Autumn 2003
Volume 3, Number 4

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NoŽl R. King

"Oh my God!"

Matthew Sprinker, a 24-year-old San Diego native, was obviously overwhelmed when he stepped outside his front door for the first time last Tuesday. The first time ever, that is, before 9:00 in the morning. He staggered slightly as he grabbed the doorframe, said a passerby who was walking her dog in front of his house at about 6:24 that morning, and he reached blindly toward the rising sun.

"It alarmed me," Mrs. Anna Wisler said later. "I thought he was having a heart attack or something. I had no idea he was, like, seeing the sun rise for the first time." Mrs. Wisler said she hurried on past Sprinker’s house at that point because she did not have a cell phone with her and she did not want to see a dead man so early in the morning.

"I hadn’t even had my coffee yet," she elaborated. "I wasn’t about to expose myself to a tragedy so early in the morning."

Sprinker, not surprisingly, says he himself has not drunk coffee since that morning. Instead, he says, he has spent most of his time dealing with this newly discovered reality.

"I just never thought of getting up earlier," he explains, when questioned about his continuing amazement. "I can’t believe nobody told me about this."

He gestures toward the sun rising over the distant mountains, only the sixth time in his life now that he has seen this sight.

"Why didn’t anybody make me get up before?" he wonders aloud as he continues to stare into the ever-brightening light. "Why the heck have I been trapped under my covers all these years when this was going on every day?"

When reminded that his life in general hasn’t been worth getting out of bed for, Sprinker quiets down quickly.

"Oh yeah," he says.

—As circumstances warrant, through her Turquoise Pen column NoŽl R. King, Reston, Virginia, reports on strange and wonderful things, including the shock of first seeing the sun rise.


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