This is the final draft of my prose piece called "City."
I came to a city buzzing with excitement. The vibrations from its energy were palpable. The people and the music were in constant motion. Everywhere I looked, I found bodies moving and waving, dancing to the melody of immorality. I recognized everyones’ faces but knew no one’s name. Once I saw one face, it was lost forever in a polluted sea of people.
Everything was smoky and black. Ashes covered the street; animals and people alike would slither over the ground, eating yesterday’s scraps. Soot covered their faces as they begged for one more taste. The filth they shared brought unity between them. I could taste the sickness loitering in the thick air surrounding me.
I watched. I keep watching.
The thrill of the city is contaminated by the smell of death and of vomit. Beggars and billionaires share the road. They live for the same pleasures and have a need for the same sins. One man’s exhale is another’s saving breath – rich with the stench of alcohol.
This city calls people. It beckons them from all parts of the world. It entices them with music and dancing and sex. People come and go again and again.
But one man remains. He never leaves nor does he change. He stands at the corner every night. An unchanged smile lingers on his face. Late in the night, people swarm him. They pass by until the sun goes down, and they return as wolves and hyenas. They take all he has but he continues to give. This is his life and this is his city. For him, one year passes every four. He learns the people and he understands their habits and their desires. But when his year ends, his friends are gone and new ones arrive to strip him of what he has left. Yet he freely gives.
This is the city of Athens.