20 May 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 1

Lennon and McCartney

Sixty-two year old Paul McCartney, a bankrupt businessman of Liverpool, strolled down Penny Lane watching children laugh behind the back of a banker with a motorcar. He worried how he was going to pay the rent due next week on his flat across the hall from Father McKenzie. He carried an old transistor radio that he had pilfered from the junkshop down by Strawberry Fields. It was all he had now on which to listen to the BBC. A new tune came on the waves and he quickly flicked it off. He didn't want to listen to it. He remembered when he was a lad listening to the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. That was music.

But the music just didn't seem to go anywhere after awhile and Mr. McCartney had got on in business, though now that failed him too. Besides Holly, he had liked that bloke Bob Dylan, but American folk music got old and Dylan by himself couldn't seem to take it anywhere modern. If only Paul had listened to his mum who had wanted Pauly himself to take music lessons? He laughed. Maybe he could have merged Dylan's stuff together with the Everlys? Then the music would have gone somewhere. Not the tinny, tinny stuff you hear on the BBC these days… But Paul knew you could drive yourself crazy wondering about what could have been.

He crossed paths momentarily that day with one John Lennon, aged sixty-four, an unkempt street painter—losing his hair, with birthday greetings and a bottle of wine in his pocket. "20 quid for a portrait, sir?" Paul McCartney wasn't used to being called sir and he thought about it, but he didn't have the 20 quid. Two of them wearing raincoats. Mr. Lennon, however, already was walking down Abbey Road whistling. On his way home. It was October. It was the year 2004, and John Lennon was simply happy to be alive.

About the author:

Paul Dickey has poetry forthcoming or in recent issues of Southern Poetry Review, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, the Cider Press Review, Rattle, and multiple other online and print publications. His first chapbook, What Wisconsin Took, was published by the Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin Libraries – Madison, in May 2006. Biographical information and additional notes on previous publishing activity can be found at mockingbird.creighton.edu/NCW/dickey.htm.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Paul Dickey at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 1, where "Lennon and McCartney" ran on May 20, 2007. List other work with these same labels: fiction, flash fiction, speculative fiction.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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