Posted on January 11, 2015January 11, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair1.11.2015 Journal Prompt Original source: http://www.rte.ie January 11, 2015: She couldn’t stop. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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He doesn’t know, but he thought maybe it was simpler back then. Maybe that has something to do with the years and the old he is now. So old that he coughs in the mornings, like a dog barking, and he gets up crooked and it hurts to straighten, and he cannot drink like he used to, or sleep, or fuck. And looking back he thinks he remembers a little of how it once was, and looking back it does not seem so long ago.
His hair was long like a girl’s back then and he wore his shirt unbuttoned and his trousers low slung, and he bore no malice to anyone. And John and Yoko slept in front of the gathered press and they did it for peace and for love, and the sheets on that bed were white as clouds, and John in pyjamas that were lightly striped, and Yoko like a dark-haired angel or ghost, and the curtains of the room thrown wide to the full day and the full light. And he believed John, believed in what he was doing and saying, and he wanted to do the same, wanted to love all the world and all the world to love him. It didn’t seem too much to ask back then.
Now it is different, now all that seems so far off and so much like pretend. Now things fall unexpected out of cupboards when he reaches for them, and all the beautiful that the world was back then is tarnished by what he learns. And he learns that there were men who took advantage of their positions and they were not made of love but of a metal more base, and they did wrong in secret and wrong to small girls and small boys, and now they do wrong again, to men who are old and who see the life they thought they’d lived trodden in the dirt.
And maybe it was always there, and John and Yoko were naïve, or no more than children. All John was saying was to give peace a chance, and it deserves that at least, and it had its chance, but look what’s been done with it. He does not buy a newspaper these days, but the headlines still catch his eye, and he hears something on the radio or on the tv, and he shakes his head at what he hears.
And the world seems more complicated and harder to understand, and the wisdom of his age is nothing for he feels a bigger fool now than he ever did when he was young. And a girl stops him in the Amsterdam street and she holds a small card up for him to read, and it says ‘Je Suis Charlie,’ and she is mute and sad and small.
‘Je suis Charlie,’ he reads from the card, and he smiles at the girl and he nods and he says, ‘All you need is love,’ and that was something from a song back then. And the girl returns his nod, like they were once friends and now they meet in the street by chance and they recall what it is that binds them, one to the other, and she leans into him and she kisses him on the cheek, on both cheeks, and though she still looks sad, she smiles, too.
And for a moment, just for that moment, the man feels young again, and he feels that anything is possible, and he straightens, stands near to his full height, even though it hurts to do so. And somewhere there is a muffled drum beating and flowers raised into the air instead of fists. And he wonders which hotel in Amsterdam it was that John and Yoko slept in for peace all those years ago and he wonders if that could be again.