Part 1: Noah and his Father
On a quiet morning, majestic to say the least, the sun rose softly, yet unlike all other mornings, on this day, it embraced a pristine crispness, perfectly complementing the balmy accents of this summers dawn. Pastel orange danced with lilac in the sky, and as light gradually highlighted the earth bound greens, the world seemed to hug together, all elements as one, as family, each entwined with the next, as though made for the existence of what was made before and after. Unity in individuality. Noah did not sleep most nights. He couldn’t stand the silence, however many times police sirens interjected, it nevertheless seemed overly intense at a time of rest. He watched the sunrise art unfold against the clock, yet long after the sun had risen, he would continue to watch and wait. Sometimes he would wait for the sounds of birds, each in their families, waking also, enjoying what he enjoyed, living when he lived, and sometimes for the sound of his mother, unable to stay in a decent slumber, thinking of all the household tasks that lay ahead.
Noah did not like to see his mother work so hard most days. “She labors over the silliest of things”, so he told his father. His father just stared, not in a judgmental way, not in a way of expressing agreement, but simply in an acknowledging way, as if to say, “My son has said something, I heard that something, this conversation is now over.” There weren’t many unscrewed nuts and bolts in
Noah’s father’s head. He was a clever man, a journalist in fact, for a reputable newspaper.
He was the type to sniff around for events, some called him ‘the bloodhound’, and when he found one, it was almost beautiful the way he dissected and interpreted, investigated and understood every relevant detail of the situation. Noah began to idolize his father after he travelled to Sri Lanka for a story on the ever increasing poverty. He stayed away from Noah for nine months, and all Noah could do was miss him. He understood that his father was gone just for now, for a little while, and for a good cause, but it felt as though he was away from Noah, himself, alone. Noah realized he was being entirely selfish however, when his father returned and told tales of all the many wonderful, yet heartbreaking adventures he had undergone.
Noah didn’t pay much attention to the specifics, but more so on what his father had done in order to go on such adventures. His father immersed himself in the culture, in the people, who accepted him, cared for him and taught him how to be. He, for nine months, was no longer a white man from New
York, in Sri Lanka, simply there to view them and observe the state of poverty in which they lived,
“No, Sir-ee”, Noah thought. Noah liked outdated colloquialisms like that, especially in moments when they became the unexpected, and perhaps, the unwanted. He believed that they cut the tension with the so called “knife of awkward notes”.
No, his father became the person with which he would have wanted to encounter. He became the old Sri Lankan man, sitting on a dry dirt road, hunched and tired with a ripe tan and sweat on his neck. He became the mother of three, struggling each day to teach her children how to “live right by
God”, tormented each night by the very thought of a day without food for them in the morning. His father met that very woman, and she told him that she cried, every night, at least one single tepid tear rolled down he sunburnt face, and into her empty lap. Her children were always asleep however, she told Noah’s father that she could never let them see her at her weakest, or else they would “grow up weak, and here, there is no room for weakness”. Ironic.
Noah’s father made the mother’s story his first paragraph in what became a front page story. It was the day that Noah read his story, four times over, that he knew he wanted be exactly like his father.