Perhaps I’m more intrigued with the ghost of John Simon Ritchie – useless musician, drug addict, spiteful bully, sneering poster boy – than I imagine? He returns to haunt me only ever once a year; I hear his rattling padlocked chain and the drag of those stolen engineer boots before I see him. Oh, but I see him now! Quite unmistakeable in his swastika tee, leaning, leering toward me out of the past. My, his satellite hair no longer points to the future, everywhere but.
Thankfully, he doesn’t see me; staggers right by, dims and fades and disappears into the night of space and time.
I was a fourteen year old Minuteman. I delivered the news to the village doormat. By the time I reached home, the bag was empty, but one. The headline, by this point I suppose, printed forever into my mind. Who can say what I felt? It was possibly the first death notice that I took notice of. I never really knew him, I never even really cared. He struck me, even the 1979 me, as the weakest link, the joker in the pack.
I can still see the teapot placed on his face at the kitchen table. In many ways his face is forever ringed with only tea stains!