I’m sure it surprises none of you that if I could be anywhere right now, it would be somewhere fictional. But it is as real and as tangible to me as if I’d actually spent every summer running through the fields, as if I’d soared high overhead with my family in search of new trade routes. I can feel the grit between my teeth from another breakfast of Llorinda’s horrible hearthcakes.
I get a little dizzy as I move farther in-jumping around in time always does that. But the smell of earth and fresh ground coffee settles my soul in a way that nothing else can. This is home, and Asha’s smile will always remind me of comfort and safety.
The day is almost always cold and crisp and clear. I sweat, it’s not always September/October, but that is always the month I come home to. Crystal blue skies with wisps of clouds chasing each other along the river as I pound the cracked pavement of Lowtown.
Closer to the bridge, the smell of foodtrucks fights with the rank of sluggish river water. Cumin and coriander, ginger and five-spice, basil and baking bread – its easy to pick them out on the damp air, if you want to. If your mouth reminds you of the way the roast goat melts, the light, crisp crunch of a fried noodle cake- your shirt still remembers the grease stain from Roman’s pepperoni bombs, but you tell yourself you’ll have to get an order before you leave anyway. For old time’s sake.
The art district seems to grow every time I look at it, but that can only bring a smile to my face. I nearly walk smack into the “DANGER: Hard Hat” sign in front of the warehouse-soon-to-be-theater because I’m too busy gawking at the not-ferris-wheel growing in the back. Ro finally talked someone into letting him take his cyr wheel work to the next level. Awesome.
I turn back before I make it all the way down to the river district proper – Ni’s gotten a lot of good work done, cleaning the place up, but it’s still not a great idea to wander too close to the bridge, even in the middle of the day. Besides, I’d rather stop in at my favorite shop on Manchester…2nd? I can’t actually remember if we’ve named the street or not. Still, I’d know that Spider logo anywhere.