I surprised C. with a trip to the sea for her birthday. This morning I woke before dawn to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic, which goes against my night owl nature. I haven’t seen the sunrise in years, and I was surprised by how fast it moved. Standing in the wind while the world lightened, I felt wholesome. Maybe there’s something right about these early hours that justifies the pluck of morning people, the moral dimension they achieve when they advertise waking up at 5 am. I wrote for a while and caught up on some work. Then I took a nap.

A few hours later, I woke to the sound of C. making coffee and waves crashing on the rocks. Whenever I hear the ocean, I think about how it sounds like highway traffic or radio static, not the other way around.

The final presidential debate was tonight, and some self-hating part of myself felt obligated to tune in. Thankfully, C. is much wiser than me: “It’s my birthday,” she said, “and I don’t want to see Donald Trump’s face today.” So we listened to the sea, and it gave us much better information.

Echospace – Ocean of Emptiness

The Coldest Season | Modern Love, 2007 | More
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related Reading
February 6, 2022

Morning Man

Utah. White skies, flurries, and temperatures around zero. The days around my birthday often find me rethinking the rhythm of my life and nursing morning fantasies.
April 20, 2022


I’m somewhere over Greenland, and the sun will never go down because we’re flying west.
April 3, 2022

Black Walls

We spent a week shivering in a damp atrium with rain dripping down the sides. We called it the Tarkovsky Box.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x