So I had a conversation with my shadow. Couldn’t put it off any longer. I turned to face her, felt the sun on the back of my neck, said, ‘So how come you’re following me?’
‘Oh, my dear,’ she said, ‘it’s all down to you. I live for you; you must know that.’
I looked at her, lolling against the wall like some insolent chit, and I said, ‘We’re only joined at the feet, you know.’
‘Not always,’ she said, and I swear she’d have winked, if only I could have seen her eyes.
But I won’t be made to blush like some Victorian miss by my own shadow, and so I agreed. ‘Not always.’ And sat down, to prove my point. It did very odd things to her legs, and her neck bent at right angles when she got to the wall, but she didn’t seem to mind. ‘Talk to me,’ I said.
‘I belong to you,’ she said. ‘Where you go, I follow.’
‘You stretch,’ I said, ‘and you shrink. You’re one,’ I said, ‘or you’re many. You’re sharp or you’re fuzzy.’
‘Ah, my dear,’ she said, ‘that all depends on you. If you go out in the morning I’m tall, and if you stand between two lamps then I’m twins.’
‘You come out in the sun,’ I said, ‘and in the darkness you’re not there at all. How can I trust you?’
‘The darkness,’ she said, ‘belongs to me and all the shadows, and all the shadows are one. In the darkness,’ she said, ‘I’m no longer fixed to you, and I wrap around you like a blanket. In the darkness,’ she said, ‘you’re quite safe.’
Sometimes I think that she’s cleverer than I am. I don’t quite see how that would work, but perhaps she knows.