Peter Moore introduced me to this song a few years ago when he interviewed musician Jens Lekman. I was living in Kuwait at the time and soon heading over to Barcelona, a place I return to over and over again, a place where I have never once stayed in a hotel in spite of spending more than four months there since 2004. I keep renting apartments there.
When he sent me the song, I was contemplating meeting the eSwede in Barcelona. Herr Marlboro and I spent a lot of time there too. He once left me in Barcelona at the Ryanair bus stop and then dumped me by e-mail when he got home to Portsmouth, only to back down from that a few days later, with apologies. (Would have been for the best, it turned out a year later during a fateful evening in Uganda.)
Last time I decided I had spent enough time in Barcelona. But I was wrong. I'm stopping there on my way home from Kuwait.
And in spite of there being personal ghosts for me in Barcelona, I don't think of it as especially haunted. My time in Barcelona is my own, not mine-and-his or his-and-mine.