Happy Friday one and all. I hope you had a fantastic week. Mine was busy, but nice. I’ve relied heavily on allergy meds to keep the pollen at bay, but otherwise there is nothing to complain about. And it is always good when you have nothing to complain about. So let’s end the week as we bagan, with another writing prompt.
I found this one a lot of fun. I have no idea what the story is that this little slice goes with, but I think that at some point, I think I will end up using this set up for some story not yet designed.
Friday, May 14th: I used up my free time walking the city.
I used up my free time walking the city. I didn’t have a lot of free time in those early days and the walks were more of a way to familiarize myself with the city than anything else. I had only visited as a tourist before the strange curves of life brought me to the city and my experiences were limited.
My apartment was far from the tourist areas where hawkers sold cheap plastic trinkets and badly copied artwork. It was quiet, sedate and felt very old around me. It was, in its way frightening. The walks were my attempt to make the strange familiar, more knowable and less mysterious.
The attempt failed almost immediately.
The city was ancient and my apartment, chosen because it was less than a block from the office and easy walking distance regardless of the weather, was in the oldest inhabited part of the city. It was once the core of the ancient metropolis, but in the past thousand years or so of occupation, people moved slightly to the southwest. The center of the city was now a great distance from me, something I needed to hail a cab if I wanted to see. It featured high-rises, glass and steel mixed in with the more traditional brick and stone.
It was a big tourist draw and it drew me when I visited. In fact I thought that was the city until I relocated. That mix of now, ancient and upcoming. Always changing while keeping a few of the underpinnings to ground it. The timeline, anchored in the dim past yet stretching towards the far horizon was an irresistible draw.
As I set out on my first free weekend since the move, I found that there was none of the newness here. This part of the city had none of the vibrant, almost hectic motion of the newer aspects. Here things were more sedate, solid. It was not what I expected and I found myself irresistibly drawn in. I thought a steady stream of the ancient would grow boring, yet each building presented it’s own mysteries. Old plaques placed on walls in languages no longer used. Dates so old as to be almost unfathomable carved into buildings. And the odd decorations that peeped and danced along cornice lines, capitol plinths and doorways were newly infinite in their variety.
There was always something new to see, something unexpected. The old city was seductive, it’s mysteries growing with each corner turned. Finally, my steps took me to a part of the city that was no longer inhabited. It was no less seductive than the inhabited parts. Perhaps it was even more so because open doorways invited me in to look at the dim interiors left untouched for who knew how long.