by Dawyn Henriquez ’19
The plastic body of the alarm clock rattles as it wakes for its one purpose. The green glow of 5:30 a.m. blinking sleep out of its eyes. The sharpness of its sound is only joined by the deafening buzz of the dial tone coming from the unhooked landline; its body slung off the nightstand attached only by its cord like a hanged prisoner. The man’s bed already released him from its cotton shackles. He’s already gone, the bed defeated, its sheets torn open and lying in a wrinkled pile. Lacking is the air of its coffee cologne and its humid body from a steaming shower. He never leaves without his rituals. The sun’s rays won’t touch his dark earth without the fulfillment of his acts.
And yet there he is, racing down the road in his black Nissan Altima at twice the speed limit. There he is, wearing thin polyester pajamas, teeth unbrushed, body unwashed, and hair undone as the radio plays J. Cole lyrics he usually pays attention to. He drives through woodland road, the canopy overhead arching to kiss the dark blue of the predawn sky. Smooth asphalt gives way to bumping dirt road as the path to the cliff snakes through the trees. Why here? Why now? Why? He thinks as he parks. Augustus! He yells at the man standing at the cliff’s mouth.
Augustus’ feet flirt with the edge, a man facing death for the thousandth time that week. The crickets in the bush below roar, the bush sways with the wind, the breeze carries autumn in its fingers, and the sun finally rises—its light shining into Augustus’ azure eyes.