I couldn’t place the song at first. It was drifting across the courtyard and flaking in the breeze. I wondered where the radio was and why it was playing gringo music. I roused myself and followed the source of the noise.

It wasn’t a radio at all, but a blond-haired guy hunched over a guitar. He didn’t see me approach and I stood silently until he finished playing. The song was About A Girl and the singer? Well, yes, the singer. See, that’s the thing, it was Kurt Cobain.

Except it couldn’t have been, because it was February 2001. I knew the story. Kurt had got bored of his head and removed it with a gun a few years back.

We chatted for a while. He was the first English speaker I’d encountered for a fortnight and the prospect of company surprised us both. The courtyard belonged to a Bolivian hostel. I was retreading the final days of Butch Cassidy’s life. Him? Well, he never really said. Evasive to say the least. American, that much was obvious, but he offered little else. To fill a silence he strummed through Lithium. The voice, the piercing eyes, the unkempt hair. Everything about him was Cobainish. I snapped a photo.

We spent the evening chatting music and discovered a mutual love of the Raincoats. I’d never met anyone who liked the Raincoats. We hit it off. Cheap wine and a shared passion for screechy music can do that. I was never bold enough to probe too deeply and after the third bottle, I was so convinced he’d faked his death and relocated to southern Bolivia, I didn’t want annoying facts to shatter the illusion.

In the morning he disappeared. Gone by the time I woke. I don’t know where he could have gone. There was nowhere to go to. Perhaps he popped over to see Elvis.

In an otherwise perfect camera film, one photo came out totally black.