The air smelled of saffron crushed under foot, the clouds of white smoke and jungle prayer, filling the empty spaces as the sun dripped heat down the sides of your opium pipe. At dawn, you might venture into the street like a spider creaking out from a crack in the folds of time. You might visit a cafe and pass the morn idly by. Later, you might dance, sure-footed, along the wet cobbles only to find yourself at the market. You might even trade some spice for a cupful of soiled leaves, or bestow a kind word upon a stranger — a stranger whose sad siren song made you think of the postman three days past, and the letter you had wished would never come.

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