Shadow on the Way to Somewhere Else | Mark Lindsay

A walk to the bank—a transitory moment—on the way to somewhere else. Too much caffeine pumps my system with the adrenaline. The tingle of self-importance courses through my veins. Electronic bean-counters count their beans. Automatic digit counters lurch in the background, waiting to add late-pay penalties to everything I owe. I imagine little men peering over their reading glasses in disapproval. “Late?” they ask. They shake their head and get back to counting. Counting. Counting. Counting. I rush to get out the door to stay one step ahead of the system.

On the way to somewhere else…I have the good sense to bring my camera. It's a moment of lucidity that saves me—a lifeline to sanity. On the way to the disapproving bankers I find a shadow. I skid to a stop. A shadow. It's a gift from somewhere. My guardian angels chuckle. “Slow down, caffeine boy!” they giggle. “From here to there is your pot of gold, waiting to be found.” And so I stop and breathe. The shadow makes me smile and in a moment I realize that the walk to the bank is a blessing. The bankers can wait.

I slow my breath down so as not to shake the camera. A slow exhale and I click the shutter. Everything is clear, it is a crack in the illusion. By now I've forgotten what bill was due, which banker was waiting. It becomes part of the forever stack of dusty bills. The moment of clarity, however, will last forever. There are reminders everywhere that all is well.