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I Gave John Lennon the Finger Guns the Day He Died and I’ve Felt Guilty Ever Since

I have a confession. It’s been eating away at me for decades. On December 8th, 1980 when I waited outside of the Dakota Apartments hoping for a glimpse of my idol. Though I wasn’t able to meet him, I was able to briefly make eye contact and fire off a couple of cool finger guns at him. Later that night, I’d learn that my idol, John Lennon, had died of gunshot wounds.

They say to never meet your heroes. I never knew this is what they were warning me about.

I’ve thought about that day often. The day my harmless gesture ended in tragedy. I keep thinking of what I could have done differently. Maybe I should have tipped an imaginary hat. No! Regret fixes nothing. I must simply confess to what I’ve done and move on one day at a time.

I never told anyone about that day until now. One minute I was having a personal interaction with Mr. Ono himself, and the next I was watching football and having to learn about his demise. For a split second I thought I had magical finger-bullet-shooting powers and that was bittersweet, but when I realized it was a coincidence, I only felt bitter.

It feels so good to finally get all of this out. Obviously, I didn’t cause the death of my hero. But confessing to my symbolic part in his murder is cathartic nonetheless. Someday I’ll work up the courage to talk about the time I gave the throat-cutting gesture to a waiter on June 12th, 1994 at the Mezzaluna restaurant in Brentwood, California after he refused to give me a free refill.