72 INTO THE BLACK

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INTO THE BLACK

Jonathan came on our bus with us, which was fine with me. I had discovered I liked talking with him those times when I didn’t have the feeling he was trying to put some kind of a spin on my life. He was intelligent and had interesting opinions on subjects far and wide. And for all his affected worldliness he was really only a couple of years older than me. We sat in the front and talked for the first hour of the trip, watching the scenery go by. We got onto the subject of touring and the whole extended road trip we were on and I remarked it was like some kind of dream.

“And when you’re on stage?” he said, bringing me back to something we’d talked about earlier.

“That’s … either it’s the realest thing there is or it’s the dream within the dream, when you think you wake up, but really you’ve moved even deeper into the dream,” I said. “I don’t know which.”

He was quiet for a minute and I rolled the phrase “dream within the dream” around in my head. It mapped to a lick I had been playing with in the lead of “Windfall,” which still didn’t have any lyrics. “Do you mind if I go in the back and jot something down?”

Jonathan cocked an eyebrow at me. “What am I, your nursemaid?”

He followed me to the back and sat down next to Ziggy. The two of them started to talk while I got out the Ovation and started to play around with the piece.

Bart and Christian were playing cards. “What’s that?” Bart said without looking up from his hand.

“Something new. But it takes two guitars to do it right.” I played through the whole progression and the changes in the bridge, then played a lead line for comparison.

“Cool.”

“Yeah, learn to play like I do so I don’t have to overdub it, eh?” I joked. Bart laughed.

I’d play it for them again once we got home. Maybe some more lyrics would have trickled down by then. I had half a dozen other half-begun tunes kicking around my head so I ran through them, too. I forgot about the unfinished business with Mills and Artie and it was like life was as it should be for a while.

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