Shadow lovers

I walk under the black hump of an umbrella through suburban streets shiny and slick with rain, the darkness punctuated by streetlights. A city and soul swallowed by darkness. Jets of raindrops pour over the city’s ledges. Tear drops from sky scrapers splash down on boots and open toed sandals. Weak umbrellas made in China hunt a path through the wind, struggling to maintain their shapes while a million feet march through uncaring puddles. Lost things float in gutters and words chase them in impatient staccato. Lights try to pierce the rain but to no avail. The city swallows all the white away.

The work day is done and the mystery of night is just beginning. Loneliness juts out spare and boneless into the night. The world seeks its revenge for all the harm we humans have done to it in the harmless daylight hours.

A quiet room in the Stamford Hotel waits for its future. Rain pelts against its window pane. A shaft of light from the street floods across the carpet. Sometime soon that light will shine on the entwined bodies of two lovers, their legs wrapped around each other, their backs heaving. Sometime soon candlelight with warm the corners of the empty room and the air will be filled with music. Rose petals will float in a warm bath, its surface soon to be broken by rippling fingers and giggles and caresses warm. A tear will drift down the neck of a bottle of champagne and two half filled glasses will stand like sentinel angels.

Shadows of the room’s future drift in the darkness, promises made in whispers that rise and pop as quickly as the bubbles in the glasses. The room lies now in semi-darkness, the lovers have not yet arrived, but the thought of their guilt and compromise hover at its door. The lovers are nothing but shadows of a time to come, their longing and lies drifting, waiting for them to arrive. And somewhere in the distance, in the far away distance, the sound of keening for love found in one night and lost to the noisy clutter of the city by the sunrise.

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