Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Best Dream I Ever Had: starring Mike Birbiglia (Updated)

Update: Mr. Birbiglia has officially declined to write my forward...

I rarely remember my dreams or any part thereof. If 3 seconds after waking up I remember even a single detail, that’s almost celebration worthy. It took me an entire semester to complete a three-night sleep study that everyone in my psychology class did in a week. Every few years, however, I have a dream which gets etched in my brain.

Four years ago I had a dream that still gives me chills. I was trapped by an inhumanly overbearing iteration of a not-to-be-named member of my extended family. In what felt like cross between a Repo Men, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I was under this person’s power, and my escape attempts were met with crushing defeat. For the only time since I was ten I woke up terrified, gasping for air.

But that’s not what this is about. This is about

The Best Dream I Ever Had
            Starring Mike Birbiglia

The day my wife encouraged me to reach out to my hero, to possibly write the forward to my book, I dove into all of my social media outlets, contact websites, and anything else I could find, with fervor worth noting. So, really, it makes sense that that first day spring toward getting Mr. Birbiglia’s attention, resulted in a (bir)big night.

What makes the dream so much better for me, in retrospect, is that Mike has a fairly expansive repertoire of sleep and dream based material. “Sleepy Karl,” the great dude/ bad employee who works the night shift in Mike’s mind and has ideas like, staying in bed to “…make out with Miss Pac-Man®.” He often discusses his love for sleep which seems to go back and forth between unhealthy and a full-on addiction requiring 5 wake-up calls between 7am and 1pm. And then, of course, there are his dreams, which, “…are so effortless. It’s like a movie. ‘I want to go to the store.’ [Cuts to the store][Fade to black] [Pizza montage]” While, there were no pepperoni-wheeled cars in this dream, there was the quest to meet Mike Birbiglia and ask him face to face, if he’d write the forward.

I set off to find him. I’m not entirely sure from where I was setting off, or, why I wasn’t going to drive. But, it was a beautiful area on a beautiful day and I was walking.  Thankfully I was in a dream, because suddenly I was strolling up the final stretch of road on the way to his house after a travel montage of power-walking, walking, and trudging across several states, and arriving at the wrong house…twice. I’m walking up this path to the massive, yet understated home of my storytelling hero. FYI, Mike’s house, in my dream also has an awesome gully/moat in front of it, with a bridge. It was basically a 21 century adaptation of a castle.

I actually ran into him before stepping foot on the bridge and what followed was another montage of a fun-filled day full of sweet hangouts, and diversions which all seemed to have a reality bending aspect. One of which was bouncing a ball from his moat off of two walls into a basketball hoop, on the first try. Kinda like how unplugged kids would have played around if they were hanging out in the Matrix.
After the montage, we’re back in his place and, it’s evening. There is a party of sorts going on and we start a massive laser tag game (‘cause apparently Mike Birbiglia’s house is kinda like the Tardis, and he loves laser tag enough to own 40+ packs). Mike invites me to be on his team, and we tear it up for a little while. But, somebody does something stupid, mean and moderately dangerous to others, inspiring Mike and me to break off from the group and head to another room to talk about how mean people suck.

I screw my courage to the sticking place, and open my mouth to do the big ask,

Then I woke up.

My brain, readjusting to conscious thought, is at once flooded with these, almost simultaneous thoughts:

 Crap!! You squandered the perfect opportunity to ask, by waiting too long.
 Don’t sweat it. It could be worse. At least if you make contact with him now, you can just remind him of the laser tag party.

Wait… it was a dream. None of that happened. You might remember that party forever, but Mike was never there. You’re still completely at square one

I still felt oddly encouraged, and took off from square one with an overly-enthusiastic inspiration. I emailed, facebook messaged, tweeted, wrote an open letter in my blog, inserted posts in my facebook pages and started a campaign of all my media followers.

At this point I fear I may have just scared him into hiding (in my “Letter to Mike Birbiglia, I did call myself a Birbiglophile…yikes).  So, that’s a concern. But hopefully he finds my relentless pursuit endearing.

Either way, I’m going to keep pressing on until he accepts my request or very clearly tells me, “No.”