Sorry for the delay in thanking you for comments. You are right, Chris, the man is a kind of ghost based on a "Mr Nobody" character in a hat and coat present in so many classic photos by Kertesz and others. He has largely disappeared in modern photography but occasional sightings continue to occur. (Geoff Dwyer acknowleges him in "The Ongoing Moment"). The girl from the past wants to know whether he is really dead or a figure that we might come to love again, which has bearing on her own dreams of immortality.