Monday, 12 August 2013


I hadn’t been in the bar for two decades. Nothing had changed. Still the same decor, exposed bricks, whitewashed pillars. A low rouge light from badly placed lighting. I remembered it only too well. But something had changed. People. Sure there were still people. But now coupled up. Sitting round tables, eating bar snacks. Where had it gone? The Friday, Saturday, Sunday thing? The vibrancy. My friends. Back then there had been friends. A big group, smiling, interacting, carefree. No plans. I stared around dismissing the sounds of the present, still hearing those that I knew, the chatter of the past. Danny, Bruce, Kathy, Gill, Kevin...even Steve Six. Echoes still bouncing off the walls but no longer a presence. Where were they? Where had their lives taken them...all of a sudden? No, it’s never sudden. It’s slow, a creeping thing that none of us see happening. How does it happen? Why do we walk away one night with the casual assumption that we will 'see ya tomorrow.' We walk to the bus, the train, the taxi in the unproven certainty that we will 'see ya tomorrow.' But we don’t. Not always. Sometimes maybe, but in the end the inevitability we exude is stamped upon by fate’s capricious whim and an era stops. So, where are they? They are not ghosts. Too young to be ghosts. But one time we had laughter, chatter, love...together. As I stand staring at a crowded bar that’s all I can hear. The chatter of ghosts. They are out there somewhere but I will never find them. Lost me anyway. When was that last night? The last night that you didn’t know you'd never see that person again, the characters who you came to expect in your life? Not your fault. You just didn’t know. ‘See ya later,’ you’d said and heard it echoed back. But you didn’t. They didn’t go suddenly. They started to drift until one night there was no more ‘see ya’ and one by one they dropped off into a parallel timeframe. A timeframe that ticks along beside your own but one you cannot share. Ghosts, breathing ghosts that you cannot find. Wrapped up in lives that they had no inkling of when they’d said that ‘see ya’ for what was, unintentionally, the last time. Maybe he's right. Maybe the Dalai Lama is on the money. Live in the present ...for ghosts arrive too quickly