I Dream Of A Colleague Onstage With Springsteen, Singing “Badlands”

Don and Bruce sit on stools, harmonizing with hands in laps, eyes closed. Don sings well. Who knew? After the show Springsteen and I meet in a concrete corridor of an arena. Just the two of us. He wears a newsboy hat and a winter coat with the collar up. We shake hands. I’m quoting now from my dream:  

“Look,” I say to him. “I won’t tell you what I know you know I’ll tell you.”

“Sometimes you just have to get it out,” he says.

“You changed my life,” I say.

Which he did, and about when and how I never have the chance to explain.

In the morning, I tell my wife about the dream.

“Why not?” she says.

Hold up now, I’m certain of it, too: authentic moments with Bruce. Faced as I am with the prospect of finding something self-actualizing to do with my life, I can think of nothing I’m more suited for—confidant of megastars. Tennis with Beyoncé. Bradley Cooper’s new favorite writer. Isn’t this my calling? Wasn’t I supposed to be famous too?

And where, the Holy Spirit asks me, is God in this?

There in the dream, He answers—or I answer, playing Him. In these days of low tide where the ocean of faith is concerned, in these days of the church-shaped hole in my heart, I am longing for Jesus: just a few minutes of His time, just a chance to talk things through.

“Look,” I’ll say, close to tears on the windy sidewalk where He and I have happened to meet, “I won’t tell You what I know You know I’ll tell You.”

“Sometimes you just have to get it out,” He’ll say, louder because of the wind and the passing traffic, stooping slightly in that patient way of His, watching my eyes, waiting for me to speak, brushing back with one hand a hunk of His gust-blown, rock star hair.

Bird Report

42E driving into work. Thirty yards ahead, by stage direction from God, a big hawk drops theatrically from its perch on top of a telephone pole and glides like a kite across the road ahead of me.  

I watch the bird from the driver’s side window as I pass. Birds can’t/don’t look behind themselves. If they could, this one would turn its head to me.

Follow, it would mean to say.