Daily Archives: September 6, 2013

Car Ride


Few weeks ago, Isaiah and I were driving to my sister’s house in Pennsylvania.  It has become our car tradition to listen to music.


“Make it louder, Mama,” he says from the backseat until the music is blasting in the car.

“Who sings this?  Who else is in the band?”  he asks about each song.

“Isaiah, this is John Lennon, after the Beatles,” I told him on that ride, when we were listening to Look at me, one of my favorite John Lennon songs.  

“Is John Lennon still alive?”  It has become a curiosity to him, since he found out that a lot of music that we listen to are by dead musicians.  It has been one of the first questions Isaiah asks these days when finding a new singer he likes.   

“Well, no.”  I said.  “John Lennon died about thirty years ago, but his son, Shawn Lennon is alive.”  I added, hoping to change the subject.

“How did he die?”  Isaiah kept on.

Shit, I thought.  I can’t lie, but how do I tell a four-year-old the tragedy that was John Lennon’s death.  How do you explain to a child the horrors of our life.  How can it make sense to him that a musician can be shot by a crazy fan or perhaps be set up to be assassinated.

“Well, Zuki.  It’s not a nice story, probably not good for kids to hear.  He was killed by someone.  It was very sad.  After his death, all the people who loved him around the world gathered together to mourn his death.  They were very sad and cried.”  And just telling the story, made tears come to my eyes.  I can’t talk about the death of John Lennon without crying.  How unfortunate for the world that he was not around longer.  

Isaiah pressed on.  Asking me specifics of how he was killed.  It must have disturbed him too.  Jealous Guy came on and I sang it loudly with the recording, as I do every time it comes on.

I was dreaming of the past

And my heart was beating fast

I began to loose control

I began to loose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I am sorry that I made you cry

I didn’t mean to hurt you

I am just a jealous guy


Isaiah just stared at me from the back seat with big eyes, listening to the music of my soul.