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  • As a kid I must have seen a photo of Julian Lennon that looked a lot like me because I decided we looked like brother and sister. And that meant, reasonably, that John Lennon was my real dad. It explained a lot about my life. I then understood why I didn't really fit in with my family, why I felt strange and trapped by them. How could John Lennon's daughter be understood by an aerospace engineer and be expected to live a normal suburban life? Impossible.

    Once I figured out that John was my real dad, I formed a pretty clear picture of what would happen next. He would come to my house one evening. I'd look into his brown eyes and he'd look into my brown eyes and we'd both know the truth. He'd then explain to my dad that he was there to take me home. Our family would be sad to separate, my sister would be jealous, but we'd all understand that it was for the best. As a parting gift, my stepmother would give me the family dog and I'd be off to my real life with my real dad.

    John would teach me and understand me and sometimes he would sing me lullabies. We'd be happy to have each other. We'd find a wood to walk in, a pond to swim in, and we'd watch old movies until past bedtime. We'd travel through Rome incognito and have long discussions in remote chapels about relevant topics. The FBI would put me on a list. I'd convince him to meet the old mates for would lead to the greatest Beatles album ever.

    Then, when I was in eighth grade, John Lennon was killed by a bullet. It hit me like a stone between my shoulder blades. I told my dad I was sick and didn't go to school. John was never going to come and save me.

    No one at school understood my sadness. My family surely didn't. Everyone made a big deal when the president got shot a few months later. My dad was a republican, my mom was a republican, I was 13 and I already blamed Reagan for everything. Life was brutal. Life was unfair.

    These days I sometimes miss not getting to meet my real dad. It's something that Julian and I share, not knowing John as well as we'd like.

    Of course, it is possible now that Julian Lennon will see this story and be moved to find me. One day I'll be headed out to lunch from my over air-conditioned office and there he'll be, in the elevator.

    I'll look into his brown eyes, and he'll look into my brown eyes and we'll know the truth.

    It won't take long for us to laugh and realize we're not really brother and sister. Naturally, we'll fall deeply for each other. He'll teach me to drink tea and play the guitar. I'll help him sort through old boxes of family pictures and we'll scrapbook. We'll make love to the music of the seventies, dance to the music of the eighties, lament most of the music of the nineties, and go treasure hunting through the new music. We'll make each other mixed tapes. We'll meditate.

    On occasion, we'll summer with Paul and his new wife. We'll travel in search of the best peasant food of Europe and Asia and Africa, never eating in restaurants, only in families' kitchens. Sometimes we'll stay up a little too late and drink a little too much. Then, we'll complain about Yoko and giggle at how weird Sean is, doing impressions of them singing and laughing our asses off.

    In our sixties, Julian and I will enter our creative period. We'll work day and night. We'll be prolific and well received. I'll write a lovely peace song and Julian will chart again with his beautiful voice. Rolling Stone will compare the song to Imagine.

    Spontaneous peace will break out in seven different warring countries. Congress will pass an ethical budget, earmarking money for Headstart, NPR, the environment, Planned Parenthood, and go figure, education. Seven hundred twenty-one hedge fund managers, bankers, politicians, and wall street executives will be indicted and not one will escape jail time and heavy fines. New technology will expedite cheap, easy, and widespread removal of most caches of weapons, including WMDs. And what the hell, the ERA will become the 28th Amendment.

    Mostly though, I'll look into his brown eyes and he'll look into my brown eyes and we'll know the truth and be contented.

    ~~This story is dedicated to my dad, who as it turns out, really did understand me.
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