A. J. Windless
After midnight as I lay in bed a shadow suddenly appears in the middle of my window.
Midnight Shadow
It is midnight as I lie in my bed waiting for sleep to fall across my eyes. Everywhere there is that midnight darkness, outside my window, inside my room. As I roll over on my side suddenly I notice something right in the middle of my window, a large distintive shadow lurks against the blind. I start to get out of my bed to get a closer look at it. It looks like a bird, and it appears to have two feet resting on the top rail of the bottom pane. As I get closer I see that it is not light from the city illuminating my drape, but light from inside my room.

I have great night vision and all my life have trusted my eyes in the dark.   Besides, I feel like I know my own living quarters well enough to tromp around the entire place blindfolded. Then one night I left the amplifier for my electric guitar out in the living room, directly in the way between the kitchen and the bedroom. During the night I forgot that it was there and rammed right into it knee first. I don't know if you have ever seen a Roland Jazz Chorus, but they are as high as my knee, very heavy, and as hard as a rock. My knee hurt so terribly that for a month I could not walk without limping.

I had just recovered from that injury when I misjudged where the corner of my bed was by a foot or two. I made my turn too soon and tripped right over the mattress, going down face first and smacking my head against the dresser. I felt something gushing out of the top of my head, and within seconds my face was covered with blood.

After I moved to Thailand I continued to walk around in the middle of the night without any lights. Unfortunately, my mattress and box springs do not sit on a movable bed frame, but rather on a wood frame built right into the floor. I don't know who the designer of this room was, but the mattress does not extend over the frame enough to cover its hard, square, unforgiving corners. Once I broke my big toe, on yet another occasion I broke my small toe.

And so I began leaving a light on. I never did get around to buying a small night light to plug into the wall. I wouldn't like having the light immediately in my presence anyway. Instead I started to turn on a small desk lamp in the living room, on the other side of the wall, pointed down, and in the opposite direction. But tonight something is different. My air conditioner has started flooding so I have left my bedroom door, with its tinted glass panes, open to get some cooler air in from the other room. Tonight enough light is in my room to notice that shadow that I have never seen before.

There are lots of pigeons on the balconies of this condominium. Is it the shadow of a pigeon? Doves frequently visit, but this shadow seems much too big to be a dove, and for that matter, too big to be a pigeon. Is it an owl or a hawk? The body seems wide. Maybe it is an owl.  As I get closer I discover that it is not a bird. It is not even the shadow of anything outside the window, but a shadow cast by the light coming from inside my room. I am completely surprised when I realize, at the top of my stand, high enough to reach my mouth,  my microphone casts a shadow right into the middle of my window.

I had been recording one of the songs that I have written and had left the microphone out, there at the top of its stand, covered with a small plastic bag to keep the dust out. So it is nothing but a coincidence that the shadow looks like it has two feet, and that they appear to be sitting right on the cross bar of the window. I chuckle in disbelief.  I really believed there was a large bird sleeping in my window tonight. Well, at least the thought was entertaining while it lasted.  Just like a dream, for a few moments I had been lured into the vivid and colorful world of the imagination. If I hadn't captured this image with my camera to share with you here, we might all be thinking that it never happened, that I was just dreaming.
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