22nd December 2018
I ended my day with the sunrise.
I can hear the rubber slippers slapping from the veranda, sharp plastic metronome keeping time with the dawn. It was Mr. Menace ambling in his habitual slouch on the sidewalk, right through the smoke that blew from the garbage heap not twenty feet from the wharf.
5:55 AM on a Sunday in December. Kids are out on their bikes chattering as they swoop in and out while traffic steadily builds to a trickle, at six or seven it’ll be a stream. But for now, birdcall still dominates sharp and ferocious.
To the lustrous east, the sun is sheathed in a light silk wrap of cloudy haze, radiating a golden glow rather than a piercing brightness. Velvety clouds drift in lazy grace, the slender ones delicate peaches hemmed in dove grey trains.
Where they’re heavier, blue-grey behemoths with the same peachy curling highlights. Higher and much more still are white streaks like the jet trails of giant birds. All this against a backdrop of periwinkle slowly transitioning into the gradient day dress of blues.
And being upwind from the flickering heap the air currents carries the last vestiges of a hushed night.
The Blue Nile’s Headlights on the Parade is playing, fed through my headphones, the white plastic the only barrier from the world. The music, however, adding another dimension to the existing reality still unfurling. Coconut and mango trees, green and robust, their leaves dance lightly to the breeze that’s blowing in from the sea.
The men by the now empty stalls are still shoveling yesterday’s refuse from the big market. I’ve seen them up as early as 3AM, in the rain too. That fire is almost dead but the grass beside the road is lit up a verdant green, a contrast of sorts that might carry meaning if you’ve patience enough to bother. The unassuming greenness of it though reminds me of rolling hills in the English countryside.
The sunshine against the zinc roof at shin level cuts into me and what comes out is a sliver of nostalgia of all the early mornings I experienced as a child, with perpetual wonder and a now decaying buoyancy.
I wish I’d actually wake up to this every morning instead. But I’m coming to see wishes are just like blowing on dandelions that only encourage and propagate more wishes that may not necessarily come true. And that they’d remain as promises perched on the tip of my tongue never to be uttered but ring in my ears nonetheless.
And I hope the stray dogs can appreciate the cleaner air and the blanket of quiet, the gentle compress of it. I hope for a lot of things too. But is wishing and hoping not the same thing?
It’s a world of difference between the wanting and actually doing.
And here I am, frozen in time on the precipice of jumping.
I sigh and gather my book and the empty cup to the sound of my knees cracking and spine popping. I’ll sleep now, finally.