A Car Ride, Beastie Boys, and John Lennon's Ghost



Count of 15 on the beat keeping time, head nodding and finger tapping—

Your cup holders carry expired coupons, the dented tiara from when you were crowned prom princess (you swear you ran as a joke), and those tinted circle hippie glasses, the ones with the scratched lenses from when we went as John Lennon (and not his ghost mind you) and Yoko Ono to that one dinner with the family with the boy with freckles that I talk about too much. You wouldn't let me put you in that dingy bed sheet because you said you looked too much like Jesus. The ghost of John Lennon frowns down disapprovingly from heaven (or hell? Satan has yet to claim rock and roll as his own) clutches the still bleeding bullet hole in the center of his chest, adjusts his wire framed glasses and decrees that dressing like him is in fact offensive, and maybe a little sinister. Even if you're using a seemingly harmless bed sheet to do it.

The crimson patches in your cheeks, red like freshly scraped knees or premature rebellion. The boys are especially loud tonight; Mike D sounding brassy, MCA a little brash, and Ad-Rock bold. I savor the bite of each new verse and swallow.
And these days are cherry scented chap stick flavored, like the beat up lipsmackers from the seventh grade that I have at home crammed in the very back of my desk drawer behind the three different pairs of tangled earbuds and the stupid love poems I wrote about you know who. I got a haircut and chopped it short short, it slashes off at about my chin in a straight blunt line, but it isn't like the time Dad buzzed my head in the kitchen of our old house and the collar of my hand-me-down pj shirt itched red-hot with short shorn hairs for weeks. The dull dim years of high school whisk out of sight on this canyon road and ahead is crisp and shiny and brand new. My head hangs a couple feet above the rushing highway; I stare up at the expanse of sky and the tiny pinpoint of stars, stretch my arms out and inhale the vast mountains in cool shadow looming overhead. I breathe it all in until my lungs ache with icy pine-stained wind and try to reason with it to stay for as long as possible—thirty seconds, sixty seconds. The song ends, the boys never making it to Brooklyn. A minute thirty. I exhale.