Shade


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What is darkness if not the absence of light? It is a not seeing, it is a black hole that swallows existence, it is a parenthesis that inhabits the day to day, it is a dead end. You may not like it, but it is real, as real as the air you breathe. And, believe it or not, it is necessary. Where else would we hide what we are ashamed of?

  And me? Do you know who I am? You know, although you don’t want to recognize me. You are repulsed by my presence because I know your secrets, the darkest ones, the ignominious ones, therefore, the unconfessable ones. You hear me but you don’t listen to me. It doesn’t matter. I will whisper it to you. I am a shadow. A mirage of what I was. An illusion of what I could have been. I am unborn and, at the same time, undead. I flee from the light because in it I am visible, while the blackness hides me and gives me freedom. In it I live on the prowl, looking for answers to unconnected questions, working hard to solve unsolvable puzzles. You need me, even if you don’t want me. I am an entity, because I am not made of matter. However, I am not a spirit either. Dreams make up the fabric that gives me life, although it is an ephemeral life, let’s not kid ourselves. I am its abode and its inhabitant. I am limbo. And you always notice my presence, although you don’t always realize it. You fear me. And you know it.

Yesterday you were on the verge of discovering me. What’s this all about now? We came to an agreement a long time ago, even if it was tacit because it was unmentionable. The thing is, I still can’t find an explanation. I don’t know how it happened, but you almost got me out of my hiding place. You caught me off guard and it won’t happen again, because you put me on alert. Luckily, I am a master at sneaking around and I am able to inhabit the tiniest crack, the tiniest nook and cranny. I am a professional escape artist. I don’t understand why you suddenly feel so brave and yearn to discover what you locked away so long ago. You had your reasons, don’t you remember? Don’t dig too deep. It’s dangerous. And dark. And sinister. It’s almost diabolical, perfidious and perverse. It can turn your world upside down.

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I must say I didn’t like you trying to unmask me. You hurt me. I felt betrayed. You showed me that I cannot trust you. Pay attention, for I am warning you: it will not be easy, because I am strong and, besides, I know all the tricks. That charlatan you went to is nothing more than a mental health huckster. He is no match for me. He never will be. I will only come out in the open if I want to.

I know you’re in trouble. I know you’re having a hard time. And I’m sorry. But don’t blame me. Life can be hard. Get used to it. What’s the use of looking back? I’m only responsible for helping you repress those unpleasant things you don’t want to deal with. I am the mattress in which you bury your cowardice, I am the pillow that drowns your tears. You should thank me. But beware, if you keep insisting, I will have to show my face and you won’t like that because with me horrendous secrets will come out of the sarcophagus. Some things are better left as they are, in their natural order. 

Now that you are sleeping, I take the opportunity to reveal to you what I am. It is the best time, even if the dream is turning into a nightmare. You knew it could happen. It is nothing more than the consequence of your irresponsible actions. Prepare yourself for the truth. I’m going to undress before you. I am shadows here and there. I am darkness. I am your worries and your sleeplessness. I am the lord and master of blackness. I am your B-side. I am a repressed self, though not for that reason modest or self-conscious. I am the Ego. I am your most primitive drives and instincts. But, in particular, I am your shadow, the only one made to your measure because it dwells in your subconscious. And now I fade away because consciousness begins to ask for passage.


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