The end of last night's dream had me watching myself on TV. First some sort of clip of me as a clown, and then suddenly the program's soundtrack was an on-the-edge-of-clumsy string of piano notes and then my voice singing that old Bette Midler song "Drinking Again." Low and sort of raspy - obviously the me on the soundtrack was trying hard to mimic Midler's voice on the album I played over and over when I was fifteen. Hearing myself in the dream was like listening with unadulterated ears to the me I was back then, the me who worked the song out on the piano by ear and sneaked my tape recorder into the living room when everyone was out of the house, to play and sing all proud and exuberant and then sneak back up to my room with the tape and not show anyone. Except my mom.
The song was in my head [Bette Midler's version, not mine] as I walked Nicholas in the dark this morning, frost on top of cars twinkling. I don't sing enough anymore. I don't remember, when Stephen is out, to put on Bette Midler or Peggy Lee or the Andrews Sisters and let my voice go free. I wondered if I could remember all the words to the song, so I ran through it in my head, and not only were the lyrics all there, but the memory of the fifteen-year-old me, the way she thought about all the lines she used to sing. Funny that while it never occurred to her that "lying around for total strangers" refers to sex, it did occur to her, every time she sang the song, that in the last line, "All I've got is a bottle of beer and just my memories," that word "just" is redundant and should be edited out.