A thought insinuates itself in Gene’s brain while he walks up West Central Park. The dark, bare branches of the trees shiver and it is cold out and the cold is insistent, if not outright rude. It barges into his coat and hat and gloves. And into his eyes. They tear up as he makes his way past the spot where John Lennon died outside of the Dakota. He’s not crying (just cold). It would be surprising to cry—though not impossible—since he’s walked past that spot a hundred times. As he wipes crisp clear tears away, a new thought pounces him—intrudes on his Tao like a wool sweater. It announces itself: You are the ghost of John Lennon!

He laughs. I’m dressed like John Lennnon, you say? he thinks to the thought.

Yes, it replies. Look at the clothes you are wearing: a pea coat, a dark hat, spall spectacles, bell bottoms, black shoes. Should I go on?

Oh, indeed. Do go on.

Examine your sideburns. And “sideburns” in his head sounds like the weapon that shuts the case.

I see.

He does indeed see as he makes his way across the road and down the hill into Central Park. He shake’s his thought’s hand an lets it travel onward into silent impermanence. At any rate, he was certainly the same stuff as John Lennon and that thought was polite and so he allows it to linger. Once he sat in a subway station for two hours and just watched people going by.

Every day of the year his meandering brings him by the Dakota, though. And every day, every time of day of the year, there is a photographer, taking pictures of the spot where the man died. And no one photographs Gene. So that’s the way it goes.