Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poor David Letterman And Me


so, last night i had a really hilarious and also disturbing dream.

leslie (my wife) and i were invited to new york to appear on "the late show with david letterman." i like letterman better than leno - no particular reason, except that letterman's a little more snide, which i like. i still have no idea why l and i were invited to the show.

1. it was a long drive. we drove all the way to new york. some adventures happened along the way - some country folks, a park, camping, i can't remember those parts. not important.
2. we got to nyc and it was hilly and night-time. my daughter and i, in real life, drove around downtown austin last night for fun, and that may have been part of what this part of the dream was sorting. but anyway, in nyc in the dream it was confusing. trying to find a parking place. feeling like maybe we were late but not sure. it may have been daytime too in the dream at the same time as it was night.
3. found a parking place. ran to the studio, unsure of where we were going.
4. got there, backstage entrance. turns out, when we got there, there's a whole grocery store in the back, and it's laid out sort of funky and turned on itself in a warehouse, with shopping carts and people all over. no instructions. so, we loaded up a cart of stuff.
5. we got to nearly where the stage was, we thought. still backstage - concrete, cinderblocks, big industrial building. stairs. hard to get around.
6. we get to a huge open area. tall ceiling. to the left are lights and what looks like backstage at a concert. a middle-aged lady who is obviously in charge comes up to us and bitches us out. very demeaning. "when i have a guest come to this show, i expect that person to get here on time, and already be checked into the hotel, and ready to perform." turns out, the show is already ready to tape.
7. we didn't get any such instructions, or, if we did, we don't know what she's talking about. nor did they provide us with a hotel. i say - "oprah has a hotel her people stay at -" but she cuts me off. i find this odd. it hadn't occurred to me until just then that they should've provided us with a hotel room, car service to the studio, etc.
8. we are backstage and it reminds me of Waco Hall on the campus of Baylor University - only we're not backstage, we're in the back of the seat area, next to the sound booth, and there's Letterman, standing there. he seems extremely nice. easygoing. (i know that this is not real life.)
9. the audience are here and there, not crowded like on tv. very laid back. turns out, it's more like a taping in that the audience is part of the crew making it happen - everyone's part of the family. l and i are the newbies.
10. we don't have anyplace to put our groceries, and the milk is going to spoil. we pile it all into a cart, smushing the bread, trying not to impose on this mean woman, who is telling us we're way behind.
11. we miss the time we're supposed to come up to the stage. it occurs to me that i have no idea why we're there or what in the hell we're on tv for.
12. there's a commercial break and l and i are rushed up to the stage. i look at my watch; we were supposed to be on much earlier; there are four minutes left. the music is playing; the commercial break is almost over. the mean woman projects disapproval toward us.
13. there are two old-looking microphones on stands, headphones, little music stands. stagehands come up and give us our mikes. mine doesn't work. it screeches. breaks up. letterman asks us something. l gives an answer, i do too. i got nothin'.
14. letterman is quite nice, takes it in stride. we're done. show's over. smattering of applause.
15. we go off stage. some of our friends are there. they comfort us. they tell me my texan accent was quite pronounced and odd. they tell me it's okay that my microphone broke up, it wasn't my fault - and the implication is that it WAS my fault. i'm like, well shit! sadness and shame wash over me.
16. we go backstage. i try to get our groceries. we're in a big hurry. turns out we have to be somewhere. l runs across a busy street. i try to catch her.
17. i say something to the mean lady about coming back sometime; she says that's reserved for other people.
i really love dreams. i used to be much more scared of them, but now i like them. i know it's just the soul's way of sorting our experience, feelings, unresolved emotions and ideas. i believe that everything in a dream is code for something we feel or wonder about and can't get worked out during conscious hours.
what is this one about? feeling rushed, inadequate, judged, blamed, stupid.
funny. i've been relaxing a lot lately. i think i'm slowing down enough to know that those emotions and old tapes are in there all the time - so, thank you, my soul, for giving me the gift of knowing to continue to pay attention to those feelings and learn about them. they're there - so, best to look at 'em, stare 'em down, welcome the shadow, see what's in there. and then let the light in.
leonard cohen says the broken places are where the light comes in. yep.
and, thank you, david letterman, for being so kind.

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