Calling Zhuangzi (or Freddie Mercury)

The other night, my wife and I were in bed together, which (especially after 30+ years) is not the beginning of an x-rated story, but quite unusual. She, being regular in her habits, is the classic ‘early to bed, early to rise’ type, whereas I, fearful of routine, avoid schedules of any kind, not just sleeping. (Yesterday, for example, I fell asleep around 10 in the morning, and slept till 5 that afternoon. More commonly, I crawl into bed around 6:15a, just when she — and the sun — is getting up.)

Anyway, the other night I went to bed around 9:30p, for some reason, and by 2:30 or so in the morning had had enough sleep. I was lying awake, thinking about the usual things that keep people awake at night — lack of money, bills coming due, why colleges won’t respond more quickly to our son’s applications — when suddenly my wife shoved me.

“What?” I said, startled.

“You were snoring too loudly,” she said. “I was just trying to turn you over on your side.”

“Snoring? I was awake.”

‘No, you were snoring. And you woke me up.”

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” No butterfly world for me. These days when I dream, I imagine I’m lying awake, in my own bed in the suburbs, mulling over credit card bills and the like. What a rich fantasy life I have…

* * *
p.s. Much later, I realized that maybe my wife was dreaming I was snoring, when she shoved me. And I actually was lying in bed, not in a fantasy world, but awake in my dreary reality.

p.p.s. Speaking of Freddie Mercury’s fantasy life, you’ve probably seen The Muppet tribute to the Queen classic Bohemian Rhapsody. Now Richie Castellano (currently on guitars and keyboards for Blue Oyster Cult) has decided to perform the song — remarkably — by himself. He also writes about it with passion.

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