We grew apart over the years. Used to be I could finish her sentences and she mine. Now we rarely communicate beyond "good morning" or "hand me the creamer". I began to blend into the background of her life, a dim shadow just like the ones that projected from the rocker recliner or a dusty bookshelf in the baleful glow of flickering fluorescent bulbs crammed into cheap Walmart floor lamps.

She looks through me now as though I’m a scintillating dust particle temporarily illuminated by a shaft of morning sunlight. Something’s there…nevermind.

Rather than say anything to me, she would stare at the floor to keep from acknowledging my presence, her face blank and measured, until her iPhone made a noise. Then she was alive again, smiling and giggling as she texted someone. No idea who, she wouldn’t say, and I’m not the type to go snooping. Wouldn’t have an opportunity if I wanted to anyway, since she constantly goes outside or goes into the bathroom to talk in a hushed voice unless she’s laughing out loud.

This evening she was all dressed up, tight black dress without panty lines and leather thigh-high stiletto boots. She walked by me as she got several things together, including putting two pairs of panties into her purse, as though I was no longer there.

And, it seems, I wasn’t, after all. I felt like a shadow casting a man, and she walked over what was left of him several times before she answered a knock at the door. A young man, thirty years younger than she was, nervously kissing and fondling my wife. The lights flicked off as they left and closed the door, and we shadows no longer exist in the dark.



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