Most Peculiar, Mama: Talking to my kid about John Lennon

I’m a firm believer in John Lennon’s observation that “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” Hence, my ambition to remedy life’s fissures with fictions.

At present, writing Lennon has been dead for 37 years —  hard to fathom given the immediacy and omnipresence of his oeuvre, which still reaches me in some form at least a couple times a week. 37 years ago, I was eight, like my son Desmond. When he was younger it dawned on me that I’d eventually have to reveal the truth about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy et al, but most harrowing was that I would also have to tell him the truth about John Lennon. Back then, in his mind, the Beatles were presumably still a band and John sang him to sleep from an iPad. As I wrote in a column at the time:

“…Eventually, you will learn what happened to the singer of your beloved Beatles. I’m so sorry, man. I wish I could better explain why these things happen but I can’t.”

I still can’t. But in a weird mathematical coincidence, I was 37 when Desmond was born — so, today, I think I will try to explain why these things happen. And I will fail. But when I do, I’ll lean on another Lennon aphorism: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end” and explain how the story continues, and perhaps when he’s 37 he won’t complain that “Nobody told me there’d be days like these.” Strange days indeed.

In the meantime, here are a handful of baubles, I’ve written over the years that reference my favorite Beatle and acknowledge his obvious influence on me and my work.