Late Saturday afternoon – as I lay clutching my swollen belly, contemplating the day’s events and trying to determine whether or not I was actually hungry yet – my phone rang. It was Tim.
"Hey Huw, what are you up to?" he asked me.
"I just drank a gallon of milk!" I said proudly, "Or at least, I tried to."
"Oh," he said, seemingly unimpressed.
"I was sick…?" I offered.
"Anyway," he continued, clearly not interested, "I’m phoning because I was thinking about you last night."
"Oh. Really?" I cautiously asked, but curious nonetheless.
"Yes. I was in Euston, and I suddenly got a feeling, like a psychic feeling, that you were nearby, so had a scoot round."
"Yes, just this really sudden and vivid feeling: Huw Is Nearby. I was certain of it."
"Yes, I went and had a look in WHSmiths and Marks and Sparks. Then I checked in the Head Of Steam [Pub], because I thought ‘if he’s here, that’s where he’ll be’".
"The Head Of Steam [Pub]?" I exclaimed, "Well, I’m not quite sure I like the insinuation here: that I’m the sort of fella you associate with hanging round train stations on a Friday night, and I’d like to think that even if… hang on. As in last night? Euston? Well, actually, I was in Euston last night, around 7.30…"
"That’s when I was there!"
"Waiting for a bus, just next to The Head Of Steam [Pub]."
Strangely, we both seemed satisfied rather than intrigued by this: the matter was resolved and thus the phone call could end.
I used to get similar psychic feelings about my friend Charlie when I was at university. Quite often I would be strolling along on my way, and a thought would spring to my mind: "Charlie is in the Cloisters" or "Charlie is in the Union". If I chose to seek him out, 8/10 times my inkling would be proved right. This was probably because Charlie was a creature of habit though, whose fondness for sitting in the cloisters wearing his cardigan and reading The Grauniad was only matched by his dual personality’s penchant for drinking in the Union, molesting men and fighting girls. I never sensed him ‘out of context’.
Tim later contacted me to inform me he’d been thinking further on this matter. He admitted that something similar with regard to me had happened to him once before at Highbury Corner late one night, and once again I had indeed been there (which led to a hilarious incident of me worrying that the shady character following me was a potential mugger. I had my karate chops at the ready: Tim never knew how close he came to meeting his maker that night), and in turn I had to admit that I once had a similar sensation about his whereabouts which was proven right in a bar in Shoreditch (but I’d always just put that down to him being a trendy Shoreditch nobber).
Tim forwarded the theory that our brains fused psychically as a result of an incident in which we (well, he) threw an egg at a passing Mercedes, not realising it contained five gangsters. The resulting fear, panic and sheer terror of that evening, Tim postulated, was so great that a special bond remains. It made me nervous just thinking back to it, but tentatively I agreed.
4 weeks ago