The Warmth of an Only Sun
Written & Narrated by Ryan Williams French
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The Warmth of an Only Sun
If I could have my little boy back
Yes, If I could have him back
I would give up everything just to hear his heartbeat
There was much pain in all of the silence.
The things left unsaid.
Songs that were never played
Paintings that were never painted
When he was born he was only the size of a mustard seed.
He weighed half a gram
And Nadia our midwife told his mother and me
that his chances of survival were small
“Daedelus, he may not be here by this evening so if I were you,
I wouldn’t get too attached" She said
I begged to differ
He was my boy
Icarus was my only son
I did everything I could, but nurse him, to keep him alive,
kept him with me day and night.
Finally, my life had meaning now that I could enjoy the warmth of my only son.
Icarus had soft curly hair wispy as feathers and large fat plump cheeks that were more gentle than dandelions.
Icarus was my joy.
My little man.
I purposely kept him on my chest because I wanted him to know more than anything the sound of my heartbeat
the exact tempo and cadence.
Slow and steady.
That way when he got older If I was not around, God forbid,
He could remember the sound of his father's pulse
The song of his father’s dreams
The paintings of my deepest affections
If times ever got bad, if he ever felt isolated, misunderstood,
or confused all he would have to do is
close his eyes and remember the sound of my pulse.
The wait for his health was one of dread and quiet desperation,
him the size of a mustard seed, heart beating much faster than mine.
Fluttering like a little hummingbird.
minutes became hours,
hours became days,
days weeks, and surprisingly months had passed.
Before we knew it. We had a fat little monster running around the house eating everything in sight and getting his hands on anything he could.
Oh those were the years
And then of course he began speaking
We learned he was wise, perhaps too wise for his own good.
And exhaustively stubborn.
I knew his stubbornness would take him places
his stubbornness and his imagination would surely take him places
if cultivated in the right manner.
And I would pester him about this
“Icarus! for what is a man without his mind?
His ability to create?
The strength of a man's body is fleeting and passes exorbitantly fast
like the days of our youth.”
The days of our youth
When I saw him plummeting from the sky
I thought surely this must be a mistake.
I never got to tell my son. No show my son who I really am.
I mean there were many conversations.
But none about how much I loved dancing.
None about the time that I first fell in love with Rodin
while walking the streets of Paris
None about the time my heart was shattered after watching City of God
None about the times I hated men, despised women, but mainly loathed myself
None about the times I loved a man, worshipped a woman
Yet was undone by his mother’s smile
None about the time my father beat me with his staff after he discovered I enjoyed molding sculptures of lovers as a child
None about the first time I heard God’s quiet still voice
moving over the face of the waters
None about the last time I savored his mother’s touch
No instead I focused my efforts on teaching him to be productive,
strong, presentable all at the expense of teaching him how to love and discover the beauty that is life.
I never sat down and told my son how much I really loved him.
I never told him that I loved him deeper and more expansive than any words or worlds could ever contain or describe.
I loved him in a way that could only be deciphered through the sound of my heartbeat and the feeling of its pulse.
Or rather the perennial light of a star.
But just like that,
There was a loud splash
The birds of the air kept flying
The sailors on their boats kept sailing
The children on the shore kept laughing
All this while my boy drowning.
I rushed to the bottom of the sea to catch hold of him but it was too late.
It was too late
Pressed my ears against his chest
there was no music
There we were like before
Me and my boy
A father with his son against his chest only this
time my son was much larger and much heavier,
only this time he was cold.
And to think
Just like that, a father can lose the warmth of his only son.
Perhaps I’m selfish, but I couldn’t bury him
As long as I was alive I had to see him
So I decided to rest him in the sky
Somewhere where everyone could see him for all time.
I carried him close to my chest
We embarked on our final journey together.
Flying toward the horizon.
It was quite the voyage
days became weeks became months
years became light years and light years became parsecs.
I didn’t know that I possessed that much endurance.
But love comes with its surprises
At first, I was transfixed by grief that was so profound
The Memory of his warmth devoured me from the inside and I could not speak.
But over time
That grief began to morph into something
incandescent hot burning and then bright.
I carried him off as far as I could to make sure that no one would ever be able to possess the ability to take my son away from me.
And there he rests
9.1 billion light-years away from here.
Still Ever present.
Always my only Sun.