One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dance of the Dark Shadows

During several months spent working as a Dark Shadow, Sara wore a black suit and was not permitted to communicate verbally. Her job was to travel around town passing out fliers and creating a sense of intrigue while wearing what looked like a black Spandex leotard that covered every inch of her body, including her face. The only thing that wasn't black was the little bright pink flower that Sara wore just above her heart. It was against company policy, but Sara was OK with breaking a rule and just wanted one little thing of her own when she headed out into this new world.

Despite not completely understanding her mission, she took her job very seriously ... as did Xavier, another Dark Shadow. The pair fell hopelessly in love without ever having spoken a word ... They never saw one another's faces ... not even their eyes showed in these suits. But at Dark Shadow meetings, Xavier always found the woman in the pink flower. A few times Sara didn't wear the pink flower, just to see if Xavier would know her without it ... and he did. He always found her. She loved how he could do that.

Initially, Sara wasn't sure why she was drawn to the crazy ad that read Shadow People Wanted ... but she wanted that job badly and decided to listen to her intuition. Because her last job at a PR agency was all about words, trying to convey anything without words was initially awkward ... but eventually it became a beautiful language all it's own, but a language that only another shadow person could truly understand. Xavier got it. They spoke the same language.

They started spending a lot of time together in their shadow suits, hanging out at art shows, bookstores and festivals all over town, not talking, but truly communicating. At first lots of people pointed and laughed and stared ... but eventually they got over it and realized the dark people were OK, even if they were a little odd and very quiet. People around them began to respond warmly, but also without speaking. Those people were truly intrigued, without quite realizing why.

Sara and Xavier were equally intrigued with this new life they had both found. It just worked somehow in a way that nothing else had ever worked before. They felt like their unique little relationship was just too perfect to mess up .... so they decided never to see each other's faces or use any words .... But then the Dark Shadows business just shut down as quickly as it had opened. Sara reported to the office to go to her locker and change into her black attire, but the space was just empty, so Sara lost her job, her black shadow costumes and the most intriguing person she had ever come to know.

She considered posting an ad on Craigslist's Missed Connections or something, because she and Xavier had never exchanged e-mails or phone numbers. What would have been the point since they didn't use words? But the more she thought about trying to continue seeing him ... as a real speaking person who doesn't look like a silhouette ... the more she felt like things could never be the same .... It's the sort of thing that just magically happened ... not the sort of thing you can make happen, so she didn't pursue it.

Sara is on many levels deeply saddened by the loss of her very quiet best friend ... but knows that he will live on in her heart forever. She tells herself that she has moved on, but continues to wear the little bright pink flower in secret hope that one day she will again be found.

Sara is in a little nook on the street in Las Olas .... the nook contains some kind of water pipes or something outside Vencor Hospital in the 1500 block of Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

While the stories you read on this blog are all just pretty much made up, for the most part, they come from somewhere. And this particular one was inspired by a few very intriguing blog posts I spotted this month, one on The South Florida Daily Blog .. and another on Coconut Grove Grapevine ... about the real working "Shadow People." For the record, I do not know the Shadow People, so this story has nothing to do with the real people in black. .... just an intrigued mind filling in all the little gaps with the sort of fairy-tales I imagine might come true in a world populated with silent silhouettes on a marketing mission.


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