A few months ago, I received two messages which finally prompted me to take action about my dream job.
The first came in the form of a dream, about Jackie, and the Foo Fighters. I never saw my brother, but I heard his voice, just as if he was standing right next to me. Here’s the dream, to the best of my recollection:
I am driving somewhere unfamiliar. It is early evening, just after dusk. I know that I’m in California, because we’re talking about my flight in. It’s balmy and warm, a beautiful night. Jackie is in the passenger seat and he’s providing directions as we go. We’re in a neighborhood that feels familiar, although I know I’ve never been there.
When we arrive at our destination, he tells me we’re now at the “compound.” It’s a cluster of smaller, Craftsman-style homes, built around a few larger buildings. “That’s the rehearsal space and the recording studio,” he says. “You’ll be staying in the loft apartment that’s over the dining hall, at least until you guys can get moved and settled. I’ve been staying there for a while now. The guys are playing a local show tonight, and they’re not back yet, so you’ll have some time to get the lay of the land.”
After a little while, a tour bus pulls in and the band (my band!) pours out of it and start hauling amps and guitars and drums out from the storage wells. Out of the surrounding houses come wives and kids and friends, all gathering around to ask how the show went. Other than Jackie, who’s suddenly vanished, I know no one, but everyone seems to know me. I’m welcomed warmly. Everyone is friendly.
“We’re really glad you’re here.” I don’t know who has said it, but I nod and answer that I’ll be ready to get started in the morning. At what, I don’t know exactly, but I know I’m there for a reason. The fact that I’m bunking over the kitchen tells me that I am, perhaps, going to be the official band cook. Everything around me is in motion, the way things are sometimes in dreams. Foos, wives, kids, dogs – everything is moving, noisy, happy. It’s a big party. I notice a clock and see that it’s nearly midnight.
The disembodied voice says “You must be tired, with the time difference and all. If you’re ready to crash, it’s okay. Did you find the apartment?” I turn to the voice, which is Dave, or Nate (they’re both standing there) and say that Jack showed me everything and I’m settled in. And then they exchange a look. Confusion, followed by what I think must be sympathy. And they walk me outside, where it’s quiet.
Dave looks me square in the eye and says “You know Jack’s dead.” And I nod, and I tell them that it must be exhaustion setting in. “While I was driving here, he was giving me directions, and he showed me around. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known where to go. I could hear his voice. It was like he was here with me. But I know he’s not really here.”
And then Nate says “But he knew you were supposed to be, that’s why he helped you find your way.”
That’s when I woke up.
I never talked to Jack about my desire to work with the Foo Fighters. Back when I had that chance, it was still tucked away in my “Crazy Ideas” file. In hindsight, of course, I wish I had told him. Jackie loved music. And he was open to unconventional ideas. I think he would have been supportive. Hell, he might have even known someone who knew someone who could have been helpful to me on my journey.
I’ll never know now. And I’ll always wonder what he would have thought.
There’s one other point of significance that I should mention about my brother; he was fascinated by dreams, and he believed that they often held special meaning to the dreamer. Was my Jackie dream just my mind doing some REM wish-fulfillment, or was this his way of telling me to get my ass in gear? Do the dead visit the living to deliver messages? Maybe they do, if the message needs to be heard.
The second message? That one came a few weeks later, on Valentine’s Day. I was wide awake for this one.
Dave Grohl was a guest on The Colbert Report, talking about “Sound City,” the film he directed about the legendary recording studio in LA. Colbert asked him how, as a musician, he had come to make a documentary film. “Well, the way I look at it is, I never took lessons to learn how to play the drums, and I never took lessons to learn how to play a guitar; I just sort of figured it out. And I think that if you’re passionate about something, and you’re driven, and focused, that you can pretty much do anything that you want to do in life.”
And so, not knowing exactly how to apply for a job that doesn’t yet exist and has no application process, I’ve chosen to write about it. I’m taking my idea public and putting it out there for the world to see, and possibly mock or dismiss or ridicule. Hey, that’s the chance a dreamer has to take, right? If this particular “seed of destiny” is going to grow, it’s my job to be a diligent gardener and nurture it.