The air smelled of early morning sweetness, crisp and somehow optimistic. I always felt like that when I woke before 5AM, when the sun was still out of sight in the lightening sky and I could see my breath hanging in the air in front of me for an instant. The sight hitched a memory to the back of my mind, childhood laughter echoing and the innocent mocking of adults with candy cigarettes.

You know when the city is only just waking up and it actually feels quiet? Trains sliding up to the platforms in a whisper like they’re afraid of waking those still slumbering behind misted windows, the tapping of heels from that one early morning commuter echoing from wall to wall as she hurries past, cars murmuring along open roads without the mid morning roar of traffic to break its stride. It’s so odd to live in a city so large and experience that, so hard to forget that there’s a regular intake of breath as mechanical lungs unfold and start to work again. Like a daily reminder that there is always calm before the storm, the heavy silence of electricity filling the air, thunder rumbling in the distance.