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February 8, 2015

I seem to have constructed a city in my brain that when I need some kind of dream urban landscape, I revisit. The city is mapped and populated. But I can never seem to remember it when awake. Lately, there’s a band I run into there. The band is basically a duo, although they usually have an impressive array of backing instruments and occasionally a trio of girl singers. I first encountered them in posters on a wall, probably when I was running away from someone chasing me, you know, like you do. I didn’t notice it much then, as I was a little busy trying not to die. But on a later visit, I turned on the radio and heard them playing a song I liked. And once they were playing in a large concert in a park by the huge body of water that runs along one side of the city that sometimes looks like a lake and others like an ocean or a river, the one the flooded highway runs across, where you sometimes have to float in your car out beyond the road.

Last night, I got onto the (dream) subway with my headphones on and heard singing. I switched off my tunes, but left my headphones in so they wouldn’t know I was listening. I realized it was the two fronts for the band, a man with spiked hair bleached white and a stud through his lower lip, wearing leather pants and a red T-shirt that said “I Love Rocky” in big black letters. The woman was Asian, slightly overweight, wearing a short plaid skirt and platform shoes, her hair tied back haphazardly. They sang, up close and personal, and it was great, but it sounded totally different than the full band.  And then the man announced loudly and to no one in particular that they were going to be doing a musical and everyone should come. Then they exited the train and I kept going.

The weird thing about dreams like this is that you can’t control what you remember, and sometimes when you look at things they disappear. You can only notice the things in your peripheral vision, which is why I can remember what the t-shirt says and looks like but I can never, ever remember the name of this band or what any of their songs sound like. I just have to wait for the next time I run into them in my sleep and try to remember a little more.

I ran into a real band yesterday too, or part of one. I have an old friend from Chicago, someone I used to sing with, who has been living in New York for 20 years – which is probably as long as it’s been since I last saw her. She also plays violin – in fact, we had the same teacher for a while when we were both living in Massachusetts, but we didn’t know each other until later. She invited me over to play yesterday. She has a band that plays …I don’t know how to describe it. It’s kind of like the band in my dream. I know what it is when I hear it but if I look directly at it, it’s hard to pin down.

It was a bit of a production to get there. She lives quite close to me, but they were filming a movie across the street from my house, so I had to dodge all the interns on their cell phones while I walked down the street, lugging a violin, a mandolin, a music stand and a bag of music. But I made it eventually.

We played a lot, but we talked some too, about our jobs, about how we both ended up in New York and how we both put our violins away for a while before coming back to them and trying our collective hands at fiddling, how we love it more now, how we feel like we’re better at it even though we’re not as good. It was easy and fun and I hope we do it again.

On my way back, I walked into the film shoot again as I came up from the subway. They were setting up at the entrance as I came out, skidding on the icy sidewalk. But any day where music is played is a good day. And maybe tonight’s the night that I’ll finally remember the name of the band.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2015 12:09 pm

    You seem like such an urbanite now. I had a great time visiting!

  2. February 10, 2015 4:18 pm

    Wow —

  3. February 10, 2015 5:08 pm

    I want to hear that dream band!

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