He’d stay up all night watching shadows on the wall. Animals he’d made with his fingers. Rabbits, birds, cats, a Texas longhorn would appear from his fingertips. Almost like a magic act. He’d just lay there and look at them. Talking to them. As if they were pets.
Late into the night he could not sleep. His pets, shadows, had gone away. He lit a cigarette and watched smoke climb through the lamp lit room. Sitting there. Thinking of nothing.
The old man walked down the hallway to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. He began to laugh. The absurdity of watching shadows. A waste of time.
He looked out the window and stared at the blackness of outside. That is real, he said. Not pretend, he smiled. Night is black, he thought. Night is black.
This is a lonely life, laughing, he lit another smoke. He went back to his bedroom and turned on the exposed bulb. His animals returned. He had someone to talk to.