My summer stress level is so high that I’m suffering from recurring dress rehearsal dreams where I’m the most ill-prepared dancer backstage. Typically, I have forgotten the choreography, have no costumes and am missing a shoe.
I haven’t danced in years, so the premise is absurd, but that’s the way it is with dreams, isn’t it?
It takes all of my semi-conscious strength to pull away from the hardwoods and turn my face away from the wall of mirrors and familiar faces of days gone by.
And when I do, I awaken in a panic-stricken state, toes pointed, body curled into a modern contracted shape. And then I remember, as the cliche goes, that life for me no longer has dress rehearsals. Those are simply the memories that my sleeping body seeks for comfort; the memories of when stress surfaced from passion, not from work.
Today I called up TDS and realized that in eight months, no new quips or essays have graced its electronic pages. My mind quickly shifted to the dress rehearsal dreams, to their growing frequency, and to the words I’ve published elsewhere as of late.
This summer, I took on a new role that keeps me writing at a greater pace than I’ve maintained before. And while, yes, I’ve written about the most trivial of news subjects, I’ve also written craftily on the subjects I hold dear, extending those Cameron Crowe scenes into this hot Austin existence.
While my mind is riddled with stress, this soundtrack plays. Though my sleeping body still sweats as my muscle memory calls up eight-counts from decades past, these songs keep my feet on the ground, with or without that missing shoe.
It’s a bit off, isn’t it? A playlist that darts from ’80s love-child songs written for outlaw country singers to raunchy punk and gin-fueled cheating songs?
It’s a little off, but then again, I guess every dream — every dress rehearsal — is deserving of its own music.
- Stevie Nicks – “Leather and Lace”
- Iggy & The Stooges – “I Need Somebody”
- Crosby, Stills & Nash – “Love The One You’re With”
- Robert Earl Keen – “Paint the Town Beige”
- Cory Branan – “Darken My Door”
- Turnpike Troubadours – “Gin, Smoke, Lies”
- Hayes Carll – “Drunken Poet’s Dream”
- Ray Wylie Hubbard – “Down Home Country Blues”
- Justin Jones – “Christmas Night”
- Ani DiFranco – “Overlap”
Listen for yourself: http://spoti.fi/OKjEKr.