Place Piece

He really didn’t know what was that attracted him to this place so much. After all, it was just an old boat station. At some point, it was vital for the city that had stood on the water. Boats and ships came and went all around the clock, it was busy, noisy and lively. It was a long time ago, though. The city moved further south since then. Planes and copters came and replaced of boats. Now people were flying rather than sailing.

He came here every day at lunch break. His office was not far away, on the outskirts of the city. It took about ten minutes on the flying bike, and then he had this place for himself for forty minutes. Hardly anybody ever came to this lifeless place.

It never seemed boring to him. Eating his sandwich, he wandered around the empty platforms time and time again. Empty of people, yes; yet not completely empty. He sometimes wondered how all those items ended up here. The bookcase on one of the platforms was obviously a remnant of that ancient government program that had supported book crossing. Books were not in use anymore. They still existed in libraries and museums, remained something people collected, and were sometimes used at schools, but regular people used readers.

He supposed at some point when the station was no longer used but the city hadn’t moved far, people from the nearby houses used this place as a dump site. He never have seen any food leftovers, any used plastic, nothing like that. It looked more like an exchange point where you can leave things that have no more value to you but might turn out to be someone else’s treasure. Books, bottles, umbrellas, souvenirs. And still more books. Or had it been a flea market?

He also suspected someone might have lived on one of the platforms some time ago. This spot looked like a nest, with some rags and some stuff that had fallen behind. Seeing the proof someone’s been homeless was peculiar: it was centuries since the government had provided free shelter for everyone in need.

The vending machines didn’t work now, and the plans showed a city that, strictly speaking, no longer existed. It moved south, it had new streets, it had higher buildings, it even spoke a new language. He could read the signs but it was like remembering a dream. After all, the language of the ancestors was only taught at school for a couple of years.

Sometimes he read instead of wandering. He loved reading, and it was a perfect place for it, quiet, bright, and in a sense, very clean. The sounds of the city were almost inaudible, and the water was still. A couple of times he even tried to read the books he’d found there but mostly was using the reader, the habit being too strong.

One day he brought his telescope here. Sure, people no longer needed them, you could just go there and see for yourself, but he loved that old toy. It reminded him of his grandpa.

Or else, he would just lie there, looking at the sky with its four moons, caressing the water, dreaming.