It’s December 8, 1980. I am 14 years old.
I am sitting on the sofa in the living room, in the dark, at my father’s house. My father is at work and my stepmother is ignoring me, trying to make me invisible.
And that’s just how I feel, invisible, alone, lonely, unwanted, unloved, and bored out of my mind. I am not allowed to get up unless I have to use the bathroom, not allowed to talk to anyone, especially my little sister, who has also been ignoring me. She has been told to ignore me. I have been there for days and I will be there for days to come. There is no TV for me to watch, no books for me to read, nothing for me to do but sit here, listen, and observe, in the dark.
I hear a TV in another room, a news report. John Lennon is dead.
I hear my stepmother crying, just like she did when Elvis died. She comes into the living room, turns on a light, and puts on a Beatles album. She sits on the floor near the stereo and weeps, still ignoring me, still trying to make me invisible. She plays the album over and over. I watch her and say nothing, breathing slowly, barely moving at all, trying to remain as invisible as she wants me to be.
I don’t belong here. It was a mistake to come back. This is not my home, not my family.
This is what I think of when I think of John Lennon or whenever I hear his name. This is where I go whenever I hear his voice. This is why I have the love/hate relationship that I do with his music and everything Beatles.
This is how music really dies. People kill it, turning good things into pain.