Clouds and the dark of night are the death of me; sunlight brings me to life. I follow you, you create me. I’m a two dimensional you. Sometimes I’m at your side, sometimes behind though you can never leave me, and sometimes I’m in front; though you can never catch me.
I look at you in your weird three-dimensional world of colour, sound, smell. You look at me and I play a trick on you: as you cycle down the road and stare at me, the road becomes a blur and you appear to move so fast. But when you look away from two dimensional me and focus on where you are going, you slow down and the scale of the task hits you and you despair.
Sunlight dapples through tree-covered roads and I flit in and out of existence. I flow over the road surface, across the verge and into bushes. Nothing that can hurt you can hurt me, monochrome me; but if you die, I disappear. My legs pump pedals, just as yours do, but I’m silent; you gasp for breath, I don’t breath.
Sometimes there’s more than one of me, but there’s only ever one of you. Under street lamps at night, when the roads are wet, there’s just you, and me and me and me. Me and Me might be stronger than me, or weaker. A hint of colour sometimes makes me into a reflection.
We went for a stroll once, you and I. With her, the Dancer. And that made four of us. I liked and miss the umbra-her. It would be so nice for you to be so close to her that umbra-her and me become one, under the sun; less one on top of another but more the two of us merged into one.
If you can write in a book there’s a penumbra; but there are no shadows in the digital world.