The two sat on the pier watching the sunrise. Magical orange light coming up over Lake Michigan. The city was quiet. No gunshots. No cars racing up and down Lake Shore Drive. The sounds of waves rolling in was all they heard. It was peaceful for the father and son. Joggers waved as they ran by.
There is no sweeter sound than silence, the father said to his young boy. It’s rare that we have quiet in the city, he continued. Gotta get up at some ungodly hour to hear nothing. For peace, he told him.
Did you and mom used to watch the sun come up? he wiped his nose. Dad kept staring at the sun. Would you get up early and walk down here? the boy placed his hands in his pockets; swung his legs out in the air above the water.
We did, pop said. Long time ago. Back before you were born, he lit a cigarette. We would come here with a box of donuts and watch the fire in the sky, they smiled.
Before I was born huh? That was a long time ago.
Yeah, the father said. Way before you were born.
What happened dad?
I don’t know kid. Sometimes people just live better alone.
Are you better now that you’re alone?
Haven’t decided yet.
Why don’t you live with us till you figure it out?
The father crushed out his cigarette and put the butt in his pocket. Come on. Gotta get you some breakfast. You want pancakes? the boy nodded yes. Dad lifted him up and carried him to the concrete sand covered track. One arm round his waist and a hand on his head. The boy wiped his nose on dad’s collar. They both laughed.