I’ve written this piece for the blog series by Teagan Geneviene about the senses. You can read her piece and find links to or pieces by other writers in the comments at the following link.
A CITY STREET By P.S. Joshi
A combination of smells drifts to my nose. Apartment buildings rise on both sides as I stroll.
There are additions now required for urban life–window bars and fire escapes.
When I stop at one point, the early morning chemical smell of gasoline is noticeable. It’s leaked from older cars commuters here still cling to and drive to work.
This neighborhood is now home to Indian families. There are still some Italian families, but not as many as in former years. The remaining apartments contain a variety of renters.
Out of the Indian windows drifts the sweet odor of incense from each morning puja. From the Italian windows drifts a different scent. It’s oregano mixed with fresh tomatoes and green peppers.
I walk a little further and pick up the stronger odor of putrid waste water rising from the manhole of a backed-up sewer. The city workers will soon arrive.
A recent downpour brought the not-unpleasant odor of wet blacktop.
The morning sun beats down on the corner. There it’s the smell of hot blacktop, also not unpleasant. A city nose becomes accustomed to all these odors.