I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village.
It was almost five years ago when Chris suddenly passed away. Since then my life has changed — yet remains much the same.
Looking for a picture of her on this occasion, I found one from our trip to England and Wales with our friends James and Nicky just weeks before she died. That was the last time she saw her mother Cathy. She posed next to a statue of John Lennon we had found in a Liverpool street. Gazing at the photo I can’t help but imagine the two of them having a conversation somewhere. Chris could win over anybody.
In December 1980 I was driving from graduate school in California to an unknown future in New York City. At nighttime in the middle of Nebraska I heard on the radio that John had been shot in front of the Dakota apartment building. This made me wonder: How could I go there now? John was an early idol of mine, along with Bob Dylan and all the other artists that have drawn me here since my youth.
I came anyway, followed by Chris several years later. Nearly 40 years after my arrival I imagine her with me, walking the Greenwich Village streets we both loved. Like John she left us far too soon. But I doubt I’ll regret spending the rest of my time in the city that became our final home.