A Dream After Listening to Friday Night Radio in St. Louis

A Dream After Listening to Friday Night Radio in St. Louis


I was on an oak ridge, and in the distance there were boys singing about Elvira, or Amy, or some such person. They sounded sad and happy all at once. I walked among the oaks, watching eagles fly by. They led me to the Hotel California, and I went to room 107.7.

When I entered, though, I was standing not in a room but in a club. I knew I was in a club, because there were flashing lights and the reek of alcohol and the DJ was playing “In Da Club.”

I walked towards the DJ as if in a trance. As I drew closer, the lights grew brighter and 50 Cent segued to Britney Spears. The crowd whistled a jaunty hook, and I saw that the DJ was a young woman who looked and talked like a Valley Girl. She had a headset mic, and she started talking about Snooki. Something about Snooki’s financial savvy, something about how Snooki didn’t blow her wad like the Situation did.

“That’s not what they’re saying in my barbershop!” bellowed a man behind me. I whirled around and suddenly I was in a barbershop, surrounded by men arguing about Herman Cain. They were all talking at the same time, and it was hard to understand exactly what anyone was saying, but one voice rose above the din, declaring, “If at least two of those three accusers aren’t women of color, that campaign is done!”

The other men murmured in agreement, and then their murmuring turned to singing, and suddenly they were a boychoir and the barbershop was a great cathedral. A string orchestra played while the choir sang a wordless rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D—and then the wordlessness became wordness, and lo, the words were Christmas words! The choirboys sprouted wings and rose to the heavens, proclaiming that Christ was to be born.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned to see the Virgin Mary herself, great with child and wearing headphones. She informed me that though it was only November 4, for the glory of her Son, Christmas music would be heard 24/7 from this day until January 1. I fell to my knees and wept, as Mary promised that in just a few minutes, I would meet two girls who weren’t just best friends—they were sisters too. I wept harder, and harder, and harder, until suddenly I woke up on a pillow soaked in blood, sweat, and tears.

Jay Gabler