Tuesday, 30 June 2009

MULTIPLY Visual Aid #14: Thoughts on a Beach


“So that’s that, it’s finished, all over, done with, nothing left, no future.”

“Now, just a minute, before you start getting all dismayed and depressive, just think of me.”

“Who, what, now I am hearing voices in my head. I really must be at the end of the line.”

“No you are not hearing voices; it’s me, your faithful companion. The one who has gone through thick and thin with you and always will, so just don’t give up, because if you do, then I stop existing as well.”

“Now I am at the end. I knew it – whoever you are, please go away, I want to be on my own.”

“Just a minute, now I have something to say; as long as you are here, I am as well, so you are never on your own.”

“This is ridiculous, just what do you mean, I want to go, leave everything behind me.”

“Yes, well that is going to be a little bit difficult. If you go I go too, and I want to stay a few years.”


“Don’t shout at me, I can hear perfectly well. Just look around and you will see me.”

“All I can see is my shadow under the cold glaring sun up in the sky.”

“Yes, exactly, now you have it.”

“Now I am going out of my mind. Shadows don’t talk, at least not in real life.”

“Well this one does, don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I am enjoying it very much, or at least I was until you got into a sort of doomsday mood, so what has happened?”

“Well if you are really my shadow, that shouldn’t be difficult to figure. I mean you know who I am?”

“A human, like all of you, nothing more or less.”

“Look around at your shadow friends. Don’t they come in all shapes and sizes.”

“Wrong, we come according to the direction of the sun and now it seems to be going down, that’s why I am long.”

“OK, clever hat, but we have characters, we all do things individually.”

“So what do you do “individually"?”

“You tell me, you are always with me.”

“You perform with other humans on a stage, making a lot of noise. Everyone watches and claps hands. You live in a villa and sometimes we go swimming together in your pool and now and again you can’t sleep, so start taking tablets, which I don’t like, because then you sleep a lot and don’t give me a chance to show myself. Have I told you enough?”

“You were with me yesterday when I performed with the band.”

“Yes, now that was not so good. I spent most of the time lying on the floor. I heard a lot of booing and whistling and then you just ran off with me. It seems we have been running since and now we are on this abandoned beach, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, waiting.”

“Very good shadow; my career is at an end, I have no future. I just want to disappear forever.”

“Not as long as I am here; you just don’t know how lucky you are. You have me and I will always be with you and will never let you down.”

“Tell me more shadow.”

“Forget all this stage stuff and dancing around. What about your parents; when did you see them last?”

“I have not had time to visit them.”

“I liked it with your mum and dad, so let’s go and visit them.”

“Well I liked it as well, but I just have not had the time over the past couple of years.”

“Then make time and what about your villa perched up on the hill? Invite them to stay with you. Something else, do you remember Jenny?”

“Jenny was the girl I wanted to marry, but she left me because she couldn’t stand the stress of being with a popular singer in a famous group.”

“Yes, well I was talking to Jenny’s shadow and it seems that Jenny is just waiting for a sign from you. That would be heaven, me and Jenny’s shadow.”

“No, I don’t think Jenny would want me any more. No-one wants me any more.”

“I might not want you, but I need you, and I am sure your parents and Jenny does as well. Just give it a try for my sake. If you drown yourself in the sea, you are going to drown me as well. I am not happy having my last glimpse of the earth on a desolate, stony beach jumping into a cold unwelcoming sea with a frozen sun above just to add to the drama. So human, turn around and go back and face your responsibility, but please without all the pills and stuff. Let’s go and eat a hamburger somewhere.”

“You know what? I don’t believe that shadows can talk, I don’t believe that shadows like hamburgers, but all the same it is a good idea. Are you sure that Jenny still wants me?”

And he walked to the edge of the sea, he emptied his pockets of the last boxes of pills into the water and turned, marching towards the lights of the MacDonalds restaurant showing from the distant town.

Visual Aid #14

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