My shadow goes on adventures late at night
when I am otherwise asleep.
It quietly sneaks away from my supine form,
creeps past the dogs.
Anubis raises his elderly head and blinks.
He is used to these nocturnal comings and goings.
Giza stands, her black ears erect,
wags her tail as my shadow walks through the door
separating the house from the garage.
My shadow takes my car,
drives to the city.
It only takes maybe about half an hour
to get downtown at that hour of night.
My shadow drives down empty streets in the Loop
between the skyscrapers looming overhead.
Goes north on Lake Shore Drive,
exits on Lawrence,
finds a dive bar that’s open til 4 a.m.
My shadow is a bit of a drinker.
My shadow knocks back a whiskey sour,
engages a fellow barfly in conversation,
agrees to a game of pool or darts,
allows that person to buy my shadow a cheap beer.
Talks for hours without really revealing anything
My shadow politely declines an invitation
to accompany that person home.
Instead goes to the nearest park
where technically my shadow is not supposed to be,
as the park is closed from sundown to sunrise.
But my shadow, being a shadow, cannot be seen in the dark
by the police, nor do the police really care, as long as
no one gets mugged or shot.
My shadow wanders around for a while,
observes a drug sale,
leaves a $20 bill in the front shirt pocket
of a sleeping homeless person.
My shadow sees the horizon turning purple,
hears the chirping of waking songbirds overhead,
knows that it’s time to return.
My shadow makes it home
before I wake up
before my husband comes home from work.
Pats the dogs on the head.
They are happy to see it.
It returns silently to the couch
where I had fallen asleep.
I finally wake up,
wondering why I feel so goddamn tired all the time.
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