The Soul of a Rainbow

 About this piece: Me and some friends decided to challenge ourselves and try writing pieces that describe a place using all the senses but sight. This is what I came up with.

Against the scents of an autumn morning, the birds sing their last tunes. Soon they will fly to warmer pastures and their songs will be replaced by the howling of a winter wind, the rumbles of thunder, the pitter-patter of raindrops, and the swishing of hot car wheels in cold water puddles. This morning, however, the pitter patter of raindrops is a faraway occurrence, as it is replaced by gentle footsteps pressing, ever so lightly, on the cobble stone streets. The whiff of freshly baked bread dances in the morning breeze as it mingles with the freshly brewed Turkish coffee, mint teas, hazelnut American coffee, a caramel latte, and the tinkling of the plates, forks and spoons of breakfast goers engaged in a full spectrum of conversation.


In the distance, and just off the main road the sounds of an impersonal school bell interrupts the morning calm, as an angry teacher authoritatively instructs schoolgirls  to get in line . The girl’s chuckles, laughter, and words of enthusiasm gradually die down, only to be replaced by the sound of the National Anthem as it bellows through a muffled speaker.  Over on the main road, the sound of the holy quaran lyrically interrupts the still silence of a bookstore, as the bookstore’s owner negotiates with a worker about getting supplies for the day. Fairuz sings from the doorway of a café, as the waiter’s damp wiping cloth gently kisses the café’s wooden tables. The fruity yet murky scents of flavored tobacco, come from another street café further up the road, whose owner urges passersby to enjoy the morning in his company. “Don’t drip”, says a woman to her son, as one of his hands tightly locks into her grip and the other clutches an ice cream cone. The boy implores that his strawberry ice cream is melting, and the mother replies in anger “I told you not to buy Ice cream this early in the morning”. The boy’s little feet shuffle against the hard stone floors, as they try to keep up with his mommy’s angry stride.


“He called me last night, but I don’t know how I feel” says a young girl into the air, or maybe she said these words in a smartphone speaker hidden behind strands of long hair that were gently touching the breeze, “Ya, I have to figure out what to do next.” she says again after a brief silence, followed by parting words said as her footsteps speed forward. Her phone yells a series of WhatsApp alerts. Then, it rings again, and as she says to the air “I can’t talk now, my English class starts in a minute and I’m late.” The smartphone clicks shut, as her footsteps then join an orchestra of other footsteps moving towards a language center. Gradually, the chaos of feet is accompanied by a full range of voices blending in the varying pitches of conversation.

The sound of metal shutters rattles and then roars roars in the distance, as the glass doors of yet another store slide open. This repeated melody comes from another store, then the next, as the sound of the holy Quran is replaced by louder conversations, more spoons and forks, and the slurp of coffees to go from hot paper cups as their holder’s feet dribble to their places of work. The sound of honking cars, loud car stereos, and a policeman waving instructions fill the once silent street. Big busses give off a loud belch of contaminated smoke, while cab drivers just shout obscenities to incompetent drivers.  The scent of baked bread disappears, the speakers from the school die down, until the sounds of the morning all mesh into an impersonal hubbub of just being.  The world is now fully awake, ready to embrace a new day.

Good morning from Rainbow Street



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