**Written last year about this time, with all the optimism I could muster, I was planning on asking a very important question. Plans changed. The piece didn’t.**
As a child, I remember flipping through my brother’s album collection, seeing this and being in awe. I imagined a far off place, somewhere, anywhere, where this secret time and spot existed for all eternity. These four men, crossing, were always there and always mid-stride, mid-street. It was part of my imagination or, better yet, my reality imagined.
What I didn’t realize and didn’t know was that this picture and this place were definite, finite and tangible. I didn’t realize the camera captured something fleeting, that those four men weren’t always in the middle of that crosswalk or that those cars weren’t always parked in those same spaces.
For me, if I could get there, I could weave my way past the old cars, including the Volkswagen with the immortalized plate “28IF”, shake hands with the onlooking man standing on the right sidewalk, admire the woman in the blue dress (on the back cover) and step into the street, there the Beatles would be, still crossing the unbordered, zebra crosswalk.
From that moment on, I was on a journey, much of the time without realizing it, to that exact spot. I couldn’t see that college or rehab or homelessness was getting me any closer to my destination. To me, they were unrelated, sometimes setbacks but never part of the path that would lead me there. Thirty five years later, I arrived and it was no coincidence. Though I could not see the path, I was undoubtedly on it the entire time.
And when I arrived, where were those cars, that man, that woman in the blue dress and my beloved Beatles? Exactly where they had always been still doing what they had always done, welcoming me warmly. I took this picture as proof…
In a few months time, I expect to be back in England on my path and on my journey hoping to find the person I’m going to ask to join me. And the Beatles? They’ll be there still, waiting to escort us, rather than me, from one side of our lives to the next.