My Fever Dream
Thanksgiving eve, 8pm. My fever tops 101 farenH. I roll into dreamland…
A private banquet room at El Siete Mares. Bill DeMarco leers at me from one end of the table. To his right, the Beatles. To their right, the Bangles. To their right, the BoDeans. To their right, Abraham Lincoln. To his right, Jerry, line cook from Ship’s. To his right, six goats from the county fair. To their right, Robert Hilburn. To his right, Robert Tilton. To his right, Robert Loggia. To his right, Robert Goulet. To his right, fourteen members of the Robert Shaw Chorale. To their right, Face from A-team. To his right, Anne Murray. She winks and smiles at me over a bowl of stuffing, seeming to say ’You needed me.’ Frederick Chest drops a Swingle Singers album onto the hi-fi and joins the table next to Anne. To his right, my fellow judges from the Sammy Hagar Battle of the Bad Bands and the booking agent from the Gig. They’re drinking Tequila Sunsets made from Cabo Wabo tequila. “Have another!” they keep saying. To their right, a bunch of east coast bloggers I’ve never met. Myself. To my right, Danny Gans. Danny Devito. A tribe of Gabrielino Indians indigenous to the Los Angeles Basin. Adrian Zmed. Ron sits at the head of the table. Victor. Daniel. Audree. Tara. Joulene. Charles Phoenix. Charles Phoenix’s producer. Ferry Perrell. Twelve Asian newscasters. The locksmiths of LA. Dave Hart. Doug the Dog. Francine Dancer. The Bubblegum Queen. The overworked file clerk from EDD. Mayor V. A shirtless Governator, oiled up, munching carrot sticks and waxing fond memories of Carnevale in Rio. Brian Dennehy in strapping tuxedo. The Cabazon Dinosaurs. Holly Hallstrom from The Price is Right, 1984. My hair looks like Coolio’s. Mrs. MacDonell, my eighth grade algebra teacher. Christy from Fanscape. To her right, the Chumscrubber. He leers at me, eats a roll, mouths “If I tank, it’s your fault.” To his right, Dr. Mario. Three evil viruses. Miles Davis. He snorts a line off his plate and gives me the evil eye. To his right, the 3rd and Robertson Fancy Dancer. He’s in pink spandex. He doesn’t face the table. He’s backwards, roller-dancing and muttering to his reflection in the window. Jim Two Hawks completes the table next to DeMarco. The table is set. A platter of Bahooka ribs. Mai tais from Damon’s. Wings from Hooters. Donuts from the Donut Hole. Pork neck stew from Hamjipark. Coffee from Starbucks. Three hundred oki-dogs. In fact, Oki-dog is catering the entire event. A case of Stallone Pudding. The servers: Los Angeles Air Guitar Champion Randy “Big Rig” Strecker. Elvis and Nipper. Brian Wilson. The Westside Kickball Association. My pediatrician. The last good book I read. At the kid’s table in the runoff room, the Arctic Monkeys and Wolf Parade fight over oki-dogs.
Jonathan Gold walks in with the turkey and carving knife. He’s a 300-lb albino with overgrown fingernails. I’d never believed the rumors. I’m sweating like a donkey in Jericho. Mair the Intern preps to review the meal in three short sentences devoid of punctuation and contact information. It is as it should be.
“A toast! Six months down. A lifetime to go…” I shiver. I shake. Who’s toasting here. Ron? Fancy Dancer? Dave Hart? Who’s in charge at this table. DeMarco? J Gold?
I wake in a pool of sweat. The dog shuffles off the bed. He smells the funk of fever. I walk to my gramma’s computer and write this down. Gramma’s flatscreen dwarfs mine. At the end of the day I am a sickly man on Thanksgiving eve, and my gramma’s computer is better than mine. I’ve a three-day beard and Coolio hair. 2005 is winding down, but fast.