Street Lamps

The pavilion, half lit up with silvery lights, silent except for the dripping of leftover rain from its eaves and my footsteps resounding on the hollow wood. I walked around its edge in slow circles staring across at an unseen adversary, an arch enemy I had come to this empty place to confront. In my mind there strode before me a shadowy doppelganger of myself alternately taunting and pleading.

The doppelganger had the same squinted eyes and sideways smile I had sometimes caught a glimpse of in the mirror. I came and stood in the middle, alone under the blue glow. I felt a familiar fear creep over me, not of darkness, but of light. The spotlight, to be specific. Standing there, I felt surrounded by ghost eyes, and as I turned to go I felt their judgment heavily upon my back. However, I did not enter the shadows of the forest. And that is what my life is, half lit streets because I’m scared of the dark and sick of the light. Beneath street lamps, I feel like a noir story, my self built on contrast.

The light behind me flickers, sending out unintelligible Morse warnings. Wind moves leaves like footsteps, far off traffic hums and tickles my spine.

Do I walk for my own benefit or in a vain hope of meeting someone else in the half light, a fellow creature trapped by bars of shadows thrown by walls of light? A gray cat and I regard one another under the street lamps. Silent camaraderie at a distance. I look down for a moment, then back up, and he is gone, leaving me with the blue of storm clouds lit by a hidden moon and a dog barking far off.

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