Monday, July 13, 2009


Don't know why, but I've had some very strange and vivid dreams lately. Last night's may have been the second-best one ever (nothing will ever top my secret war hero mission in the mountains where the enemy sniper hot chick falls in love with me, helps me sabotage the enemy HQ, and we escape, all soundtracked by Abba's "S.O.S."). Since I enjoyed the Lead Paint Cooker's post about her own wild dream the other night, I figured I'd share my own.

Last night, the dream seems to start with me back in my shitty hometown. I don't know why I'm there, but I go to the gas station where I always filled my dad's van up during high school, and I ask the attendant where I should hang out. She starts with all these horrible joints that are popular with the townies, and I interrupt her, to explain the kinds of places I like to hang out, in the slight hope something remotely similar exists in town. She perks up, apparently because she's into the same things as me, and tells me about this new place where bands hang out, drink pop, and record songs together. It just so happens to be in the same spot where my grandfather had his auction business, where I used to ride my bike to on weekends and summer days as a kid to help "put together" furniture. I know the route well, so I head over, though not before agreeing with the cute gas station attendant that we are now boyfriend/girlfriend.

I walk in and realize that Dinosaur Jr is practicing inside. Well, kind of Dinosaur Jr. Definitely J Mascis, and some facsimile of Lou Barlow (though sometimes he looks a lot more like Murph than he does like Lou) though throughout the dream he keeps getting younger. But Murph has been replaced by a younger dude named Joe who apparently now owns the band, which might explain why J Mascis keeps kissing up to him. J is mad and, as I walk in, he demands I play rhythm guitar for the band, saying that if I'm as good as I think I am, I can go on tour with them and own 10% of the band. (Apparently Joe will give 10% shares to any other bandmate, so this would leave him with a 70% ownership, but he seems cool with it.) Mascis doesn't seem to leave the audition idea up for discussion, so despite the fact that I have no clue how to play the guitar and the fact that I have not yet said a word to anyone, I strap on one of Mascis's extras and plug in, hoping for the best.

They rip in to some song immediately, and I don't recognize it, though Joe knowingly and supportively keeps whispering to me that it is from Farm, though this doesn't make me feel better, but worse actually, since I've only listened to that album a few times through so far and it is currently locked inside Low Life Gallery, so even if I magically transported myself back to Cleveland, I still wouldn't be able to get it. Anyway, the whole time, J is just raging on guitar with his eyes closed, Joe keeps whispering, and Lou just looks at me, as he continues to grow younger as the song goes on. I do my best to play, but as I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm supposed to do, I know that "terrible" doesn't even begin to describe my performance. The song finishes, Joe says good job, but I don't believe him, as it seems like he's one of those guys that is just gonna be 100% supportive no matter how much somebody sucks. Lou packs his bass up, and J stares hard at me for a minute, then comes over and gives me a hug, the seriousness and sternness in his spine melting. He pulls back, looks at me with red eyes, and starts explaining how everyone thinks he's this jerk because he is quiet, but really he's just shy and afraid he'll stutter, and that he really wants me to be friends with him, and though he couldn't hear my guitar playing (apparently I hadn't plugged in correctly), Joe had heard it and really liked it, and I was in the band if I wanted to be.

I agreed to be in the band, but before I could say anything else, the dudes' girlfriends showed up, excited about going to this hip new place called Fuddruckers. The girls started telling me all about it, how they cook your burgers to order and how you can put your own toppings on it and how they'll call your name over the intercom, like it just opened last week. I am still uncertain about the strength of my position in the band, and one of Joe's girlfriends (he has two) is giving me a skeptical look, so I'm not about to say, "hey ladies, Fuddruckers has been open for decades. I used to go there as a kid." Instead, I just say how awesome it sounds and ask if one is open in town now? They say yes, and that since I'm in the band, I can come, and I should bring my girlfriend, and that we have to leave now.

We all walk down the sidewalk to where their cars are parked (mine is still at the gas station, since I walked from there to the place where I met the band), and J jumps in his one-person vehicle and speeds away. Lou's girlfriend drives him, J's girlfriend, and herself and never offer me a seat, so I keep following Joe and his two girlfriends. Joe is engrossed in a conversation with the nice one, and the skeptical one is giving me the cold shoulder. Eventually we get to the skeptical one's truck, and she hops in the driver's side, while the nice girlfriend gets in the middle and Joe gets the passenger window. They nicely explain there is no room for me, and that it would be illegal for me to ride in the back. However, they give me directions to the place, but none of the street names sound like streets I remember driving on when I grew up. And then they drive off.

I figure I'll just walk back to my car, tell my girlfriend to punch out for lunch, and she can direct us over there. Worst case, the band'll already be eating and I'll just get a salad. I finally get to the gas station, but they are swamped, so I just get in my car and figure I'll find the place on my own. I eventually get lost and find myself in a cool neighborhood, but since it is early in the day, none of the cool places are open. Still, I figure since I'm now a member of Dinosaur Jr, I might as well stay in my old hometown for a while, and it makes sense to get an idea of what is around this new cool neighborhood for when I come back some time when the places are open.

At this point, I get in a really shitty mood, and several hours go by. Eventually I get in my car and find my way back to the gas station. I'm almost certain that I've missed the rest of practice, and with it blown off my chance of being in the band, and want to tell my girlfriend how stupid I am, since she's the only person in town I know so far. When I get to the gas station, it has turned into a restaurant, and I can tell that my girlfriend has gotten off shift, and is flirting with some guys she had previously been waiting on. Whatever, I'm cool with that - no need to freak out and get jealous and lose my girlfriend and my band in one day. I walk in real slowly, and by the time I get through the entryway, the flirting dudes are gone and she's sitting at a booth in the back with a co-worker, telling her co-worker all the awesome things that happened to her that day. I realize she isn't including meeting me and becoming my girlfriend in this list of great things, and at this point I step forward and she sees me and asks if I want a bite of her salad. She says this perfectly nicely, even girlfriend-y, and I think for a moment that I'm overreacting. But then I'm like, "fuck it, I'm in a bad mood, I need some drama." So I call her out for cheating on me (even though she didn't), and I storm out. Then I text her as I'm walking across the parking lot that our relationship is "fucking over" and that I hope she knows not to call me again.

By the time I finish texting, I feel better, and realize I'm walking up the steps to the band practice spot. I stop at the top of the stairs, debating if I should go in since I'm probably out of the band, and just then J Mascis comes running up the steps, too. He stops when he sees me, gives me a big happy hug, and starts apologizing for being late in this flustered voice. I tell him it is totally cool, that I was just waiting for him outside because I wanted to thank him for letting me audition and tell him how excited I am to be in a band with a dude I've been such a big fan of for so long. He smiles and we decide not to ever talk about my previous fandom again, as I'm now one of the band and need to start learning the songs. He tells me I'm gonna have a lot of flexibility about how I want to play them, since they haven't had a second guitar player before, and as long as I'm "artful" he'll support me 100%. Then he starts telling me how great Joe is, especially as the boss of the band, and why he decided to make Joe 100% owner and band leader. Apparently, Joe has great taste in band merchandise, everyone seems to like him, he's a really good driver (though he prefers to let other people drive so no one feels bad when they see how good he is at driving), and just a really wise band leader. I agree, and though I want to tell J that he should be more proud of himself, too, because he's such an excellent guitar player, I don't get the chance, because at this point apparently Joe has heard us outside talking. He screams (in a really nice way) "J!!!!!" and then adds, as an afterthought, "Oh, and JJJJJJJ, too" referring to me. J and I hear Joe giggle, and we shrug and walk in the room. They are having a super awesome party, with streamers and kegs of fancy pop, and these little toast things with melted cheese and hamburger meat on top, and everyone is glad we are there to have one last practice before hitting the road on tour.

And then I woke up.


Cookbook said...

Good grief. How did you remember all this detail?! I would almost say you win the crazy dream contest, but Jaws did feature prominently in mine.

Andrew Culture said...

I've been in bands where the tour WAS the practice!

Andrew Culture
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