Me and My Shadow, Strolling Down the Avenue
Me and My Shadow, Strolling Down the Avenue
We've been together a long time me and my shadow. I've known him all my life and I'm sure I will for many years to come. We've had our ups and downs for sure. He's faded in and out from the scene now and again and even disappeared for a while. But he's never far away and we always come through in the end.
My shadow has an active and varied life. You don't see him around outdoors that much at night-time especially not in the countryside. He prefers the warm neon glow of the urban illumination.
He has a much more varied life than me that's for sure. I'm incapable of that constant multiformity he goes through all day. He can even change into dogs, ducks, chickens and other farmyard animals in an instant. At my age all that metamorphisis would be very distressing anyway as I don't think my joints could take it. It must be very tiring for him so I wonder where he goes when I'm asleep. I should keep the bedside light on to check on that I suppose. He can't do without it.
Such is his versatility he can also stretch to extremely long heights.
I don't know where he got the stilts and I haven't yet been able to find them. But he is certainly a talented guy.
He likes the height and is desperate to get up early one morning and watch the sunrise.
I can't be bothered. Not even in the late winter sunrises because I'm not a morning person and I usually wake up ready for bed.
My ideal day is lying in around all morning then rising at the crack of noon. But a man must eat and work must be done.
Needless to say during the daylight hours he's not so keen on life around lunchtime.
He tends to to shrink away for a while particularly in high summer although he doesn't really appreciate the beauty of cloud formations either. He's a very hard man to please. But he loves a good holiday abroad with lots of sunshine and long, lazy days.
Changeable weather certainly doesn't agree with him and he tends to fade a bit intermittently. This would also explain his dislike of modern energy-saving bulbs in the house. Makes him quite pallid and lacking in his usual stout constitution.
I have offered to take him out and watch the sunset last thing at night but he keeps putting me off. It's an ego thing you know. Whilst I'm basking in the reddish glow of dusk he's sneaking away for the night. To be fair it must be very dispiriting to lose all that height so quickly so I really shouldn't blame him.
He can also grow huge in size. He really likes that as it brings out his mischievous size and his fondness for classic horror movies. It's unsettling for me to say the least and disrupts the balance of power in our relationship. So I tend not to pass close by to any uplighters in the street. Particularly around old cathedrals, castles and any Gothic style backdrops. Or even neo-Gothic buildings as I can't tell the difference. Anything to keep my nerves intact.
It's the same with candles. The last time the electricity ran out we almost fell out.
He kept sprouting up in size without any warning.
It was bad enough that the whole house was shrouded in a faint and flickering glow.
The candles on their own lent a funereal atmosphere of gloom and foreboding within our walls.
So he didn't help matters scaring the living daylights out of me whenever he felt like it.
I now know how shadow boxing originated. I could have went 10 rounds with him myself.
On that point I dread walking nearby to motorways or through car parks and sports stadiums at night.
He suddenly multiplies and there are three four of him following me round under the floodlights. One night crossing over a bridge I was literally afraid of my own shadow. Just for a brief second you understand for I was caught unawares. I thought someone was creeping up on me and I feared the worst. I just didn't recognise my old and trusted friend at first glance.
And that's an important thing to remember.
He is my friend and we go everywhere together. Nothing can part us.
I don't know where he goes at night but during the day we're like Siamese twins attached at the foot.
He's sociable too and whenever I meet up with friends he's delighted.
He's always willing to shake hands with their shadow or even offer a hug to those he knows best. The two of them will chat away too although I've no idea what they talk about. Probably about those two humans who drag them around all day no doubt.
I don't know if we have been strolling down the avenue like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr though. Not recently anyway as there aren't any in my neighbourhood. I recall running round an avenue last year but that was whilst out on an evening jog in a badly lit area. He was very faint and found it hard to keep up.
There was an avenue along the road from my childhood home so certainly we must have strolled along that one on more than one occasion. We were both much smaller back then of course.
Not that he loses out on the experience. There are plenty of other thoroughfares around and many modes of negotiating them. We've sauntered along a few streets, wandered into a cul-de-sac, tread along a country lane and power-walked through a dodgy neighbourhood.
We even marched along the High Street at a union rally protesting at government cutbacks. So he's a politically aware fellow and not afraid of affirmative action. A fun guy too as he staggered back from a liquid lunch at the pub one day around Christmas. But I swear I was completely fine and I had matched him drink for drink.
But we really must seek out an avenue and have a good old sing-song together as we stroll along side by side. Failing that perhaps we could walk down the alleyway.
Because, to be honest folks, we're just a couple of swells and we really haven't got a care.
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