OK, last night I had a dream. Well, I have dreams all the time, but this one was about music, so I'll share it.
I dreamt I was walking around in a forest with my brother Jeff. It was the future. There were all these pianos everywhere. But - I guess, being the future - pianos were different than we think of them now: they were all sort of DJ pianos, electronic hybrid things with turntables on top and few working keys, if any. No one played real instruments anymore.
It was fall, and leaves were blowing around, and in the middle of the clearing, my brother and I saw the one piano that was different from all the rest. It was a huge, old black grand piano, and sitting at the bench was a man wrapped in what looked like black bandages. Even his mouth was covered. When he got up and left, Jeff and I looked at each other and walked over to the piano. He helped me prop the cover up - it seemed to unfold like some ancient secret - and I muttered, "let's take the top off this baby and see what she can do." (did I watch Top Gun last night or something?)
I started playing an old song. I didn't recognize the make of the piano - it wasn't a Steinway, like the ones I grew up on, but the keys looked like ivory: cracked and discolored, like those old pianos. Unbelievably, it was in tune, though the sound it gave off was kind of brittle and raspy. When I started singing, my voice was older, too, and full of little cracks, just like the keys.
As I was playing, the scenery changed (you know how dreams do that) and suddenly it was night, and we were in the parking lot of this strip mall, like the ones that are everywhere here. But we were still with the piano; it was like it had transported us. There was a homeless guy with suspenders holding a sign up nearby. I think when the Writer's Strike ended years and years ago, he had just never gone back to work. More and more people started coming around, old friends who hadn't heard a real piano played in ages. One of them somehow got talked into buying dinner for the homeless writer.
Even though it was like the middle of the night, this sort of budget Japanese restaurant was still open and we all shuffled in. The kid working there held up his fingers, like, "three?" I nodded. Wait, no. I shook my head. "four?" I nodded. No, wait. How many damn people were with us again? That's when I woke up. I guess my brain sensed I was trying to make it do math, and went, "zzz... snort what?? Math?!"