The Ballad of John and Yoko
I remember my honeymoon with Shannon very clearly. We were both a wild pair in those days. We were like John Lennon and Yoko Ono before the war-protest years.
South Korea 7/3/63. The rain was pouring in buckets. Our car was broken down on the side of the road. We stood on the side of the road hitching a ride. I held up a cardboard sign that said, “To Taiwan or Bust,” in big red letters. Shannon was flagging her arms around to get anyone to stop for us. I had on a pair of torn shorts and a teal t-shirt. My new wife had on a yellow sundress. We stood knew the edge and kept getting splashed by the puddles. But we kept trying in vain.
Finally, a gas truck screeched to a halt for us. The driver opened the door and examined us closely. “Need a ride?” he asked. “YES!” we both shouted. The driver just smiled. “Hop in!” he called. Shannon and I grabbed our luggage and boarded the truck in a hurry. The driver closed the door behind us and drove off.
The ride was a bumpy one. We sat with our knees to our chests. Shannon was trembling from the cold summer rain. I pulled a blanket from my suitcase and draped over her. “There, there.” I whispered to her. “You’ll dry off soon.” She just nodded. I kissed her lightly on the cheek. She gave me a little smile. “So, why are you headed to Taiwan?” the driver asked. “It’s our honeymoon!” I said in pride. “Oh, newlyweds!” the driver replied. “Yep!” I exclaimed. “We just got married two days ago.” “Oh congratulations.” he replied. “We’re on an Asian tour.” I went on. “Really, where are you all headed?” the driver asked. “Taiwan, Mongolia, and Singapore.” I answered. “I see.” the driver said. I reached in my bag and pulled out a box of pocky and opened it. I offered one to Shannon. “Want one?” I asked. Shannon just nodded. She took it and ate. I offered one to our kind driver. “No thanks.” he said. “All right.” I said. Then, I took the piece and ate it.
Our ride was decent. The driver was a nice fellow. Shannon had minor headaches from the smell of the gasoline. But she felt better once we made it to the airport. I was just glad to move around again. The wait for the plane was an awkward one. People kept staring at us. They knew about Leslie, Shannon, and me too well. The public despised the fact that I left Leslie for Shannon. They wanted to see Leslie and me still together. But I’m happy now. (If I had only known.)
The plane trip was uncomfortable as well. People kept staring at and whispering about us. Shannon kept close by me. It all reminded me of that line in the Beatles’ song, “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/And the way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me. That described my mood at the moment. Maybe Shannon’s as well. *Sigh* Maybe our honeymoon will get better.
Taiwan 7/7/63. Beautiful Taiwan at last. This place had become the ideal land for honeymoons over the past few years. I can see why. Steamy hotels were everywhere you look. Hot springs and spas in your face every second. This place was lovers’ heaven. No wonder China coveted it so badly. Taiwan made such a high profit off of newlyweds and couples looking to get away for romance in their lives.
“I need a drink.” Shannon spoke up. I grinned a goofy grin. “Anything my baby wants, anything my baby gets.” I said aloud. Shannon just laughed. “Okay!” she said in joy. We walked our to an outside bar. It wasn’t very crowded. Shannon and I took stools beside each other. The bar tender came out to us. “Can I help you?” he asked us. “Uh, yes.” I spoke up. “I’ll have a beer and she’ll have a…” I turned to my wife. “What do you want dear?” I asked. Shannon looked hard at the menu for a while. “Rice wine.” Shannon spoke up. “Coming right up.” the bar tender replied. Then he disappointed to the back. We waited patiently. An old lady came up to us the bar and sat beside us. We didn’t pay her any mind at first. But she kept staring at us constantly. I felt uncomfortable all over again. Shannon still tried to ignore her. Finally, she turned to me and said, “Is this your wife?” “Yes.” I said uneasily. The woman looked Shannon up and down. “Nice-looking thing.” she said. “Thanks.” I said trying to be polite. “Very nice.” the old woman said. I began to fidget a tad bit. “I know a good for you to give the hot meat injection!” the old woman blurted out loud. Shannon’s eyes lit up wildly. My heart raced in joy. “Where?” Shannon asked as she whipped around. The old woman smiled. “After you get your drinks, follow me.” she said. “Okay.” I said with bliss. I knew things would be looking up for us.
The old woman’s hotel was posh and sensual. This was a lusty paradise. The walls were a sexy red color, the sheets were silk red and black, and heavy black curtains for privacy. There was a mini bar filled with aphrodisiac-type drinks for the spicy nights. Yes sir, we had stuck gold with this place! Shannon flopped back onto the bed only dressed in her yellow-laced bra and panties. I watched in anticipation. She was smiling at me like a seductive akuma. “Well,” she said in a naughty tone. “All of that traveling must have built up some lusty energy. Care to get some of it out?” She then ran her foot lightly against my groin. I was completely aroused now. “Yes ma’am! I sure do!” I exclaimed aloud. Then, I leapt on the bed with my new wife and finished stripping her down. The fire just grew more powerful from there. I didn’t get any sleep for the rest of the night. Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/And the way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me.
Mongolia 7/14/63. The weather was burning hot. We both wished we were both in Taiwan again. It had been in unusually hot of late in Mongolia. But we decided to grin and bear. We stayed in a small hostel. This was the polar opposite from the hotel we stayed in Taiwan. But most of the hotels were filled so we didn’t have much of a choice. It was surprisingly clean for a usual hostel. I’ll give it that. Shannon was content with bottles of rice wine and milk liquor that she had smuggled in her suitcase when we made a pit stop to get directions for a place to stay for the night. Neither of us wanted to try to screw in front of a group of high school kids-- drunk asleep or not. But the cuddle wasn’t bad. All we had was each other. Things looked like they could work.
But then the hope evaporated as fast as it came. I felt a heavy tap on my arm that woke me up. I slowly opened my eyes and looked up. This American college kid was huddled over me. He was panting like he had an asthma attack. I found it quite annoying. “What?” I asked half-asleep and annoyed. “Why did you leave Leslie?” the pain in the ass kid asked me. That question woke me up fast. I was so sick of being asked that question. It took all of me self-control not to beat the jerk up senselessly. “Could you go away? My wife is trying to sleep.” I said soft but firmly to him instead. A pause came between us. “Okay.” the jerk said. Then he crawled away back to his sleeping bag. I shook my head in annoyance as I watched him do so. I lied back down and breathed in hard. The sight of my new wife sleeping calmed me right down. The sooner we left this place, the better. Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/And the way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me.
Singapore 7/17/63. We stood on the side of the road hitching a ride. Our rental car broke down on us. The weather was decent but a bit windy this time. I was snacking on red bean cake in a bag. We had been out here since morning and I was getting pretty hungry. Shannon just drank some over her left over milk liquor. Finally, a normal truck pulled out to us. The door opened for us. “Where you happened?” the driver asked. “Into the city.” I answered. The driver smiled. “Hop on.” he said. We did so with pride. The ride was a quiet one. Too quiet if you ask me. The driver turned to us. “Care for something to read?” he asked. “Sure.” I replied. Then he threw a newspaper to the back at us. Shannon picked it up and read it. Her face went pale. I looked at her closely. “What’s wrong dear?” I asked in concern. She didn’t answer; she just handed me the paper. I read the front page and became sick. This is what the headline read:
They Must Have Gone Crazy to Think It’ll Actually Last
This article was referring to Shannon and I. The writer was even making bets through a poll in the paper. I slowly set down the paper and stared out into the empty country and rice paddies. The ride was not only silent but now it was discomfort-filled as well. Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/And the way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me.
Japan 7/20/63. Home sweet home at last. Or so we hoped. But, that never really is the case with me. Tons of reporters were there waiting for us. They kept firing questions at my wife and me. They kept saying that they missed us and they wished us success with our marriage. We didn’t really care anymore. We just wanted to go home and rest after a honeymoon of adventure and misadventure. Christ, you know it ain’t easy/You know how hard it can be/And the way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me.
I love my wife very much. We were deeply in love in those days. *Sigh* I wonder what happened. But then, I forget the past and carry on. That’s just how it is.
And the way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me