Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shadow

It’s been a few weeks since Starbucks. It may be a few more, I don’t really know at this point. Right now I’m sitting in front of my own fireplace (electric), drinking my own coffee (Hotwire), and looking out at the world from my own window. I’ve spent the past two weeks living as a shadow of sorts. Now living as a shadow can be seen in a very negative light I suppose. We’ve all heard the phrase “living in someone’s shadow”. That’s not a very flattering concept. Shadowy figures are usually looked upon with suspicion. Even Peter Pan was always trying to elude his shadow. For me it’s a bit different. I’m not living in someone’s shadow, I am their shadow. I have been my wife’s shadow. She had surgery two weeks ago on her foot and leg and we’ve been almost inseparable ever since.
One of the benefits of a marriage, a good one anyways, is that you have someone to go through traumatic times with. You get to laugh together to be sure, but you also get to hurt together and you get to hang together. We’ve been hanging together for two weeks now and I’m sure that it has been more beneficial to me than to her. I can imagine that I can be pretty boring at times. Thankfully for her, the first few days were spent mostly sleeping or in a drug induced haze that probably helped make me look better than I am. In my defense though, I have been a good movie companion and last night I actually suggested that we play a game together which, if you know me, you know is the supreme sacrifice. We have been to appointments together, spent a fun filled day at the ER, and wheeled all around the neighborhood. This shadow deal is not bad at all.
In the typical arrangement, there is the original object, a source of light, and the shadow that is created. In the traditional sense, it always seems as if the shadow gets low billing. After all, it’s just a by product. In order to have one, you need an original and you need a light source. But on further thought, I have imagined all of the benefits that being a shadow brings. The other day we were in Barnes and Noble and I spied a cool book on making shadow animals. Those shadows were quite imaginative, but they all benefited from the creativity of the original who supplied the hands. I know some shadows that can be much better than reality even. We’ve all had the opportunity to witness some big beast like impressive shadow coming towards us from an unknown source, maybe from around a corner or whatever, and when the original appears you realize that it was only a Chihuahua. Shadows can be taller, thinner, more muscular, more whatever, sometimes only controlled by the original.
Shadows aren’t forever though. Circumstances change and the shadow disappears. Like Peter Pan, my wife is each day eluding her shadow a bit more. She is healing and gaining independence and the shadow isn’t needed as much, although I’m still trying to stick around as much as I’m allowed. This shadow thing is a good deal, especially when you’re attached to a beautiful blond. Like a shadow, she makes me better than I am. I can stand taller, appear more muscular, but we’re still working on the thinner bit. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and she’s recovering faster than expected. I like to think, other than the time I dropped her, that it’s because of her shadow.
So I don’t miss Starbucks at all. Shadows are only for a time and I’ll take this for as long as I get. It’s not a bad deal at all.

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