Better than Dreams

Dear J-

If you’re a fan (and I know that doesn’t mean every one) Katy Perry has two albums out, Teenage Dream and the earlier One of the Boys. Neither is particularly challenging or encourages growth as far as music goes but our parents used to despair that our idols were Madonna and Boy George so every generation has a chance to be curmudgeonly about young peoples’ music. What I want to talk about is the waking-up-and-realizing-what-happened songs, Waking up in Vegas and Last Friday Night. If for no other reason these are fun songs to listen to and provide a vicarious thrill: man, those were some good times last night, amirite?

At least since the eighth grade I had a recurring dream throughout high school where I’d wake up next to the same person every day, nestled snug together adrift under a sea of blankets and a tangle of limbs. I’d open my eyes in the early llight and take in the world around me, shrunk down to the fifty or so square feet of bed, get a little closer to catch the scent of her hair and drowse some more in her warmth. That’s the easy, unforced intimacy of my dreams with the face sometimes changing as crush statuses were updated and I wonder if that wasn’t the criteria I used at times, how you’d look asleep in the morning.

Of course there was no getting there without some of night before and for some reason my dream would always omit that part of it so maybe theVet is right and I have slowly been turning into a teenage girl the older I get. Katy Perrry sings those songs of libidinous postmortems fueled by alcohol and impaired judgment but I remember that night in 1995 when we were surprised by our mutual night ouwl tendencies (me studying, theVet coming back from work) and how the innocent question “What are you doing still up?” quickly became code for “let’s maul each other like high school locker sweethearts.” It’s true what they say: truth is stranger than fiction, and I add that life is better than dreams.

Mike

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