Saturday, October 9, 2010

That Voice

This is a day that has resonated with me and millions of other people for a very long time. John's birthday. I memorized all the Beatle birthdays: John, October 9, Paul, June 18, George, February 25, and Ringo, July 7. A way of holding them, caring for them. Love.

I never screamed over The Beatles. Sally Draper and I finally parted ways two weeks ago when Don told her he was taking her to see them and she screamed. Oh, she's not really serious about them, I thought. She doesn't really see.

All the boys I knew loved John. For me he was a late love, but present and permanent. It is hard to listen to his voice without feeling soul-flensed; he isn't a daily diet, and never background music. His voice, keen and rough both, became more and more unnerving as he aged and went deeper. He graduated from sly clever brilliance and a solid bullshit detector to true tenderness and wisdom. Who holds a feeling better in a note than John Lennon?

He named so many feelings, for so many people.

Still no screams, but he sure makes me cry. A lot more often than October 9.

Here he is, naming pain and doing a bit of screaming himself.


  1. I remember I was driving down 15th Street in Salt Lake City when I was in college at the University of Utah when I heard on the radio that John Lennon had passed. One of the saddest days. I loved the album (yes, album) Mind Games and remember singing that song over and over with him on my college road trips. Happy to have his music, sad to miss all of the music he would have created.

    So glad to see you blogging. "In the Gloaming" was one of the most extraordinary experiences I've ever had in reading a story when it came out in the New Yorker. I read it on the way home from the 1993 March on Washington. Simply amazing.

    @tschabarum on Twitter

  2. Dear Tschabarum, Thanks so much for writing. The day of John's death is one of the indelible memories, so so sad. I happened to have gone to the Dakota that very night to soak up his aura but wasn't there when he was murdered. Stayed in my room and cried for three days. Such an enormous loss.
    Thanks for kind words about In The Gloaming. I really appreciate that.