My shadow is upset with me
"I like my shadow; it reminds me that I exist" — Mehmet Murat Ildan
She is not happy. My shadow. She's been standing on that corner for hours now, staring at me with an angry pout. Her nakedness fuses with the absence of light, adopting what could very well be an accusing posture. Arms crossed over the chest, the tip of a foot tapping on the floor. I haven't looked at her directly, but she knows that I know. She is upset with me.
I've said that I'm okay when I'm not, and she doesn't like that at all. Just last evening, every time I had to go to the bathroom, I had to cross the space between my bed and the door almost running, covering my face, as not to see her almost losing it, shooting embers from her eyes. She was definitely not happy.
"So you're okay, you say. Why do you cry yourself to sleep, huh? What's this on your stomach, then?", she would ask insidiously, following me all around the place, pinching me with her tiny fingers, with a strength I don't always recognize as my own. It didn't hurt at first, but she got angrier, and now it does. Hurt.
Last night, she decided to wake me up again. She climbed on my bed and sat on my chest, and stayed there until I finally acknowledged her presence. I opened my eyes and stared into hers, in silence, until she asked, "what are you going to do now, huh? For how long do you think you can lie?" And I couldn't answer, so I went back to sleep.
This morning, she was still there. And I couldn't breathe. I got up, washed my face, took a shower. She was still there, pressing on my chest, leaving no space for air. She can be very persistent when she needs to. I know what I've been doing isn't right. She knows that I know. And she's waiting for me.
A few minutes ago, she asked again. "Are you okay?" No, I'm not. But I don't know how to say it. I don't know what to do. She keeps asking me to write about her, but people don't like reading about wreckages. They like reading about Friday markets, Saturday nights, Sunday hikes. And I've got none of those. Just a shadow. My shadow.
I've been crying for hours, holding her tight against my body. She has just been there, quiet, letting me, even though my restless fingers threaten to fray her edges. She's singing to me, so very softly. And I know that, as soon as I can talk, I'll promise once again to write about her, to admit I'm not okay because I really am not, and to make us both a cup of tea.
And she will smile, help me get up from the floor, shake the dust off my jammies, and hug me. My shadow will want to dance with me again, and we'll sing poorly together too. She will pick the colors as I try to paint, and she will also laugh at me prepping for the apocalypse.
She will kiss my forehead, dry my tears if she has to, and she will say what I need to hear.
"Girl, even when you're not okay, you deserve to be loved ".
Sources of the images:
📷 by Martino Pietropoli
📷 by Tanya Trofymchuk
I'd like to thank you for reading this. I hope my words resonated with you in some way. If they did, or even if they didn't, I'd like to further connect with you, so I invite you to drop a comment and I'll answer it as soon as I can.