I once related the story of seeing my long-dead uncle driving past in a car. A learned, and much older gentleman, told others that I had had the common experience of seeing dead people. Up to that point, I didn’t know it was common. I’m not sure it is, as no one else has mentioned it to me.

But, at any rate, I saw Buddy’s ghost at the theater last night. It still takes me by surprise, though it no longer startles me. And I didn’t say “Hello”, because I thought it would startle the person, dead or not.

And a theater was the right place, for Buddy was an actor. A professional actor in his younger days, with a country-wide reputation. When I knew him, he had settled into being a theater/acting/directing teacher, affiliated with a university. He still did some turns on the stage. His advice was sought. His company was enjoyed. His personality was appreciated. Never boring. Never a bore.

And he was a damn good chef.  And a great story-teller over his meals.

And, at the theater, when I saw his ghost, there was his hat. Buddy could be a snazzy dresser. This guy was a snazzy dresser – stood out in the crowd – though I only saw him but the once. Not unusual that. I didn’t expect to see him again. I never saw my uncle again, either.

And – when all is said and done – I didn’t really have anything to say.

“How’s it going?”

“Well – you know.”

“How’s it going?”

“Well – you know. Much as you expect.”

“How’s it going?”

“You’ll know soon enough.”

I didn’t really expect to be told of Elysian Fields or Thrones of Gold or What is in Shakespeare’s tomb.

So, I didn’t approach him, and say “Hello”. And make him turn around.

And – in truth – a day later, I’m not so sure about the hat.