He has a tragically beautiful smile on his face. He's perfect. We were born to be together; complements like shadows attached to your body and appendages. The pairing untainted like the image of an old woman eating alone in a cafetaria, or a sunburnt child oblivious to the tragedy she has been afflicted with. The two are inseparable without losing its meaning. I cannot walk into the the darkness without starting to lose sight of myself as well. In a twisted way, we deserve each other. Sometimes I don't notice him – but he always lingers around, surprising me at the bends and corners.
Being infected with our own shadows is not something uncommon, but unique everytime nonetheless. Some are fainter than others, some are longer, slimmer, easier ignored. This one of mine is bold and always outlines my presence, my physical manifestaion in this world, a curse, a symbol of my mortality. I try so hard not to notice it. No, he's not there when I shine on stage, when I'm class president, when I sing the longest and highest note when all the lights are on me, or when I wreck havoc on the sports field. But any disapproving glance, the gasp of breath at the interludes of my notes, and a trip and flop in the mud reminds me of his existence. He's watching, capturing those memories and replaying them in the canvas in my mind. No, but he has made me happy. Now he makes me try even harder, to break those rules, to not accept the force of gravity tugging at my feet. Even when I close my eyes I can feel it, I don't have to see to understand what he has meant in my life. We circle around each other like twin stars, but who is brighter I cannot say, he is my shadow, but he has also defined the shape of who I am, conjoined onto me. Forever he will be just close enough to me. Sometime he trails behind me, sometimes I have to chase after him, but he's never too far away. I have become ambivalent, simply accepting of this fact I cannot avoid. I can touch the imprint of him on the walls and grounds in my life, but I can never hold him, or merge into him, feel him, become one with him. He's a shadow, just there, there. I'm through with the wicked expectations any child should have been blessed with that everything will be OK. Because I am OK, but the bar has been lowered too many times, and I want more than that.
While the bars have been lowered, I've grown up, I made myself taller. I want to be the best I can be, so stepping past these obstacles will not be easy, but at least easier. I want to be able to walk past them without much noticing, although the possibility of falling over even without obstacles is a permanent fixture in anybody's life. I realised there's more to these bars and shadows, and while the lights may be on me, there are always the chorus backing me up. While there may be the glory in dominating a debate, the applaud comes at the expense of forsaking some fundamental morals. To be visible, to be so out there, to be glowing and always seen in the crowd so that my shadow will forever remain my shadow, some parts of me will remain unseen. When the life around me is so bright my shadow's no longer there anymore, I have succeeded. I hope.
But at what cost? I have no one reminding me of the consequences I think I can continue to cheat. The fat lady will eventually relinquish her note as the opera house comes tumbling down in an explosive ovation. But then it's all over. He may have been my boyfriend. But now, never ever will he be more than a shadow.