“A Touch of Paradise” by John Farnham

“And I think of all the love that we have been making
You touch my hand and I walk off shaking”

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Piano Man

The Old Man died in 1979. His wake was held at the bar, and Bill played “Danny Boy” to close it out. It was the last song he ever played there.

John at the bar was wrong – he couldn’t be a movie star. However, a night helping cover for a certain piano player when he had a sore throat revealed a previously unknown talent – John was a really good singer. He never made it big on the pop charts, but he did make it big on Broadway throughout the Eighties and Nineties, eventually becoming a mentor figure to the likes of Neil Patrick Harris and Lin-Manual Miranda.

Paul the real estate novelist finally finished his great American novel in 1997. So far, 15 publishers have passed on it – although SyFy has expressed an interest in adapting it for television.

Davy did stay in the Navy for life. He served with distinction, rising the rank of Lieutenant before he retired in 2009. He wrote a well-regarded book on tactics of submarine warfare in the 21st century, and occasionally pops up as a military expert talking head on cable tv.

The Waitress stopped practising politics and got serious about it. In 1982, she was elected to her municipal council, and in 1992, she rode Bill Clinton’s coat tails into a congressional seat that she held until 2016. After the end of her political career, she sat down to write her memoirs, but discovered that she greatly preferred writing children’s books (which were also – mostly – less controversial).

The Businessmen are mostly retired or dead of cocaine overdoses now, but their successors can be found in the same bar, at the same time, doing the same things.

Bill became a high school music teacher in Shermer, Illinois.

…and the piano sounds like a piano, and the microphone smells like a microphone.

Stephen King’s It

Patty Uris was devastated by the suicide of her husband, but discovered in herself a certain steely pragmatism. Although she did sell off most of the business Stan built, she remains a silent partner in it, from which she draws an income sufficient to her needs. She lived by herself, alone but rarely lonely, a few blocks from her parents’ house in New York.

Myra Kaspbrak fared less well. Never particularly good at looking out for herself, she died of a heart attack exacerbated by her obesity a few years later.

Kay McCall eventually recovered, physically and emotionally, from her ordeal at the hands of Tom Rogan. Her experience led her to be a little more understanding of people in general and women in particular, and her later feminist writings were both more deeply felt and more deeply considered than her more youthful work. Unfortunately, the timing of them meant that they were usually seen as late second wave feminism rather than third wave feminism (of which they were in many ways a precursor, especially regarding the intersections of class and gender).

Tom Rogan, as predicted, was never found again. His movements were eventually traced to Derry, where he was presumed to have died in the flooding. He was not missed, or even much remembered, by his widow.

Mike Hanlon was the first the remaining Losers to die, but don’t feel too bad for him. He was among those who left Derry in the wake of the destruction of 1985. He moved to New York City, and returned to the trombone playing he had so loved in his youth. He never made it big, but he was a fixture in a number of house bands over the years, and died on September 10, 2001 surrounded by the friends he had made among the music-loving community of the city.

Ben Hanscom and Beverly Marsh never did tie the knot. They did, however, raise three lovely children, the youngest of whom starts college next year. Both of them continued to work in their chosen professions over the years, but less and less often, as their interest in the new family they were creating became their major priority in life – and it wasn’t like either of them needed to work for money in any case. The Hanscom children – Beverly being only too happy to let her father’s name die away – are Edward, Stanley and Arlene.

Bill Denborough and Audra Phillips did indeed find it difficult to get work in the movies after their abrupt departure from the set of their film. They survived on royalties and residuals for a few years, until Bill completed his next novel, the first part of what grew to be a epic eight volume series entitled The Wheel Unbroken. By the end of the first decade of the new century, Audra was back in the public eye as one of HBO’s favourite actors. It has recently been announced that she will be joining Game of Thrones in its final season, and fan speculation is mounting over what character she will play.

Richie Tozier returned to LA, but the life of a DJ seemed increasingly stale to him. Fortunately, having already voiced many an ad-spot, he found it easy to move into voice acting, and became one of the stalwarts of the scene. Fan polls disagree over whether he or Mark Hamill did a better Joker, but rarely by more than a percentage point or two – and in 2014, ‘Trashmouth’ played what many regard as his definitive role for the first time, when he voiced Rocket Raccoon in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.