My memories of that horrible night have always been inextricably linked to my memories of walking around like a zombie the next day in my high school.
My first period teacher, whom I loved and admired, and who always teased me and my friends about our obsession with rock and punk music (he was a die-hard jazz aficionado), was very compassionate and spent a good deal of the class talking to us about what had happened. I remember he ended the discussion by acknowledging the tragic loss, but reminding us that at least John will remain "forever young."
As a teenager who also loved the Dylan song, I thought his words wise and took whatever comfort in them that I could wring out. But as I've gotten older, it makes me angry when I think about the years that were stolen from John and how he was never given the chance to grow old. But still... I appreciate that my favorite teacher reached out to me and to all of my classmates. (Mostly, though, he was talking to me.)
My favorite teacher died this year. On John's birthday.
There's some kind of poetry in that.
February 8, 1936–October 9, 2014