One of the best things about being human is our ability to connect.
I’m not talking about the superficial things in life, like our modern tendency to be connected to everyone we’ve ever met via social media, or how easy it is to make a phone call. I’m talking about the connections that smack you in the face with their significance. The connections that shift the way you look at the world, however slightly.
This time last week, I went to see Brian Fallon at Koko in Camden. The tickets were a Christmas present, and life has handed me and my man a few stressful cards lately, so it was a much-needed and much-anticipated night out. I won’t bore you with the hilarities of the evening preceding the story I’m about to tell you, but know that it was just lovely.
Sometimes it is the most unexpected of things that we remember. The first support act was a guy called Jared Hart, stood alone on stage with a grey shirt and an acoustic guitar and a fucking incredible voice. He stunned me from the start, partly because he dropped a cheeky Menzingers sample right in there, but then he also started talking.
I won’t pretend to remember his exact words, but he said something like:
“I don’t know if any you have ever lost anyone, but I had that feeling today, when you’re just walking down the street and you get your phone out to phone someone, and then you remember that you can’t. And it hits you in the stomach. But they’re always there with you, so it doesn’t feel strange to want to call them. I don’t know if any of you have ever felt like that, but I definitely had that today.”
He could have sung anything in the world at the point. It only made it better that the song he sung was amazing, but it was that connection that mattered. It was that second, when he said out loud something that I feel every day, that he became more than just another guy singing a song on a stage. He doesn’t know who I am, or know that I understand what he was saying, or know that I was even there, but he made a difference to me.
It is so easy to forget that every single person around us has their own story. We get wrapped up in our own day-to-day stresses and our own experiences, and we’ll never know that someone next to us in the street has just been hit with the realisation that they can’t phone someone they love. If only we knew, we could reach out to them and let them know that they’re not alone. We could give that sense of connection to them, even for just a second. That connection that proves this human experience is shared; we’re in this mess together.
I appreciated that, last Friday in Camden. Someone you know might do as well.