Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The best dream I ever had

Ike and Tina Turner: Reunited in dreamland

Ike and Tina's imaginary tobacco farm
I'm a reporter for Rolling Stone, and I am sent to interview Ike and Tina Turner. Ike, somehow, is still alive and well. Tina is as beautifully-preserved as you might imagine her to be. In fact, in their golden years, Ike and Tina have put aside their differences and remarried and are now tobacco farmers in Georgia. I visit them at their farm, and the mood is very tranquil and happy. I know dreams are supposed to be in black-and-white, but this one has a very definite color scheme. Everything looks like a faded photograph. If you've ever seen the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, you have a good idea of what it looks like at the Turner tobacco farm. They serve me dinner. It's good,hearty Southern cuisine. Afterwards, we sit out on the porch at sundown. Ike picks up an old, nearly-worn-out guitar and begins strumming the cords to, you guessed it, "Proud Mary." He begins singing, and his voice is as deep and strong as ever. After a few bars, Tina joins in and sounds exactly like you want her to sound. They do the whole song in the "nice and easy" style you hear at the beginning of the recording. There is no horn section here, naturally, so they can't really do the "nice and rough" part. I'm the only audience member, and I applaud when the song is done. Ike says he and Tina never perform in public anymore but still sing a little around the house. I thank them for their hospitality, get in my car and head to my next destination.

The dream continues.

Sonny & Cher: Destined for each other.
I am now driving on a desert highway in one of the Western states, possibly Arizona. My destination? A roadside convenience store now run by Sonny and Cher, who have also remarried. Sonny, like Ike, has somehow escaped death but does not seem to be doing as well as Ike. He seems troubled and serious, while Cher seems pleasant but distracted. The Bonos' store is very isolated in a desolate landscape, and everything here looks like a scene from No Country for Old Men. (Yes, I realize that both halves of this dream look like Coen Brothers movies.) Business is slow. Sonny works the register and keeps the books. Cher stocks the shelves, tidies up a bit, and chats up the few customers who come in. They live in a little house further back on the same piece of property. The store and the house, in fact, are the only two structures visible for miles around. (NOTE: I am almost positive this detail was inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in which Leatherface's brother also operates a nearby gas station/barbecue pit.) After S&C shut down the store for the day (total receipts being less than $10), they take me back to the house. It's a mess. Dishes are piled up in the sink, and there are old magazines and newspapers stacked everywhere. They must have about 10 cats, and the animals move about the house with impunity. It is as much their home as the Bonos'. Cher staggers off to do whatever she does, and Sonny starts to confide in me. He's scared to death of Cher. If she forgets to take her pills, she "goes crazy." I notice that there are pill bottles strategically located throughout the home, presumably so Sonny can reach them and give them to Cher whenever he has to. But Sonny lives this way because he truly loves Cher and wants to take care of her.

I cannot tell you more because it's at this point that I wake up.

No comments:

Post a Comment