Joni Mitchell visited me in my dreams in the early hours of the morning. My ALS had advanced so I couldn’t communicate but for some reason I could communicate with her. She held my hand and made eye contact and was very warm and maternal.
Interestingly enough, I did meet Joni once, backstage at one of her concerts. Lisa, Czar of Fun had set it up. I had been looking forward to it for weeks then the night before the show I broke my foot and it was too swollen to put in a cast so I was hopping around with an unset, swollen, broken foot. The hospital had armed me with pain killers and either Lisa or Mike had procured a wheelchair. They stacked large bags of ice on me and I wore a winter parka because the ice was so cold and pain makes me cold too. The meeting with Joni was short and perfunctory as you might expect given she was doing a show. Roseanna Arquette’s toddler ran around breathing in the second hand smoke and I felt vaguely nauseous. Thanks to the vicodin I slept through my hero’s set.
But back to the dream. Joni wanted to know how I could bear being so lonely and I said I’m alone not lonely and aren’t you alone a lot otherwise how could you write what you do? Still, she said, it has to be hard and I said I’ve always spent a lot of time alone even when I was young and she said how did you stand it and I said I had you. You saved me.
Then I woke up and remembered how I would listen to Joni sing People’s Parties like she was whispering in my ear.