I was an hour late to work today because I was busy having a series of insane dreams about Minneapolis and Seattle (neither of which I’ve been to):
In the former city (in which one of every two people wants to be in a rock band), a famous, nameless indie rocker narrates a biographical scene from his days as a longshoreman. He rides his bike the full 200-mile span of concrete along the shore at night, across an empty concrete way awaiting morning shipments. At the end of the paved expanse, he reaches a dark forest. Then he tells of his world travels, of seeing Chinese plants and of swimming with a crocodile. His tale ends.
I suddenly find myself in the latter city, in the office of a music newspaper called News, established in the late nineteenth century. An employee leads me to a large window. Outside, it’s raining softly. A large hill over a marsh begins to blossom in waves of orange, white, red, and yellow. The flowers bloom fast, stochastically, along lines like a hockey crowd atop the Milwaukee Art Museum. I know, even as I dream, that I’m sleeping through my alarm. The beauty of nature overwhelms me, pardoning my inefficiency. My dad appears at the office — the office I want to work at. He’s been newly hired; his head is shaved, he’s jacked, and he’s wearing a gold chain.
I wake up to bail out, and when I look around my room I feel strongly that it’s okay if I leave New York. It’s best that I leave what I’ve got in order to live in a way that genuinely gratifies me. In a way that won’t tint my end-of-life recollections with a pervasive sense of tragedy and waste. Are you in this boat with me? Will you also listen to “Paradise” over and over as you sob in bed for an hour from 3 to 4AM, hearing in your gut, as much as your ears or head or heart, the lines: “I’ve worn out my welcome/ spent all my time./ I’m ready to live/ not ready to die./ How can it be/ that nothing’s yours/ and nothing’s mine?”