a list of admissions before dawn

by tobias crabtree

this isn’t an attempt to sound like i’m disciplined; i’m not. i’m not the man my grand dad was and i ain’t the man my dad is and i’m not a harder worker than my kid brother (not even close). all these men have known the morning hours because work has beckoned them. my brother, joshua, builds stuff, like hospitals and medical buildings; my dad works for God, and God likes folks to be at it early; my gramps worked the oil-fields in the early 1900’s. i’m kinda like them all, besides bearing a striking resemblance to them in some ways, i like being up before the sun. sometimes way before the sun, like today. and today i made a list of things that happen before the sun comes around the corner of the world.

-an acorn fell and popped off like a gun shot on the roof of the shed.

-i flailed from a dream where i was with a pretty girl who was explaining that we had a baby together. the baby had little pointed ears and gold eyes and ebony skin and i was doubtful that it was my baby, i glanced at my reflection in a broken out car window (my dreams are often in a war torn setting) and i had pointed ears and gold eyes and ebony skin.

-i groped around in the dark, like every morning, for my headlamp that i last saw on my head when i was reading last night. i found, instead, my copper earring that has been missing for a few days. (and where was that thing, in my sleeping bag?)

-i crawled out into the cold to take a leak. puffs of breath.

-i found my pants in the dark.

-i turned on the shed light. my headlamp was on my pillow. i mumbled, “that figures…” to myself.

-i turned the light back off and stepped out under the freckled universe.

-orion was center-stage, chasing taurus…his never ending hunt. i thought of roger sparks and hunter dahlberg, both sons of that constellation. roger with his son, orion. hunter with the stars tattooed on his body in precise astronomic distribution just as they are on the hunter in the sky.

-the big ursa, that dancing circus bear always circling polaris.

-a screech owl, calling and calling and calling.

-an iron blue horizon, promising cold.

-frost coming on. the grass crackling under my sandals.

-the rooster, letting me know he’s a rooster.

-i make coffee in the camper, humming some 80’s song about the rains in africa.

-i browse the sun magazine while coffee’s brewing. a sad story about someone loving someone who wants to love everyone.

-i think of albert camus from out of nowhere…or maybe out of everywhere.

-i think about how i don’t have what i takes to be an existentialist. i do believe in right now, this moment, but i’m a romantic and love the mystery of maybe.

-i step out with my coffee and it seems darker. i scare a sheep that i thought was a bush and it scares me and i spill some coffee on my wool sweater that has a lot of coffee spills on it. “precious coffee,” i say out loud to myself, “what a waste.”

-i find the shed in the dark.

-i turn on the light and wrap a blanket around my nasty little hooves.

-i chuckle and say something about loving this shit.

-light is coming. orion has fled. my heart is clunking away. the future hangs like an exhibit down a long hallway in the museum, i can’t quite make it out, but it looks interesting. what’ya say we go stand in it and call it now?