. There was a dented tin in front of him, it was almost empty of the smallest pieces of coins. And, under the bridge, passing vehicles at the intersection with the swift if the traffic light near the bridge was green lighted. Instead, the traffic flow was suddenly crammed like a bunch of sheep who were surprised by the roar of a tiger, when suddenly the light was red.

       The old man who still looked healthy enough would close “his work” when the sun began to slip into the west. Go down in the definitely steps toward the curve of the black river near the street, get a small wheeled cart. From inside the cart filled with packages and bags colored as dirty as his body, he searched for a plastic bottle containing water taken from somewhere, then drink it. After that he whistled a few times. A skinny black female cat appeared, sniffing and wagging its tail. He was ready to go, pushing the cart against the flow of vehicles, on the right side of the road. Skinny cat jumped onto the cart, sleeping like a toddler who was comforted in carrying his father.

       Crossing the parking of trucks lined the base meets the sidewalk, pedestrians were forced to pass on the asphalt with misgivings avoid an oncoming vehicles. He passed calmly by pushing the cart loaded his cat and rumpled packs, looking for cigarette butt that was still fiery at the edge of the street, then sucking it with ease. People avoid him, holding their noses when passing him on the road without any remaining shred of pedestrian having been placed by the trucks.

       The old man parked his cart under an acacia tree which it was not far after he turned right without waking his skinny black female cat sleeping on the packages in the cart. He pulled over to the side of the river were full of plastic waste, and pissing away. He was startled when he heard the cat meowing and jumping. A little girl holding “krincingan” made of bottle caps collection had been throwing the cat. The man hands on hips, staring at the little girl with a sharp nosed. The girl replied challenging her hands on hips too. The skinny black female cat was sniffing behind its master, as the defense requested.

       The man pushed back his little cart with the sound of metal wheels because they were deficient plump. The skinny black female cat that jumped back onto the cart, curled up like in its starting position. The little girl holding krincingan followed him from behind within ten meters. The shadow of toll highways in the city, protecting the three creatures from the sun. While traffic got congested, the air got full of dusty.

       Suddenly, the old man turned his cart into a restaurant that was full of customers. From far away, a security guard was brandishing his baton aloft. The old man would like to ignore him, he just kept pushing it up into the narrow parking lot full of cars in front of the restaurant. A young couple who had just parked about to eat, closed the car door again, holding their noses when he was pushing his cart to close the black car. A waiter of the restaurant hurriedly ran out, gave a plastic bag of food to him as he scolded.

       “Go away!”

                   ****

       The old man stopped his cart in front of a city bus stop. Taking a few coins from his dirty trousers to be exchanged for some cigarettes sold by a street vendor. Other people standing near the street vendor stayed away without care. The bus stop always crowded because it was not far from the bus stop, there was one lane motorway exit swooping and always crowded with cars to get out. The man continued on his way towards under the bridge of flyover. Although it was iron fenced, there had been long time that there was a part deliberately hollowed by the inhabitants under the flyover to be the entrance. The old man’s place was in the corner where was rather dark and sheltered from rain and heat. From the first place there, no one dared to disturb. Except for a few times he was transported by security forces of the city, then later he was released and returned to his place again. He then unpacked the content of the cart, took a folded of cardboard out and set it into the mat. The skinny black female cat wagged its tail when he picked up a plastic plate of the bundle, and then shared the food he got from the restaurant earlier. Both of them ate gluttonously without looking at left and right.

       The little girl stood far under the flyover, looked with a hunger at the two creatures were enjoying lunch. She ventured herself to the man and the cat, and joined eating with the skinny black female cat. Apparently the female cat was timid. It turned away and the food stayed a bit it completely overpowered by the girl and she ate it. While the old man did not matter, continued feeding until the plate from banana leaves and brown paper wrapping absolutely empty. Taking a bottle filled with water, drank half. Without saying anything, the little girl grabbed the bottle and drank it until it was empty. The old man just looked at her, a little surprised, but he did not say anything. Taking his cigarette out and burning it as he leaned on his little cart. He was sleeping on the stretch of crumpled cardboard after eating and smoking, and the cat slept near the man, whereas the little girl ran away from that place to go to her place.

       The little girl returned to the place where the old man’s sleep. Then she moved toward the old man in order to be protected from the wind. She saw the top of folding cardboard protruding from the small cart on the head of the old man. She tried to pull it out without causing any noise and wake him. After being success, she laid herself he laid herself a little shivering because she was cold. Against the man who turned his body was, just for getting warm from his body.

       The little girl was fast asleep and dreaming of boating with skinny black female cat is in a quiet lake. The roar of a car engine crossing a bridge above them it caused a sense of peace, a sense of living in a busy city.

       Before dawn, security forces came again, complete with police and several trucks with flatbed for bum hauler. Before the sun comes up, under bridges and overpasses should be clean of the bums. The dream man caught with his cart in the truck. So was the little girl. The old man was waving his hand, asked the security raised cat meowing, it asked having joined with its master. However, a wooden bat had landed on the skinny cat’s head to bounce away, ran across the road and disappeared into the darkness.

       “Death you, ringworm cat!” sworn the security as he jumped onto the truck to leave immediately.

       The truck a flatbed was almost full, including the selling cigarettes at a nearby bus stop. The old man looked angrily. His eyes shone in the direction of security holding batons who had hit his cat. The security pretended not to notice. The rain had stopped. Accompaniment truck full of bums which was escorted the police car in front of it, went to a place way up north, and then turned right. From loudspeakers on the tops of mosque minarets sounded shouted to each other to call prayers. Thin moon still hanging in the sky, it sometimes closed by the clouds occasionally moving to the West.

       A few weeks later, borders of crossing bridge found the old man working again as he had done previously. He went down to pack bent cans and his cardboard when the sun began to slip into the West. Moving with certainty, toward his cart tethered.

       In front of the trucks which had shortened the road, the old man pushing his cart with relaxing while keeping cigarette butts tossed flaming by truck drivers on the road. There were someones intentionally threw their cigarette butts when the old man with cart passed. On the top of the cart, since at that time the little girl perched happily as she continued to sing with accompaniment her “maracas”. Nobody took care about them.

**** THE END****

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