The pale, flour-white sun hangs by a wire over the still waters of the evening bay. In a warm state of gray and ivory, half silhouetted by an overcast 6pm sky, I refuse to believe it is the same sun I’d seen before. The same sun that baked my skin at the beach, when it was young and glared over the ocean. It’s not the same one in the pictures sent from my vacationing relatives in Tahiti. Big, red, heat-heavy, hanging in the background, staying perfectly still and lighting the clouds just right. Posing until the picture was taken, alongside my fat, pale white cousins. So picture perfect, that it could be a postcard. Actually, it was a postcard. The people who I consider to be wading in the shallow end of the family’s gene pool thought their chubby smiles in paradise looked so perfect, that they had the picture made into a postcard, just to send to me in heather gray-skied New Jersey.
This sun in front of me now isn’t the same sun as in those Corona commercials. This sun, homely and lukewarm, has much more character. This is the kind of skyscene you could sit down to have tea with. Have a polite conversation with. A bit more reserved than the “HEY GUYS I’M THE SUN. WANNA HANG OUT, PLAY VOLLEYBALL?” type of light that gets all the airtime and brochure covers. The sun today would be more likely to sit across from me in a cafe, cross its legs and say “Hey. So, it’s not really warm enough to go outside. Kinda overcast. What are you going to do?”
“Well,” I’d say and pause for a moment. This kind of weather calls for a slight stint of self examination. “I think I’m going to write.” Then I’d take a sip of my coffee, in this metaphorical cafe with this personified sun. But since that scene is hypothetical and this weather is weighing my eyes down, I reach for my real coffee and take a sip instead as I drive home along the bay. The coffee is warm. It’s some rare Guatemalan blend with an oak wood color. I let it linger in my mouth to see if I can taste any hint of the South American sun. Then I realize I couldn’t find Guatemala on a map if I had to, and that it’s probably in Central America. But South American sun sounds better so I swallow and pretend to taste the warmth. I look back into the pale, blue-gray eyes of the sky over the bay and wonder what coffee grown under this sun would taste like. Probably more like tea.