Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 23

Tuesday I was sick. I couldn’t even get out of bed I was so depressed. John still hadn’t phoned and I needed to talk to him worse than ever. Christine and Ringo both called to see if I wanted to get together with a group of them for a sort of engagement party at George’s place, but I just didn’t feel like it. I didn’t want to go anywhere where there was a possibility of seeing Brian. I just wasn’t ready. I hated feeling like that too. I wasn’t that weak. I wasn’t the type of girl that hid from confrontation, but for the last few months, I had been very cautious with the things I said and the things I did. It wasn’t like me at all, really to tip toe around. But I suppose I had been doing it for John. And when I looked at it that way, I didn’t mind it at all. I would do anything for him. I just loved him so much.

The next day, John finally called.

“Hullo, Maggie,” he said.

I began to cry the second I heard his voice.

“Hey, what’s this all about then?”

“I just… I can’t… It’s all too much, John… I don’t…”

“All right, all right. Just calm down.”


“I’m sorry I haven’t phoned, I’ve just…”

“No, it’s my problem to deal with. You don’t have to explain, John. You have a family.”

“I know, love, but I still should have called.”

“It would have been nice,” I said.

“Well, I’m phoning you now,” he said. “And I’m taking you out tonight.”

“Oh, John I really don’t feel like it.”

“Come on now. Let’s give it a go.”

“It’s not a good idea. Can’t we just…”

“No, no. We’re going for a drink,” he cut me off.

“I’d really rather just stay in and talk. I have a lot to tell you,” I said.

“Yeah, I know all about it, love. Look, Chris already told me about your parents and I already had a tongue lashing from Brian about you and some bastard photographer. I know you’re feeling low, but I just have to go out and I want you to come round with me. Please?”

I sighed. How could I argue with that? It was either go out with John or stay home alone. He sounded very determined to have a night out, so I didn’t think there was much hope of getting him to stay in with me that night.

“Fine, John,” I said.

“Splendid!” he shouted in a high-pitched tone. “Oh we’re going to have a fantastic time. It’s going to be great. Just wonderful. You’ll see,” he said very quickly, all his sentences running into each other.

I couldn’t help but giggle. He could be such a clown sometimes. I forced myself to get up and get ready to go out with John and the more I thought about finally getting to see him, the happier I felt. In fact, I became positively giddy. I took a bath and then dressed in the new red and black tartan miniskirt I had just purchased a few days earlier. I pulled on a black turtleneck, black fishnet stockings and my new pair of black patent leather go-go boots. I left my hair down and slapped on the thickest pair of false eyelashes I had. A touch of lipstick and I was ready to go. But there was one problem: John wasn’t there. I opened my front door to see if the kids outside were giving him problems, but much to my amazement, there were no kids outside. The number of them had multiplied since Paul had last been there, but at that moment, not one of them was lurking about. I was dumbfounded, but pleased. So what could be holding John up? I turned the television on and sat down on my sofa to wait. It was already ten o’clock. I fell asleep sometime later and was already in a good deep slumber by midnight when there finally came a knock on my door. I groggily went over and opened it to find a man standing before me. A man I had only until that moment seen on television and read about in the papers.

“Hello, Maggie. The name’s P.J.,” the man said in an American accent.

“P.J. Proby?” I asked, thinking I was still dreaming.

“That’s right,” he smiled.

Here he was, in the pants-splitting flesh. I couldn’t believe it. I remembered seeing him a few years ago in a Beatles television special that had aired, “Around the Beatles,” and thinking that he was just great. And then I had read all the crazy stories about his wild stage performances and I wanted desperately to attend one. But that was before he had been banned from theatres in Great Britain and no longer allowed to perform on television shows because of his bursting out of his own pants. P.J. Proby was a wild character indeed. And here he was on my doorstep.

“Wh… what are you doing here?” I stuttered.

P.J. laughed, “We’re here to pick you up and to take you out!”

“Oh! I should have known John was with you. Please forgive me, I’m still half asleep I think.”

“Hey, that’s no problem. You ready to paint the town?” he asked.

“Well, it’s a little late now…”

“Late? The night’s just begun,” he scoffed.

“Um… well, okay. Sure. Just let me get my coat,” I said. “John’s out in the car?”

“Yep. Oh he’s not alone. He’s with my driver. Couldn’t get out with all chicks out there. He’s quite the popular fella.”

“There are girls out there?”

“Oh yeah. Probably ten or fifteen.”

“But I just checked a while ago and there weren’t any.”

“Well, they’re there now.”

“And how did you make it past them? You’re pretty popular around here too aren’t you?”

“Well, not like a Beatle. No one’s that popular. Anyway, I don’t mind the craziness. In fact, I welcome it,” he grinned.

“Do you think the girls know John is in the car?”

“Nah, we came in my car and the windows are blacked out pretty good. I wanted to ride in his Rolls Royce though, ya know? But John didn’t want to stir up anymore trouble than was necessary I guess,” P.J. said, in a tone that told me he knew all about me and John.

I put my bright red pea coat on and grabbed my purse and P.J. and I made our way out to the car. A couple of the girls came over to us. We stopped just outside the car and P.J. autographed whatever they handed him.

“Do you just know everybody?” one girl asked me, wide-eyed.

I smiled, but didn’t answer her.

“Well she is American after all,” another said.

What that was supposed to mean, I had to idea.

“I wish I was just like you,” the first girl said. “You’re so beautiful and just… well, absolutely fab! I have your modeling shots pasted on my wall at home. Mum says there’s no chance she’ll ever let me become a model, but when I get a little older, I don’t suppose there’ll be any stopping me, eh? What you think?”

“Well, I go to school also. I only model on the side,” I said.

I usually tried not to talk to the boys’ fans because most of them didn’t like me, but these girls were being so sweet, I couldn’t help myself.

“Maggie…oh I hope you don’t mind me calling you by your name?” a third girl said.

I shook my head at her and she smiled.

“Is there some way you could possibly alert us before one of The Beatles comes back?” she continued. “It’s bloody freezin’ out here!”

“Oh, I don’t think they’ll be back now that you all have taken it upon yourselves to make this ‘Fan Headquarters’,” I answered.

“Oh, no,” the girls moaned.

I tried to hold back my laughter.

“Maggie, are you dating P.J.?” one of them asked.

I looked around to see that P.J. had already gotten into the car and I was standing alone with the group of girls.

“Um…” I said.

For a moment I thought about saying yes. Maybe they would spread it around and it would get back to the press, therefore taking some of the heat off of me and John. But before I had the chance, another of them spoke,

“Don’t be a git. She’s datin’ John Lennon, in’t that right, Maggie?”

“Oh, that’s just a rumor. John’s married,” another argued.

“That don’t matter when you’re a celebrity. Look at Eddie Fisher. Promptly dumped poor Debbie Reynolds for Liz Taylor didn’t he?”

What did these kids know about that? That was years ago. They had all read too much gossip in the fan rags. Or else, they had been listening to adults gossip. Either way, the conversation was quickly going in a direction I had no interest in participating in, so I decided it was time to go.

“Well, you girls have a nice night. And I expect not to see you when I get home. Shouldn’t you all be at your own houses anyway? It’s very late now.”

“Goodbye,” they waved to me as I got into the backseat of P.J.’s car.

“Took you bloody long enough,” John said, once I was in.

“Now John, she had to talk to her legions of adoring fans,” P.J. teased.

“While I was in here fuckin’ dying,” John stopped talking and pulled me to him, planting a long kiss on my lips, “from wanting to do that so badly,” he finished.

“Nice to see you too,” I said against his warm, wet mouth and we both smiled.

John growled and buried his face in my neck, moving my turtleneck aside with one hand so he could nibble.

“You look ravishing,” he said in a deep sultry voice.

The car smelled of marijuana.

While he kissed my neck, his hand slid under my skirt.

“Are you crazy?” I whispered, pushing his hand away.

John giggled.

“Come on, love,” he said, sliding his hand up my inner thigh once more.

“John,” I gasped.

“Christ, Maggie I want to feel you so bad. I missed you so much,” he purred in my ear.

“P.J. is sitting right next to you,” I whispered, grabbing his hand at the wrist and slowly pulling it away.

“Bah, P.J. don’t mind, now do he?” John asked in a comical voice.

“Hmmm? What’s that?” P.J. asked, totally disassociated from the happenings in the car.

He had been gazing out the window, his mind focused elsewhere.

“I was just saying, you don’t mind if I shag me girl right here, do you?”

“John!” I said, elbowing him in the ribs.

“Oi!” John giggled.

“No, no. I don’t mind. Do what you need to do. Want me to crawl up front so you two can fuck in private?”

“That’d be marvelous, thank you,” John giggled.

“No! That won’t be necessary,” I said, as P.J. attempted to crawl over the seat.

I grabbed the back of his jacket and yanked him backward, a little harder than I meant to, causing him to bang his head on the back of the seat. John burst out laughing.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to…” I said, with my hand over my mouth in horror.

P.J. rubbed the back of his head while John was in tears laughing.

“That’s all right,” he said. “I try to get knocked in the melon at least once a day and I missed my opportunity earlier today, so I appreciate your help with that.”

“I really am so sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean to pull you back that hard.”

“Didn’t know your own strength, huh?” he said.

“Oh, she’s like soddin’ Hercules, this one. You ought to see what she done to me favorite pair of trousers,” John said when he had finally stopped laughing.

Then I became quite tickled at the memory of John standing before me, his thigh and a hint of underwear showing through the large rip down one side on his pants. We all laughed and talked the rest of the way to the club and, thankfully, I was able to keep John off of me. Our mood was very light and we were both so happy to be together. But that all quickly wore off as there were reporters outside the club snapping pictures and asking questions as we went in. It was a club I had never been to before and it was rather dark and dingy. I didn’t like it at all. We quickly left that club and made our way to another. P.J. had instructed me to hang on his arm so it would look like I was with him, until we were inside the next club. So I did as I was told, even though I figured there was no chance in hell that the press would be blind enough to believe that I was with P.J. instead of John. After leaving that club, the three of us were a bit drunk, but the boys wanted to keep going. We finally ended up at the club, The Scotch, a popular Beatle haunt. Luckily there were no reporters outside. There were some fans, however, so P.J.’s driver let him and me out of the car first and we went into the club. Then he drove down the street, waited about five minutes, and then came back and let John out. We had a great time in The Scotch. Keith Richards and Brian Jones were there with a couple of girls and we joined them and laughed and drank for about an hour before P.J. invited nearly everyone in the club back to his house for a party. By the time we left, I was just about the only one that wasn’t totally out of my mind from booze, so luckily I had the sense to remind P.J. and John that we should go get in the car separately. So, P.J. and I left John with Keith and headed outside where we were immediately accosted by newsmen, who hadn’t been there when we went in. Did they follow us here from another club? Had they received a tip that we were there? And in an instant, their questions began flying.

“Maggie, no Beatles tonight?” one reporter asked.

“Ms. Jones, we hear you’ve been in America, are you glad to be back?”

“Ms. Jones, your modeling career appears to have hit a plateau; how do you feel about that and do you have anything in the works?”

“Mr. Proby, when did you and Ms. Jones begin seeing each other?”

It was a whirlwind. The London reporters were worse than the Americans! P.J. only had time to open his mouth to try and answer one question before another was fired at us. I only smiled and kept my mouth shut, trying all the time to get to the car. I was just thankful they weren’t asking much about the Beatles or John. Out of sight, out of mind. But I knew we had better hurry and get into the car before John came out of the club. Why hadn’t we thought to just ask Keith to bring John to P.J.’s? And why were there so many reporters out at that time of night, anyway? I was pushing my way past them when my worst fear was realized. John burst out of the club angrily yelling and cursing at Keith and the woman he was with. And like a slow-motion nightmare, though it was very likely it had only been my imagination, the whole group of newsmen instantly stopped asking P.J. and me questions. They looked at John, turned back and looked at me, and then split down the middle, half of them rushing over to ask John questions, and the other half of them rushing over to me. I felt my stomach churn.

“Oh, bugger off, the lot of you,” John growled. “Can I not have one fuckin’ night of peace? Look over there, it’s a bloody Rolling Stone,” he pointed toward Keith. “And he’s all juiced up and ready to answer all your daft questions. And just look at that bird he’s with. Looks a wee bit up the duff if you ask me!” John spouted off, giggling and pushing his way through the reporters.

“Sod off, Lennon!” Keith shouted.

John put his hand on my back and gently pushed me into the car after P.J. while the reporters were still asking questions and trying to snap pictures. But before closing the door John shot them a “backward peace sign,” which I’d come to recognize as being the equivalent to the middle finger and laughed,

“Eat shit ya bunch of fuckin’ whackers! Put that on your front page!”

And as the car sped away from the curb, with John laughing like a madman and P.J. lighting up a reefer, I sat silently, staring into space. All I could think was that Brian was absolutely going to kill me. What would the reporters print after all that? Would it be the end for everyone and everything like Brian had warned me about? I began to tremble with fear.

“What’s wrong with you then?” John asked.

“How could you have just done that?” I asked.

“Come on, love. It won’t be as bad as it seems now. Don’t worry.”


John put his arms around me and I shivered in his embrace.

“Look, I was going to wait ‘til later to give you these, but it looks like you could use ‘em right now,” he said, removing one arm from around me and reaching into his pocket to produce four small yellow pills.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Just take it. Make you feel better. Here’s two for you and two for me. P.J?” John said.

“No, I’m good for now, man. I better wait until a little later,” P.J. said.

“Cheers,” John said, popping the pills into his mouth and swallowing hard.

I just sat there, looking at the little pills in my hand. I assumed they were uppers, but the truth was that I didn’t even care what they were. John said they would make me feel better and I really wanted to feel better. I followed his lead and popped them in and swallowed them without any liquid to help wash them down. John smiled and kissed me. We dropped P.J. at his place and then his driver drove John and me around for quite a while. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t ask any questions. Neither of us spoke and I fell asleep in his arms. The uppers didn’t seem to be working. I really wished he would just take me home so I could go to bed, but I didn’t want him to think I would rather be asleep than with him, so I just kept my mouth shut. I awoke as we were pulling back up to P.J.’s.

“What was all that about?” I asked John as we got out of the car.

“Oh, P.J. just needed to get some things in order,” he said.

I blinked hard as I looked at him. I must have been really tired. John’s face had distorted into a very angular version of itself. Each of his features was a perfect geometric shape. But just for a moment. And then it was over.

“What’s wrong, love?” he asked.

“Hmmm? Oh nothing,” I said, my mouth gaping.

A broad grin stretched across John’s face.

“Oh good! It’s started for you too! Started just a little while ago for me, while you were still asleep,” he giggled.

“What are you talking about?” I asked him.

“Well, what did you think you took then? You just take anything anyone hands to you?” he joked.

“No, I just assumed it was uppers.”

“Oh, you’ll be up, all right. You’ll see. Come on now,” he said, taking my hand and leading me into P.J.’s house.”

The place was filled with people. How long had we been driving around? John introduced me to a couple of people, but when they spoke, it sounded like a funny language I had never heard before and I wasn’t sure how to respond. I shrugged at John, unable to think of the right words to use, and then he spoke in the same funny language as the others and they all smiled kindly at me. I thought it was all an elaborate joke.

“Very funny,” I said, finally able to speak.

John threw his head back and howled with laughter, his features once more becoming quite distorted. In fact he looked very much like a Picasso painting. My eyes widened in disbelief.

“It’s all right, love. Enjoy it,” he whispered reassuringly to me and then moved my hair out of the way so he could kiss my neck.

At that point it was crystal clear that it had not been speed that I had taken but LSD and I was in fact having a trip. As was John, although I’m not sure I would have ever known had we not taken it at the same time. He seemed to be acting fairly normal. John and I made our way into a main living area where there was a large number of people gathered, many of them appearing to be couples who were making out in front of everyone. John and I sat down with a group of guys and girls whom I had never met. They were all talking about music and John joined right in. The conversation, much of which I had heard before, seemed particularly interesting this time and I wanted desperately to know more about everything they were discussing. I kept asking questions and rather than becoming annoyed with me, they would answer very animatedly and in great depth. Their answers were like the unspoken truth of the universe and I could almost see their words appear in solid form as they left their mouths. I became transfixed by one man in particular. His mouth was like none I had ever seen before and it suddenly became clear to me that I was meant to touch it.

“Excuse me, but I think I’m supposed to touch your lips right now,” I interrupted his speech about “allemande,” which apparently had something to do with the first movement of a Baroque suite.

“Well, if you are supposed to, then you had better get over here and do it,” he said in a bit of a German accent, which I was almost certain I did not hallucinate.

And then, as everyone looked on, I gently ran my fingers across his mouth, using my thumb to slowly trace his lips. The man sat there patiently, waiting for me to finish. And when I did, he leaned forward and kissed me on the mouth. Everything was suddenly all too real and I pulled away quickly and looked over at John, who was watching with a look of indifference on his face.

“You also have beautiful lips,” the German man said to me. “May I kiss them again?”

But before I had time to answer, he had. He tasted like a warm blueberry muffin and I quite enjoyed his kiss that time. I looked at John again and this time he smiled at me. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I turned back toward the man and this time I kissed him! The room filled with a high-pitched buzzing sound and I pulled away from the German, an irrational fear suddenly consuming me. I looked back over my shoulder and John was standing there. He smiled and took me by the hand, leading me away from the group. Before I knew it, everything was back to normal. John led me to a bedroom and began kissing me. I wanted him badly. We lay down on the bed and began to remove each other’s clothing. I climbed on top of John and he reached up and put his hands on my breasts. I could literally feel the sensation in my toes. I looked down at him and saw a beautiful glow radiating off his skin. I was sure I was making love to an angel. The experience was so mind-blowing I was completely oblivious to the fact that we had left the door wide open until I suddenly noticed the German man and a young blonde girl enter and take a seat on a sofa that was in the bedroom. The girl sat on the man’s lap as they watched John and I make love. I looked down at John, who looked over at the couple and then back at me. He took my face in his hands and pulled it down to his so he could kiss me. I didn’t like the idea of the German and the young woman watching us, but I couldn’t stop what I was doing. What I was experiencing was unlike anything I had ever known before. It was love-making on an entirely different level of awareness. All my senses were completely awake and in full-force. At one point I became aware that the German and the girl had also started making love, but as John suddenly turned me over onto my back and began moving more quickly and deliberately, all my attention quickly shifted back to him and me. When it was over, I just wanted to touch John. I could see him more clearly than I ever had before. For a while I had my mind set on counting every hair on his body, but I only got up to 323 before John threw me off of him.

“I’ve just ‘ad a fuckin’ epiphany.”

I looked over at the sofa where the German and blonde girl had been, but they were gone.

“What?” I asked.

“I’ve got to paint it out,” he said.

“Paint what out?”

“All of it. Fucking everything. Every last thought. You’ll see. It’ll be bloody marvelous!” he screeched in an excited tone.

He quickly pulled his pants on and ran out of the room without bothering to put on a shirt.

“Don’t forget yellow!” I yelled after him.

It all made perfect sense to me at the time and it was going to be fantastic. I just knew it. I went over to the wardrobe that was standing in a corner of the room and found a man’s dress shirt. I put it on and left the bedroom. There were people having sex all over the place. And others who were just sitting around smoking and talking as if nothing strange at all was happening. I climbed over a couple who were naked and asleep on top of one another and I went outside. The sun was coming up and I just had to see it. I walked outside barefoot into the freezing temperatures, snow and all. I felt so alive. The sky was a light violet color and I could see brilliant pink streaks shining through the trees.

“The sun is pink today. That’s because we’re in love,” I said aloud, but no one was around to hear me.

I could hear a bird chirping in the distance and understood what it was saying. It was communicating a message of hope to me. There were so many questions, yet everything made sense somehow. After a while I went back inside to find John pacing back and forth across the room in a bit of a panic.

“Where have you been?” he asked frantically.

“Talking to the bird,” I answered.

“Oh,” he replied, the worried tone in his voice disappearing, as if everything was suddenly okay now that he knew I had been with the bird. “Well then, learn anything?” he asked.

“He wanted to know why I couldn’t stay forever.”

“Bloody bastard,” John replied.

It was more of the same for the next several hours. And it wasn’t until late on Thursday night before I felt completely back to normal. When it was all over, a sense of depression come over me. P.J.’s driver took me home and much to my dismay, there were reporters outside my apartment. I was dead tired and felt like complete shit. I did not think I was at all capable of dealing with the press at that particular moment, so when I got out of the car I kept my face pointed to the ground and ran to my front door as quickly as possible. Once inside, I collapsed on my bed and slept well into the next day, only awakening when the telephone rang.

“Hullo, love,” John said in a deep, scratchy voice. “Did I wake you?”

“Yes,” I yawned into the phone. “You sound like you just woke up too.”

“Did,” he answered. “You all right?”

“I’m fine.”

“So what did you think about it then?”

“About what?” I asked.

“About the pills. About the whole experience.”

“Well, I just thought it was speed. So, I wasn’t really expecting any of that.”

“You aren’t angry? I just wanted to help you relax. I wanted everything to be beautiful for a while.”

“No, I’m not angry. And everything was beautiful.”

“You liked it then?”

“For the most part. There were parts I didn’t like. I didn’t like feeling sort of confused and disoriented. And I didn’t like that people saw us making love. I only noticed the two of them, but I was so distracted, who knows how many others were in the room?”

“You’ve never been to an orgy?” John asked.


John laughed.

“Well, I didn’t mean for it to happen, love. I just got so blinkin’ horny watching you kiss that bloke. Bloody jealous as hell, but horny as hell too! I didn’t like seeing you kiss that kraut, you know. Made my insides boil. That’s why I just had to fuck you right then and there. And that’s why I didn’t mind him seeing. I wanted him to see what he couldn’t get from you that I could.”

“But John, what if someone goes to the press? It’ll only make things worse.”

“No one’s going to the press, love. Don’t worry.”

“I can’t help it. There were reporters set up outside my apartment when I got home last night.”

“Right. Well, we’ve got to see about getting you a new place to live. Can’t stay there anymore, obviously. I won’t ever be able to come over and we certainly can’t have that.”

“Well, I may have to move, but you’re not going to help me with this. I told you, I don’t want you buying me things. It’s bad enough you bought my ungrateful parents a car.”

“Oh come off it. If I want to do it, I’m bloody well going to do it, all right? Now, I’ve got to go, but let’s not worry anymore. Oh and Maggie, look in your pocketbook, won’t you? I’ve left a surprise. But don’t take them when you’re alone. Wait ‘til I’m there, or Christine, or someone is round to look after you. Speak to you later then, love.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” he said.

I looked in my purse and there was a small bag full of those little yellow pills. I got an excited feeling in the pit of my stomach. It had been such a life-changing experience. Terrifying, but absolutely mind-altering at the same time. It had given me a chance to leave my troubles behind and to relax for a while. Pot did the same thing in a sense, but LSD just made everything so much more beautiful and interesting. I wanted to get back to that place, that state of mind, immediately. I considered going against what John had just told me, but decided he probably knew best when it came to something like this, so I decided to hold off. I peaked out my window and saw that some teenagers had joined the reporters who were camped outside my apartment. I knew it was just a matter of time before the landlord put me out on the street for all the commotion. Suddenly I had an idea and before I had time to really think it through, my fingers were dialing Christine’s number.

“Hello?” she asked breathlessly.

“Hi Christine, have you been running a marathon or something?” I asked.

“What? Oh… no… I thought…” she breathed.

“Is this a bad time?” I asked, more than a little curious.

“Well… it’s just,” she said into the phone.

I heard her giggle and then say, away from the receiver, “Paul, baby, stop for a second. Oh God…”

Then she returned to me, “Maggie, can I call you back?”

I laughed. It was very clear what was going on.

“It’s a good thing I wasn’t your mother calling, young lady,” I teased. “But, it’s actually sort of important… I was just wondering if I could move in with you with you for a while. So, you just think about that and then you can get back to me. But don’t take too long, all right?”

I heard Christine gasp.

“Paul, please!” she said away from the telephone.

“Talk to you later. Bye!” I said, giggling as I hung up the phone.

It was the only solution I could see at the moment. And besides, she and I had been roommates before, so I knew it would work. I just hoped it wasn’t too long before she got back to me with an answer. I took another look out my window and now there were police in the mix. My landlord would surely not put up with that much longer.

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