SHADOW BECOMES ME
The old auditorium creaked tonight like a ship adrift at sea. Waves of people filled the wooden hull and huddled in comfortable camps, each faction keeping at least a fraction of space between their winner and someone else’s loser. The contest is over now, so the voyagers and voyeurs and the somewhere-in-betweens came spilling out of that old ship—in hopes of finding victuals and victims. Give them a good conversation-piece to chew on during dinning… it is always welcome amongst those raconteurs with a taste for gossip. When discussion morphs into mastication…conversing to cannibalism…the shipwreck…the ship has wrecked upon a spit! I see no other options…I take my leave…I split (I would not call it bolt because I am not akin to moving that fast or so I have been accused of mollassitude* by those who know me well enough).
I take an umbrella and take to the warm, freshly-dampened gravel road—the slow decent and pathway that leads home. Coyotes have lately been on the hunt, and I am instructed to watch for them. What would a coyote want with me? The wild coyote is more my brother than not. They…they hunt their prey but do not pray to hunt. The more tame variety, the subspecies of men and women… why, I saw a roomful tonight and though they have a baleful bark…surely I am impervious to their bite. Curious, though, no one bothered to warn me about my own kin and kind? Upon the road, upon this road…even I resemble a spectre of the night. With the red hues of this foggy, moonless night…my shadow becomes me. There is not enough light to distance myself from what I hate. On nights like this I am a pious coyote too—more pious than them, certainly more pious than you. I pray for… and then prey on those who are not part of my pack or have no pact with my pack. Vassal treaties mean little to a king, the vassal less. So even if they did feign fealty and swear allegiance to THE group…I would feign caring and stab them in the back. Oh, but I always use the most subtle subterfuge—words! A word ill spoken can do more damage to a man than a broadax. Imagine, then, the affects of loquacity! How many have I slain in a day? How many people victims of a broad-mouth? How shallow their graves! You would not ask a recalcitrant shadow to be deep, so do not ask it of me!
*mollassitude- a constant slowness of being. a slow, stilted gait.
Kyle McNease - Academic and founder and CEO of Prognosis Hope.