The Joker was at the Frank Turner concert on Friday night. I knew he would be. Frank was his gift to me, he loved him before I knew him, so I would have been surprised if he hadn’t gone.

Over the past few weeks the idea that I’d see him there would float across my mind and I’d vaguely consider what I’d do should we come face to face. I had no idea.

On the day of the concert I was busy and excited so it came as a total shock to see him coming in my direction as we were walking from the car park to the venue. Luckily, in terms of avoiding utter awkwardness, we were on the escalator going up and he was walking just below us. Our eyes met and we both said “hi” before anything had actually registered.

Then I didn’t see him until FT was about to come on and I turned to my left and there he was, maybe 3 meters away. He was with the new gf and a friend…thus ensuring no conversation.

Afterwards I tried to analyze and discuss what, if anything, I felt. It’s been over eighteen months since we’d seen each other.

All I could come up with was that I felt ghosts of feelings. I can’t say I felt nothing but I can’t say I felt any true, fully formed feelings. Seeing him brought back memories, some sort of shadow of yearning, nostalgia, something. We had something that I don’t think I’ve had with anyone else and just the idea of him triggers stuff I can’t truly articulate. But there’s no pain or angst or sadness or anger or love left. But there are ghosts of all those things.

I gave him the box titled My Happiness and he didn’t treat it well and I have no one to blame but myself. I’m the only one to be entrusted with that box and if nothing else I’ve certainly learnt that valuable lesson. Two broken middle aged people can’t fix each other or be entrusted with the other’s happiness. So simple.

It was good to see The Joker looking fit and healthy and, I’m going to assume, happy. It was good that I could be near him and not totally fall down the rabbit hole of old emotions. It was reassuring to look that ghost in the eyes and keep walking.

2 thoughts on “Ghosts

  1. That last paragraph though – it reminds me so much of a girl I used to work with – for years afterwards, I saw the back of her head in crowds. Of course I knew it wasn’t her, but that didn’t stop my stupid brain seeing her.

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