November 17, 2017 (Friday)

by Yule Heibel on November 16, 2018

This morning’s sky, difficult to describe, featured a most dramatic sunrise. Writing that word – sunrise – just reminded me of F.’s father, R., who died suddenly earlier this month. R. and F.’s mother, M., had this “family business model” (I’m being sarcastic) which involved getting up at 3a.m. every day, Monday through Sunday, to pick up the city’s newspaper at some collection point, and then make deliveries to subscribers. This was all done on bicycle, with M. and R. each having some kind of tricycle, and F., still just a preteen, and his older brother contributing with regular bikes. Because of F.’s youth, he was allowed to “sleep in” till 4:30a.m. – that’s when the day started for him. They each of them had their paper route, going all over every neighborhood in the southern part of the city, in the dark, come rain or shine. And R. waxed poetic to me once about the great sunrises he got to see.

My spectacular sunrise is almost as difficult to describe as that curiously weird family with its often punishing and always controlling routine. The basic ground on which all the action took place was a crystalline clear blue. An azure dome. Except not that much of it was visible at first, as dark gray clouds, muscled with bulges and bumps, populated most of canvas. These clouds in turn were illuminated at their bottom edges by the rising sun. It happened quickly: dark slate gray cloud bodies, muscular and strong, a mass of them crowding on the blue ether, suddenly illuminated in brilliant (shining) white, gold, silver. But just at the edges.

Perhaps R. saw similar sunrises – the kind filled with brilliant subtleties impossible to fathom, and certainly impossible to keep. But every time and on each and every morning, these spectacles dissipate into more banal, more ordinary contrasts, as my sky now has also done.

F., who was late to rebel, eventually went full spectacle. All in purple, from hair to lipstick and fingernail polish, he’s a fixed sunrise, an attempt to capture the possibilities and potentials of those ambiguous mornings, which must have felt like dutiful torture. Perhaps he’s still subjected to them, trying to objectify his subjection, his subjectivity.

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