You and your friends are sitting on the pavement outside your favorite hipster tea bar on the Rainbow, smoking. Both your tongue and heart are red from ingesting hibiscus ice tea for three continuous hours.
You’re aware of the weather. You’re aware of the cars driving through Rainbow Street, and of all the different kinds of people walking by. You say hello to many, relishing the fact that the summer is over, and the street is yours again.
You’re used to this street in the same way you’re used to your bedroom. You know that way, don’t you? The one with emotion so raw and overpowering that you probably shouldn’t be feeling towards a street.
You can’t help it though. You’ve been into most of these buildings around you, for they were either once inhabited by a friend or a business you liked. You celebrated your 10th birthday at the now-abandoned building across the street, and your mind always fills the emptiness with the giant plastic polar bear that manned its entrance 20 years ago. You’ve made friendships that will last for life that started at La Calle. The asphalt beneath your feet tasted your tears as a love interest broke up with you on a cold night, while you had coffee together on that bench. The yellow-and-pink sidewalks have braved your drunken barf. As a child, you’ve held your mother’s hand as you crossed the street to get falafel from Falafel AlQuds. You almost got caught smoking during the day in Ramadan on that corner over there.
And you’re sitting on the Rainbow and watching the seconds go by, and that’s something you’ve done in almost all stages of your life. This street is a more stable part of your existence than most other things you can think of, aside from your family, perhaps. It brings out memories of childhood, of your teenage years, of when you were sad and when you were happy, of new experiences, of people you loved and lost, and people you love and have.
The Rainbow is the taste of ice cream on your tongue, and the blisters of fries right out of the oil pan from Batata. It’s the delicious dusty smell of the first few times it rains, and the splatter of boots against wet sidewalks. It’s all the people you’ve ever known in your life, the ghosts of memories walking around, dancing around, skipping around, laughing around.
Yet, no matter who you are at any given point in time, the Rainbow will always make you feel the same sensation. It isn’t about the intoxication or your age. It isn’t about the people you’re walking with or the phase of your life you’re in. It’s a part of your life’s routine, this place is. It’s a street that stopped being a place and became a sensory experience of living and changing as a human being.
You can imagine yourself an old woman, choosing a random spot on the Rainbow’s long pavements to sit and laugh.
The Rainbow, I love it.