Last night, as I wrote you I realized I needed to go find John. So, I did.
I grabbed my keys off the floor and took off into the night. Streets of Reno is no place to find John Lennon. Where is he? He's fucking dead, L. I rolled my window down and leered cynically into the dark as I drove. You're not going to find him out here. Where can I find him? No one will ever make me believe he's somewhere other than Heaven. If there is a Heaven, it was built for men like him. Those flawed geniuses with the perfect mind for business, fool-hearted men with a militant sense of right and wrong. Sounds like God himself. Is John Lennon God? In that moment, he may as well have been. I slammed on the brakes, nearly running a stop sign.
"Where the fuck are you, John?!" Maybe I could call him. No, I can't call dead people. Fuck.
Bed. That's the answer. Maybe it isn't. No, it is. You have to go to bed. Cut your hair, put something on your body to show what you stand for. I turned around and drove back home. I needed something of his, I knew I did. It always works that way, unfortunately. But I do happen to know where to get a very many rare items. I needed to see Jim about a bed sheet.
He dug through a junk stuffed closet, talking to himself as I explained I needed to talk to John. He pulled the sheet from the back of the closet, a basketball and several boxes toppling from shelves. Dust tickled my nose.
"That's wild! Hey, you tell him I said 'hello'!" As he balled the yellowing white sheet and handed it to me.
"You don't wanna know why?"
Jim smiled. "Well, I figure you got your reasons, doncha kid?"
"No. I have no reason to do this at all."
"Atta girl." He patted my back, hard the way old men do.
I hugged his bony form and apologized for waking him. I took the sheet to a mattress store. I love being in places like those, especially when I'm not supposed to be. Mattress Land. The place was vacant. The smell of plastic and new beginnings hung loosely in the air, something you have to breathe deeply to feel. I maneuvered through the low maze of pillow top and memory foam to the back of the place and searched for a light switch. I rummaged through the storage room and took two pillows from a high shelf and unwrapped them. Making my way back to the main floor, I flipped the middle switch on the wall at the exit and followed the light to a bed against the back wall. I set up the pillows and spread the sheet over the bare mattress. I sat on the bed and wished, at that moment, that I hadn't come alone.
I took a deep breath. There I was. Alright, where's John? If he doesn't come, this was for nothing. Maybe I'm just hormonal. I lit a cigarette and started to feel silly. So, he's dead. We all fucking die. Can't bring anyone back. Ain't no comin' back. I'm in a local business after hours, trying to summon John Lennon because I'm angry at God. What.. am.. I.. doing? I thought about Adam, thought about Critter. Don't feel silly, I thought. Don't. Just don't. Have faith, instead. Believe. Imagine. Imagine.
I closed my eyes.
"I'd like to ask you a question." He spoke quietly, from behind me. I didn't want to turn around in case he wasn't really there.
I swallowed. "Alright."
"How large has the plant grown from the seeds we panted on this sheet?"
I thought about it and remembered the interviews he an Yoko gave in bed, what they were trying to accomplish with their "Bed In" and whether or not the world even remembers.
"You wanna talk about peace?" I asked.
"Not really but I thought you might."
I pulled my knees to my chest, dropped my head and started to cry. Moments later, I felt the weight shift on the bed. His hand on my back startled me.
"Everyone's been talking about war so much."
"Can't talk about peace without talking about war, you know."
"I know." I whined, he rubbed my back.
"We had such a lovely time there at the Queen Elizabeth. One of those things you think might last forever while you're at it."
"But it didn't last forever, did it?"
"If anything lasts forever, it's this moment. I guarantee it."
"Is there anything good about it? About war? I can't find it, John. I swear to God, I've tried. I rationalize and thought about internal war meaning something good and I just ca-" My hyperventilating wouldn't let me continue.
He rose from the bed and rounded it to stand in front of me. He wore white on white, striped pajamas. His beard was thick and he smelled like hotel soap. He blinked slowly, staring at me from behind his round glasses.
"No." He said, a smile tickling his small, pink mouth. "Nothing good about it. Look, you never have to fight for what you want, just go and make it happen. War is not the same as confrontation. A sorting out of ideas, you know, an organizing of differences with a careful eye on the sameness of ideas themselves does everything warring does without desecrating the landscape. How many beautiful things get destroyed forever in the name of a relative concept like right versus wrong? Mother Earth is the only thing should be allowed to destroy anything at all. You've got the monster inside you, we all have. Don't destroy anything, just change it into love. Remember love. Don't worry so much. Laugh, make love. I'm with you." My breath shuddered as I listened to him. He touched my face. "Don't cry. War is over, if you want it."
I wanted to laugh at him. Hearing him say things I've heard him say over and over in interviews and in songs, I knew I was making him up. I knew he wasn't real. He'd say anything I wanted him to say. But his eyes were crystal, a kind of blue that never fades, slate and resolved. Where did he come from, anyway? Inside me. I wanted to believe it so, I did. John Lennon comes from within, maybe within everyone. I wanted to believe that. So, I did and before I spoke, I reached out and took his hand. It was rough. I thought of you. I'd set out to find him and I had. I would never let the moment end because he told me it doesn't. Somewhere inside me, from that time on, I knew I would be holding the hand of John Lennon in an empty discount mattress store for the rest of eternity.
"I want it." I told him.
"Then it's yours. Move forward and keep it up. You're doing good things. Keep loving the way you do and there'll be no more war."
I inhaled, deeply and blinked slow. When I opened my eyes, he was gone.