But then I had the strangest dreams. Kept waking up in medias res, not like me at all. Maybe it was because I was reading Neil Gaiman’s SMOKE & MIRRORS, maybe it was watching Damon rag on the Yankees and the host himself on Letterman, but for whatever reason:
1) I finally work up the courage to call Warren Ellis (whose # I DO have on my cell phone) to ask him for Grant Morrison’s # and Warren teases me a bit and says he calls him all the time and I sound like a nice enough fellow but a bit of a wanker all the same and then of course just hangs up on me
2) There is a massive comic-book convention and I am giving an after-party for it at my parent’s old house on 55th Street, the oldest house I remember growing up in. I come home early from the convention, the content of which is not a part of this dream, just to get it ready. Catherine’s not feeling well, so I get her set up in my old bedroom. She wishes she could help, but I tell her we’ve got it. My mom’s on the case, along with this other guy about my age, making his second appearance as a bit player in my dreams, he wears glasses and never says a word. I mix up this fabulous concoction, it’s like a daiquiri but it’s more ice cream wonderfulness, it’s got frozen strawberries and fresh mangoes in it. All of a sudden, the party’s fully underway in the backyard, but you have to access it through the door in the back of the garage. I fill up a plastic half yard (this from the English pub, no doubt) with my yummy treat and head on back there but some stranger, a twenty-year old doorman, holds me with the news that I can’t take my massive glass back there, only beer is allowed in the backyard. I tell him it’s MY backyard and not to worry about it but before I can make too much of a scene, Blake walks up and tells me I need to simmer down. Now, Blake has been the rational voice of reason (relatively speaking, arguably) more than once in my life and I can’t take him bringing me down to earth just now so I squeeze off about a paragraph of what I think he can do with his common sense and then put my middle finger right up along the side of his nose, fingernail shaking there between his eyebrows. I tell him how much it hurts to do this but this is how it has to be, and he gives a characteristic shrug and says Meh and then I go back to the kitchen to get a damn beer so that I can go mingle at my own damn party, BKV is supposed to be there if he hasn’t already left, and Mom asks me if I’ve eaten anything and I say sure I’ve eaten some peaches and . . . mangos? But then someone comes running in saying Catherine was attacked by someone from the rival high school and I rush into my bedroom and she wasn’t attacked but he was just peering in the window at her all creepy-like and my friends from Austin are sitting with her and she’s fine and says she would’ve torn anybody up who came through, and of course she would have, but then someone yells that the party’s over and we all run into the back and look over the fence into the alley and it’s twice as wide as it ought to be and there are train tracks running through it and just then a couple of baby locomotives pull up followed by this giant vehicle that’s like three times as large and the only thing that I can say about it is it SEEMED like the Jawas’ Sandcrawler but it wasn’t, like it had that shape and you took away that sense of the thing, but it was somehow also a locomotive engine. And then pretty much everyone left standing in the backyard cast their ropes up into the sky and swung up on top of the thing in unison, quite a sight for the few of us landlubbers remaining. But at least I consoled myself, it’s not like I missed The Man, I don’t see . . . . and then a shout comes and I see him hollering at me, clad in some red plaid ensemble that would only make sense in Northern Exposure, his face beaming some secret joy down at me, proud that he’s stayed concealed this long or is maybe the bearer of good news, after all. What he calls down from that great height is, “Rob! Congratulations on getting your book published!” And then the Crawler begins its lazy chug away. I turn to Catherine, astonished. I already knew my book was getting published, but that’s Vaughan up there, he was here all the time! I hurdle the fence and sprint off down the tracks after the cars but they’re fast, too fast.
She tries to tell me It was so cool, he knew about your book. But I’m furious, the guy was in my own backyard and I didn’t even manage to shake his hand, and won’t be consoled
3) I’m eating lunch on the patio at some very posh very humid place, possibly LA possibly Hell, and then who should come in but Ellis and Morrison with their women and I can’t bear to go over and say anything, but know that I must and the prankster friend I’m dining with, who has never existed before this moment, is walking over to address the four of them while they wait for the last two members of their party to arrive when I wake up.
No sign of Moore or Gaiman, but maybe they were the last couple at the end there. Or Brubaker, who knows, he’s been kicking such ass lately.