The Joker

06 September 2018 | Your Stories, Your True Encounters

Several years ago when a colleague and I were discussing signs from departed loved ones. He was saying that in the midst of grief for his father he’d literally looked to the sky and asked his father for a sign so that he’d know that he was in a better place. As if in response to his plea, a long white feather had floated down and landed on his chest. This bought him immense peace and whatever the origin of the feather, he was able to deal with his grief as he believed that it was indeed a sign from his father and that he knew that things would be ok from that point onwards. I then told him about my good friend Jim who’d died a few years before.

Jim had left the UK in late 1993 to travel Europe and to spend some time on a Kibbutz. We were 19 and I was still saving up to travel so we said our goodbyes in London with a plan to meet up somewhere in Europe the following summer. I’d receive postcards through the winter months from him detailing his escapades as he crossed Europe and as the months rolled on I had finally saved enough money to fly out to join him. I received the last letter from Jim in April 1994 telling me he had left the Kibbutz and was traveling with his newfound friends from the Greek island of Rhodes, where he’d been working in a bar, to Crete where we would meet in a months time.

My flight was booked and I was excited about my adventure when one night I received a call from Jim’s sister telling me that he’d had a terrible accident and had drowned. While on a ferry between the 2 islands he had somehow fallen from the back of the ship into the sea. One of his new friends, Mark, had jumped in to save Jim but both were lost. Jim’s body washed up on the coast a few days later but Mark was never found. The friends that Jim had made while he was traveling all flew to the UK for the funeral and it was truly a celebration of his life. He was a handsome and charming guy and when you made a friend with Jim it was for keeps. It would have been easy to stay in the UK but I honored our pact and I flew to Greece in May where I lived and worked for 6 months. Even though I began my journey alone I made good friends and had amazing experiences that made me the person I am today. I missed Jim everyday but he was always on my mind and still is to this day.

I told my colleague how that whenever I heard Steve Millers Band’s ‘The Joker’ it reminded me of Jim as whenever he was making me laugh I’d always tell him he was a joker. He’d always reply quick as a flash saying “and a smoker, and a midnight toker”.

The conversation with my colleague lulled and after a few minutes I went to the office radio which sat on top of a filing cabinet and switched it on. When it came on it was playing ‘The Joker’ for about 10 seconds before it switched off and became silent again. I walked back over to it and checked it to see if the power cable had come loose, it was snugly seated in the back of the radio, but when I followed it we saw that it hadn’t been plugged in to the mains at all. I was overwhelmed with happiness knowing that it had been a sign from Jim. Still checking in, still the joker.

Submitted by Rory Kavanagh to Weird Darkness and My Haunted Life Too

© 2018, G. Michael Vasey & My Haunted Life Too. All rights reserved.

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