Garcia and I shared a smoke last night. Fucker stole my lighter, but I forgave him

he was in good spirits, decent health, clean-ish clothes; it was the early 90’s, perhaps. The continuity of dreams makes less sense than the continuity of these bloggings: I was telling him all about what was to come in his life, and in the life of his band, his country.

The touring’s getting to be a bit much, he said, so I told him about all the additional revenue streams that had been invented: the VIP backstage jams, and the residencies, and the subscription live-streams. There was a ton of money to be made at the big festivals each summer: Bonnaroo and Coachella and the rest.

Those nonsense words you just said, he asked, those are real things?

I assured him they were not just real things, but multi-million dollar corporations dedicated to sucking every last cent out of teenagers for the chance to be in the same dusty/muddy field as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Well, I don’t know who that group is, but I’m positive that they’re awful, Garcia said.

Good instincts, I told him.

He lit another smoke, mumbled a thank you for extinguishing the couch cushion he had set ablaze, stole another lighter. I forgave him.

But you guys can finally make some real good records, I said. There’s this thing called ProTools and some other stuff: well, a ton of other stuff. You can fix things up and spit-shine everything ’til it’s perfect.

Really? he was enthusiastic, and I played him some of those before-and-after audio clips from the internet of pop stars singing.

He was quiet for a long moment, and then said, What was the point of all that practicing, huh?

I didn’t have an answer for that.

If you want, you could be a judge on a singing show.

Like The Gong Show?

No, I said. Not like…well, now that you mention it, yeah, kinda.

He asked me for another smoke and when I turned back to give it to him, there were two lighters on the table and he had stolen away. I forgave him.