Autumn in the city has its own aura. The cool air carries the lingering scent of the river through the canyons of buildings. It reminds her of her youth and the damp saltiness coming off the ocean wandering an empty beach after all the tourists had left after their summer trysts. Recollecting the feel of cool sand between her toes and her hair knotting as it blew in the breeze she instinctively brushed her hair out of her face and curled her toes in her shoes as she walked.
Then, the smell of stale urine and she is thrust back into reality briefly before it is offset by the cut flowers lining the outside of each corner bodega. Her mind wanders back to long walks in the woods with the last smells of summer flowers wafting up from the forest floor as she crunched drying leaves under foot. Glancing around her she imagined the buildings lining the sidewalk to the the forest framing the trail as she skipped across an intersection pretending momentarily it was stream in her path.
The acrid smell of exhaust stunted the moment as she twirled out of the way of an oncoming cab and back onto the curb. Turning she catches a hint of coffee from the shop as the door opened in front of her. Breathing in she is taken back to a corner shop in a quaint little town where the aroma swept over her as she sat in the window sipping while the weathered pages of some old book were clutched in her fingers.
Each step brought back some lost memory from the faded landscape replacing the bustle of the world around her with her most solace moments of introspective security. Each step represented some pleasant feeling of her past for a brief and fleeting moment.
Each step is a move forward. It, however, is only a means of locomotion instead of representing some deeper and more grand meaning. It is advancing only the physical world, taking her closer to her destination of a building but no closer to any kind of enlightening self-realization.
How could, she wondered, one be alone in a city of millions of people? But the answer proved to be more elusive than one might believe.