The shadow sighed and shook its leg away from its body. ‘What the fuck?!’ it mumbled.
A female voice rang out across the flat of the lake. ‘Mind your language, Jimmy.’
The afternoon light was dying and streamed its golden hues across the red dirt, spreading warmth onto the lake. Jimmy’s shadow paused for a moment then continued shaking the urine from its leg. ‘You mind your language. Little dog pissed on me!’
A dog barked in the distance. The female voice laughed. Her shadow jiggled and flickered across the salt lake from her staccato spasms. It looked like a rap artist bopping to a song. ‘Occupational hazard when you’re a statue Jimmy.’
‘What the hell is a dog doing out here anyway? We are nowhere.’
‘We are inside Australia. They come to see us,’ she replied.
‘See what? There’s nothing here but salt, wind, sun and rain.’
‘People have come for much less…and there’s us.’
Jimmy’s shadow stooped down and touched the soft, red clay. The shadow’s hand reached up and threw the dirt across the dry lake bed. It scattered in clumps, rolled across the lake and then lay still as if it had never been disturbed.
Jimmy sighed. ‘They don’t come to see us. We are no one. Just statues. Etches of someone who we don’t even know. They don’t even really stop to look at us.’
‘Vain are we Jimmy?’
‘It’s not that. It’s just that they photograph my shadow more than they photograph me.’
The female shadow laughed again. Her shadowy breasts jutted back and forth like two skewers poking at the red dirt. ‘They photograph you. They photograph the light. They photograph your shadow. They photograph the lake. We are not alone out here.’
‘I am alone.’
‘You are not alone Jimmy. Your shadow is right next to you.’
Jimmy turned his head and watched his shadow follow. He waved and it waved back. ‘My shadow didn’t get urinated on.’
The female shadow laughed. ‘True, but it feels your grief.’
Jimmy’s shadow raised both arms in exasperation. ‘Is it enough for you?’
The female shadow turned toward him. ‘Is what enough Jimmy?’
‘Is it enough for you to be here? Alone. In the middle of a desolate lake. Photographed by the odd wanderer. Is that enough?’
‘They come to see me in relation to what is around me,’ the female replied. ‘They come to see me, my shadow, your shadow, the light around us, the lake, the stars at night.’
‘Yes Jimmy, the universe. It is enough.’
© running with the beagle 2010