It’s an early February afternoon
When it’s unseasonably sunny and warm,
Perhaps, too unseasonably sunny and warm.
It’s when the sun shines through my window just right
And it casts a shadow against a lamp that calls the end table home
In an otherwise unlit room
At first it looks like a mushroom against the far wall
And I try to emulate the image and pattern
As I would try to make a shadow puppet
Upon closer inspection, the breeze that comes through the open window
and makes the image on the wall pulsate and it takes on a life of its own that I can’t replicate
And in my mind’s eye, I see a jellyfish
Granted, it’s a stretch
There are no tentacles or a pulsating beat of a living thing
Or even an ocean where a jellyfish might call home
As the sun sets in the west
The image begins to look like a cartoon character or a mushroom
And I’m still left wondering what I might have seen.
Why I want to write about it or,
For that matter, mention it to a stranger remains a mystery
I just hope it’s there when I get home
Bartender, please, another round
And make sure to put it on my tab
That’s what I said to the stranger one stool down sitting next to me
As we clinked our glasses and offered up a toast
At first, I was greeted by silence
And one of those “Oh shit, I’ve been here before” kind of looks.
That only come with the practice and the knowledge that
One has seen or heard it all before
And then he said, somewhat facetiously
“Tell me about it”
And so the story begins,
And it’s all about the shadows.