I'm watching Saturday Night Live and Peter Gabriel is the musical guest.
He's dressed like he was in a photo I have of him when he visited the
USSR (shows you how old this dream is!) Tight jeans, baggy sweater that's
mostly black with red, yellow and green splotches on it, and black rimmed
glasses. He's his usual deeply lined, stocky but beautiful self. For his
first spot, he does a duet superbly--I don't remember who with. It might
have been with himself.
At first I was watching TV but now I'm in the studio audience.
It's time for PG's next and last song. He opts for a solo this time,
"Sledgehammer". The stage is pitch dark, then there's a spotlight on him
descending a staircase to the stage. He's singing as he goes, holding a
Something is not right. I realize then that he's lip-synching--a
surprising stunt for him to do because PG cannot really remember his own
lyrics at times and must rely on Gabrielese ("wordless sounds that fit
the rhyme scheme while frantically trying to read the lips of the front
row"). And it happens--PG forgets the lyrics and obviously messes up in a
couple of places.
But the audience knows the constraint he's under. We whistle and
cheer him on.
PG suddenly looks frightened and ashamed. Before the song is
completed, he races back up the stairs and away from the soundstage in
tears. Instinctively, I follow him, holding a baby blanket big enough for
him. When I catch up to him, I wrap him up in it.
Peter wails, and with the blanket around him, he curls up in a
fetal position in my hands. I lift him up and begin to carry him, but
he's very heavy.
Suddenly, his body transforms into a pile of fruit, predominantly
apples, much lighter to carry, but I can still feel his spirit in my
embrace. I continue walking up the stairs of the tall building, trying to
soothe him, to the roof.
There, on the rooftop, with the strong city breeze blowing, I
open the blanket to the sky. Even the fruit has disappeared, and his
spirit flies away in freedom. I don't hear any crying any more.
...at least, not Peter's crying. I am a different story.