Under The Spine
Syjir woke up in his usual place under the slithery Spine, probably the most famous bridge spanning the undulating Kilbet-black Shafir River. Syjir awoke every morning comforted in the protection of the bridge’s reticulated underbelly, like a hatchling under the warm feathers of its vigilant parent. If the belly of the Gridlan, the official name of the bridge, was his bed, then the relative vastness of nearby Jere-Qouel Park was his living room or office. He liked to think of it as his living room since he was not much of an office drone, as evident in his self-imposed homeless-ness.
He stumbled putting on his park- and life-stained clothing, it was the warm Moist Season and he preferred sleeping in the nude. He did not care if the fine citizens of Gwij saw all of him during his morning routine. He felt a sense of freedom being nude and often wished he was a member of the nudity loving, albeit a bit eccentric, Des-ai Neo-metro culture in the far away Western Prefectures of the massive megalopolis. He finally managed the climb up the steep bank, freshly slick with the morning’s fog-born dew, into the rare morning sunlight. He quickly put his hand up to his brow to shade his eyes from this rarity and surveyed his living room. Over the years, he has become rather protective of his park and hated the holidays when his space was taken over by what seemed like the entire population of Gwij.
“Gwij”, he disdainfully muttered as he fought to refocus his eyes, ”If only the trees and the grass blades were animate, I would force a rebellion upon this arrogant and heartless flesh and stone being and declare Jere-Qouel an independent oasis”, he said to no one or no thing in particular. “But, I guess my soldiers are not tired of being burdened by the city’s children pulling down on their branches or trampling them down into the mud.” He let out a sigh, “I am.”
He does not really remember how he got this hate of the city. It was not from his current situation of wondering the Yohannus riverside without a cloudgrazer apartment to go home to; that was his choice. He sat down on a nearby park bench and began to eat his daily breakfast of three mi-safra fruit that always gave him a jolt in the morning, and, he suspected, his strong feeling about the city; after all, the fruit is a source of Brejal. He was thankful every day that mi-safra was plentiful in the park and that Brejal was legal, though he had no idea why. Just eating the fruit gave him a buzz that lasted all morning – his favorite time of the day.
His Sanbani-tailored pants he stole from a stall at the Marshedin Market a few weeks ago were starting to fray to the point where he was wondering why he even wore clothes at all since all the word could see his masculine attributes anyway, especially sitting on this bench. He didn’t mind; it kept the brats and their annoying parents, or more likely nannies, away.