Nicholson Baker has an extraordinary gift of observation and powerful attention to detail. In his “A Box of Matches“, written in his characteristic stream-of-consciousness style, the narrator wakes up everyday to make coffee, make a fire, meditate, before the sunrise. This habit evolved after his wife took him to watch the sunrise on his birthday.
When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told my family that I wanted us to watch the sunrise together. Lo and behold, on the day of my birthday this year, Monkey King woke me up with “Happy Birthday” at 5:45am. He made me a thermos of green tea. We bundled up little Lady Monkey and arrived at a nearby park at 6:10am.
The sky was overcast. We walked around the park, feeling disappointed. Then as if on cue exactly at 6:13am, I looked up and there it was, this magnificent golden globe peeking through the clouds to wish me a Happy Birthday! I ran towards the sun and squealed. The sunrise lasted all but a minute. After this precious moment, the sun rose up to the cloud above, and was hidden from view again.
My family gathered around me. I felt happy.