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Just Another Day


I wrote this at the start of my senior year in college for the college newspaper, in October 1994. 

SunriseAfter the long dark night, a faint glimmer of light appears low on the black horizon.  A chorus of crickets is replaced by an orchestra of birds.  They proclaim the birth of a new day.  The blackness hanging in the air turns to a dark blue.  The once blackened horizon is covered by a garment of orange and red.  It is the royal gown of the daughter of night.

Finally, like it has done for billions of years before, the sun rises, spreading its mighty arms and embracing  the vast  lands of its domain with its magnificent lights.  Morning has broken, and life stirs within its loving embrace.

Through a second-story window, the sun has cast one of her morning rays gently across the face of a tiny red- haired baby boy.  The small child stirs and opens his sky-blue eyes.  Like an angel spreading its wings, the baby spreads the corners of his mouth revealing a tiny but beautiful toothless smile.  His eyes open wide with excitement as he talks quietly with the sun ray in a language that only the two of them can understand.  Two hundred miles away, the little angel’s uncle thinks about him and smiles, knowing that he is going home soon to see him.

The sun spreads her rays through a classroom window.  A student stares down at her notebook, doodling as she waits for her professor to stop talking.  It is her last class on Friday, and she thinks about her plans for that weekend.  She is going on a road trip, visiting an old friend from high school at her college in Rhode Island.  It is going to be a long trip, but who cares… at least she will be away from college for a weekend.

In her doodling, a number appears followed by a date:  220 days, May 13, 1995.  She has to use her long dark hair to cover her face as her eyes light up and a huge smile takes control of her lips.  People would think she was crazy if they saw her smiling that way in her Spanish class.  Not much time left.  A guy next to her just happens to catch her smile.  He smiles also, thinking she was smiling at him…

In another part of campus, the sun casts its light across a white envelope with one of those clear plastic windows.  A young man peers into the envelope.  As he does so, he jumps for joy:  he will be able to buy plenty of beer tonight.  Just as he does so, a young lady stops to talk to him.  It’s the girl he has been flirting with since he first met her in his Geography class.  She asks him if he wants to study with her for the test next week.  It’s going to be a good day, he thinks.

With the sun burning on her back, a girl dressed in green sprints down the field carrying her field hockey stick.  Her entire concentration is on the small white ball that is rolling and bouncing along the grass towards a predestined rendezvous point ahead of her.  She starts her back swing and fires.  Another unidentifiable girl covered from head to toe in protective clothing dives to her right.  The small ball rolls just beyond the edge of her stick.  The girl in green shouts in joy as she is mobbed by her teammates.  Laughter surrounds them.

With the sun reflecting off his glasses, a man talks excitedly on a pay phone with his mother.  He’s telling her about the job he will have when he graduates in two and a half months.  His four and a half years at college have paid off.  Barely able to speak in his own excitement, he tells her about the black 1995 Camaro he is going to buy in January.  He tells her to tell Dad that he is getting in his car and is headed home.  He will be there in four hours with a bottle of champagne.  He tells her to be dressed nicely because he is taking them out to dinner.  Tears are now in his eyes.  His mother, her voice trembling in pride, tells him that she loves him.  He returns the sentiment, hangs up the phone, and jumps into his old, rusty Chevette.  He pauses, takes a deep breath and gently pats the dashboard of his car.  1995 Black Camaro, he thinks with a smile bigger than the Grand Canyon.

As the sun sits low in the western sky, two old friends talk comfortably on a small white bench beside the creek.  After weeks of fighting, they have settled their major problems.  A difficult road is ahead, but the worst is behind.  A peaceful silence falls upon them as they stare deeply towards the full moon that has risen early on the eastern horizon.  He finally turns to her and tells her that even in friendship, he will always love her.  They embrace.

Across the creek from them, a young man zips past on a green and black bike.  His Notre Dame hat sits a little crooked on his head.  As he rides through the center of campus, he thinks about tomorrow’s game, the laundry he has to do, and the fact that he has survived yet another stressful week.  The cool, crisp autumn air feels good after the long, hot summer. There is just something about it that makes him feel so alive and free.  As he reaches the peak of the hill going toward his apartment, his eyes are met with a fiery red, orange and purple sky.  He loses his breath. No matter how many he times he sees it, he is always impressed by an autumn sunset.  He pedals faster toward the sunset, the light reflecting off his face.  He smiles, and then thrusts his arms in the air, as if he were flying.  LIFE IS GREAT, he thinks.  “Thank You, God,” he says.

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