8 august 2010

Nobody's Shadow

There was a man from Ahrawnd called Nobody Grundy, who took his-self everywhere. Bod, as his few friends called him, was a self-made guy. He'd made his clothes, his ragged sack-on-a-stick, his weary beard, his dry gaze and conversational formulas. He walked around with his own two feet, on his own rhythm and imprecise itineraries, searching for supermarkets, jobs and happiness.
And everywhere he went with his-self, Bod had a constant, loyal companion. His self-made shadow would never leave him. Bod and Shadow were inseparable strangers, each depending, unknowingly, of the other. Most of the time Bod would choose their destination, moving without notice and forcing Shadow to quickly follow in his footsteps. There were days when Shadow would take Bod by surprise and run ahead, pulling his friend along. Bod would then hesitate, mistrustful of his comrade's sense of direction.
At night Shadow would occasionally disappear, leaving Bod insecure and with a divided self. Bod considered Shadow his own and depended on his presence to feel complete and his-self everywhere, every time.
Bod had taken his Shadow along on his journey through world and life to share with Shadow the supreme victory of finding IT. Shadow had always been silent about the nature of this IT, never questioning IT's address, age or general appearance. He'd trust his own journey through life in the feet -and hands- of Bod, feeling that Bod's purpose was just as good or even better than any he'd settle for himself alone.
One night, Bod and Shadow were taking one of their very quiet walks in yet another stranger town, observing the unfamiliar sidewalks, shop windows and passing cars. They were just about to turn the corner when it strangely started to rain. An unfamiliar rain on an unfamiliar street, under an unfamiliar street lamp. Suddenly umbrellas popped out of nowhere, everywhere. Soon, Bod and Shadow were swallowed by an infuriated flock of black and gray umbrellas, each of them stampeding irrationally towards their den.
Bod, unfamiliar with the umbrellas and their strange movements, feared for his umbrella-less self and ran on his own two feet to find shelter on a dark, solitary alley. Strange raindrops were dropping from his hair onto his forehead, sliding delicately on his eyelashes before taking a final plunge towards his lips. His arms bare signs of irrational umbrellas on a stampede, his feet swollen with cold water flushing in and out at every step. He stopped to catch his breath and observe umbrellas rushing by from the comfort of his darkness.
Slowly his newly collected fear dripped away and Bod remembered to care for his Shadow.
He looked in front of his-self, on his back, to his left and right, even upwards and downwards. Shadow was nowhere to be seen. His dear own Shadow was gone.
The panic he had felt earlier returned, only in a swollen form. For the first time in a very, very long time -which Bod could not really estimate-, he called out for his all-time partner. He asked for Shadow all around the alley, hearing nothing but a strange, unfamiliar echo coming from the strange, unfamiliar brick walls.
Bod breathed deeply, gathering all the courage he could find about himself and took his-self back on the dripping sidewalks, tracing his fearful steps back to the street lamp he had last seen in the company of his beloved Shadow. The sidewalks looked all the same and all the same with the dark alley where he'd heard his echo.
The little, dripping town was slumbering in darkness. All the lights were swollen with rain and had stopped giving their artificial glow to the streets.
And in this little pool of darkness and dripping sounds, Bod found his street lamp. He stood there by his-self, dripping sour tears for the disappearance of his all-time, constant and loyal companion, Shadow, victim of the remorseless umbrellas.

Bod was his-self no more.

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