Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer
Shadow coloured stones crush and scatter under boot heels. Their passage unheard, two figures have slipped silently across the rooftop expanse to its eastern face. Lumbering mechanicals presenting themselves at intervals, drinking heat from the spaces below to exhale in great humid sighs. These are the only sounds to disturb the pre morning air. There are no bird songs, no passing vehicles, no murmuring undercurrent of peripheral lives. It will be hours before the first ships climb to the stars.
This is the silence before the break of day.
Two figures sit, silent, legs dangling into space from the parapet, the last of the previous night’s beer in hand, each absently slaking the thirst neither of them feels anymore.
It’s not the night’s antics that make this moment memorable, indeed those memories are lost now. Not even the rise of the sun itself, though I’m sure as always it was worth the wait. The rising of this particular sun on this particular day was merely an ending, it had no significance beyond that.
The memory, rather, is of two accidental friends sharing the last moment they’d know together, in silence, waiting for the sun to rise and give them permission to leave one another, to leave home.
It is these few moments, this shared time of solitude so exquisitely inscribed upon which I now reflect. A time remarkable in its clarity, plucked from a sea of murky memories, of happenings that have long since faded from view. Brought forth by the thought of a sunrise I can’t remember watching, and will never see again.