I'm in a recording studio, although it looks strangely similar to KEXP's radio booth with the microphones for guests and the shelves of music. I am aware that the room next to me is the office-space of the studio, and that inside it is Ben Gibbard, frontman for Death Cab For Cutie. I am trying to decide whether or not to go introduce myself, knowing that I may not be able to refrain from insulting his band. I am also under the impression that he is waiting for me; there has been some sort of previous communication between him and I, and he is expecting my arrival. What I can't figure out, though, is the nature of the meeting. I am afraid that he already knows how I feel about his band and that this is some sort of confrontation, but it is equally possible that he has no idea who I am and in that case, why would we have set up a meeting? Paranoia strikes deep.
That strange feeling in dreams of knowing things without being able to explain their existence is really unnerving, and in this little KEXP-like studio control room I am deeply saturated with it, debating what to do. In walks someone whom I now can't place. In the dream, I knew him – he was some kind of musician, tall, splayed hair, dark glasses, dark clothes. Damn, I can't remember. Anyways, he somehow assures me that Ben Gibbard doesn't know who I am, and prompts me to venture into the office.
It turns out to be very anticlimactic; whatever I was expecting out of Ben Gibbard never surfaced. Surprise. In fact, it's all pretty hazy right now. One moment sticks out crystal clear though. I guess I had said something to him that was total BS, about working at the studio or something, and he looks at me, narrows his eyes, and says "what are you really here for?" I am shaken by that comment, because I interpret it as a challenge. Maybe he does know! I think.
In the end, I am left here wondering what the big deal was. In fantastical sensory-overload dreamland, it seemed a horrible thing to be on what felt like Ben Gibbard's turf and wanting to dis his music. In the waking life though, I am, as usual, fascinated by the way in which we allow ourselves to experience feelings in spite of their irrelevance to reality. It makes it pretty clear that maybe what we consider relevant is more a function of what we consider appropriate, or sensible, or acceptable.
I can't get the slitty-eyed accusation out of my head though: "What are you really here for?" Why Ben Gibbard? Why, of all people, did this have to come from the King of What Is Wrong With Pop Music?
Later, after this episode, I dreamed I was walking through a kaleidescope, where the walls and ceiling turned in 3-d motion with every step I took, changing my surroundings from an airplane to an elephant herd to a Versace store. The soundtrack was REM's Green, which is kind of an apocalyptic album. Some lines i definitely remember dreaming:
Sometimes I feel like I can't even sing
I'm very scared for this world; I'm very scared for me
Hello, I'm sorry I lost myself
I think I thought you were someone else
I'm not supposed to be like this
But it's OK…