A Ghost

It had been five years or six years, neither of them could remember which.

Going back to the city, chatting amicably in the shade of a west London backstreet, he saw what time had done to them both. She seemed taller, her eyes harder, while in his mouth he felt his teeth grown discoloured, crooked. They spoke of how it all seemed like a lifetime ago. She said she was a different person now.

They parted at Tottenham Court Road Station, hugging with the close-quarters awkwardness of distant relatives.

After she went, he turned his attention to a nearby tube map, trying to take in its bulging network of comings and goings. Several minutes passed before he realised they were meant to be on the same line, or at least heading in the same direction. Just like they’d always said, like they’d promised each other in another life. He scanned the heads as he passed the turnstile: the ghost was gone, the only ghost he’d ever been able to see; un-anchored where once it touched the floor, held a scent, filled a room.

(recommended listening for this piece: K. Leimer – What We Already Know)



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