It was Friday night a few hours ago. I got off work early, did some banking, got some Chinese take-out. Then I conversed via the netterwaves with my friends until, one by one, they dropped off to sleep.
For once in a long, long while I do not work on a Saturday morning. So I decided, around perhaps two in the morning, that rather than going to sleep then and there, I would stay a while. I want to see the sunrise.
It's been a long time since I've been so "irresponsible", I suppose. But then again, I'm an adult now and it's my turn to decide what that means. This isn't a moment of irresponsibility. This is a life experience.
The last time I saw an actually sunrise, I cannot recall. I only recall the last time I was up whilst the sun was rising. I did not see that sunrise, though it ended a night marred with nightmares, which is what awoke me from my rest so early. That was late last fall.
It's very frightening, that hour before the sky really lights up. The sky is not so deep a blue as it was in the evening. It feels as though I could nearly smell the nearing dawn. And it's quiet. So quiet. Thus every sound is amplified. Each rustle of an insect in the brush is an imagined evil of the night. Every muffled tap of a cat hopping onto the roof of a car is the footsteps of a nighttime psychopath, fresh from the asylum.
To comfort my irrational fears I write. My creativity flows because suddenly I need it, like a shield, protection against the dark before dawn.
I sit on my porch and listen and breathe deeply. Someone's air condition near by shuts off and the silence is deeper even than it was before. The only sound is that of my typing and tiny, unnamed night noises.
I can see a planet. I think it's Mars. It's got an indistinct red tint to it. Or perhaps that's my eyes playing tricks on me. Is that the television on in my neighbor's front room? It is! Good grief. Everyone knows there's no good television on at five in the morning.
It's getting lighter in the east. Just a tiny bit. A solitary truck drives by and I wonder what could have possessed the driver to be up at this hour. Perhaps he is sleep driving.
The moon is nearly full tonight. This morning? I do not know. It's indistinct when you've yet to sleep. But of all the light, my streetlight is the brightest. There's one just outside my house. Usually it doesn't work. It's ironic that it should only work now, when I would make a bid to see the sunrise.
An indistinguishable tint of yellow permeates the deep blue at the edge of the eastern sky. It is nine past five in the morning. The sun should rise in twenty minutes, if the chart I looked up is correct. I wonder if the sun ever rises at the exact same time, or if it's always just a fraction of a moment out of pace?
There is a thunderstorm far to the north west. I do not hear the thunder rumbling, but every once in a while the northern sky lights up with a flash of lightning. It's almost surreal, somehow. The quiet, the purplish red below the belt of green and yellow beyond the eastern mountains, the flickering clouds in the north, it all seems like some unbelievable place, something from a sci fi movie or a fantasy realm.
It certainly doesn't ring true to what I've come to know of reality. Is this the world without people? With less people? I don't know what to make of it. The silence is like nothing I've ever experienced. What is in this silence?
I'm afraid that if I look away too long, I'll miss it. The sky is changing so quickly! There's a thin line of what could nearly be daytime sky blue between the deep blue and the yellow! And then an unsettling maroon at the edge of the sky.
I can still see Mars. The last lonely twinkle in the sky.
It's getting cooler. That's so strange. It just feels so odd, especially in a desert like this, for this sudden rush of cool that preceeds the sunrise. Perhaps it's what wakes up the birds. I can hear some of them now, quiety twittering, shouting out to one another from the trees.
It's truely amazing how one singular light, even one so great as the sun, can chase away the vast darkness of space. I say this because it's so strange to see the darkness flee, driven away. There is so much more darkness than there is sun. And yet the sun overpowers it daily.
I wonder when the streetlights will shut off. I wonder when Mars will fade.
Heh. Now it seems like the sun is taking its sweet time. There are some clouds on the east horizon. I wonder, is sunrise when the sun peaks over the mountains, or over the clouds obscuring those mountains?
For a brief moment, I wonder where that music, like bells, is coming from. Then I see that some unfelt morning wind has stirred the wind-chimes. It's perfect. I could not ask for a better instrument on which to play my sunrise.
Mars is dim. The sun would be up, if not for those clouds. A line of large, sleepy ants meanders past me. The early shift, I suppose.
I have a "I should be sleeping" headache. The sun was to rise around 5:35. It's nearly ten minutes past that and I still can't see it. It's those clouds. The world is illuminated, and I can't even quite see the sun yet. It's as though the sun has never taken such pains in rising before. Each moment the sky is brighter, but still the sun evades me.
I'm determined. I will see the sun before I submit to sleep and fail to extricate myself from warm, seductive dreams.
The world is bright but the sun is nowhere to be found! Perhaps it has disappeared, and left only its light to remember it by?
In the morning this desert city smells as the mountains do. Fresh and clean, cleansed somehow in the night. It's wondrous.
Oh! Some bold, foolish bird hopped into a dense potted plant here by my side! Looking for the bees that about in it, I suppose! I heard him rustling in the plant and turned abruptly, surprised, and frightened the silly creature away.
There it is! At last!I've seen the world awaken. And the shy but glorious sun comes forth and peaks through her curtain of clouds. Even the sun slept in on a Saturday. And now I think I'll do the same. Good morning! And Goodnight!