California Highway

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Wake Up

“Tyler?” a woman’s soft voice was trying to wake him up. “Tyler? Don’t forget about your show tonight.”

Tyler opens his eyes. He was expecting to wake up on the lounge chair where he had fallen asleep on the balcony. Instead, he is waking up in bed. And not the bed in the hotel suite. But his bed at home in Benicia.

He sees Karen trying to wake him up. He is confused as to how he got back here in his home, in Benicia. “Where am I?” he asks.

Karen looks at him, “Did you have a rough night? You’ve been sleeping all day.”

He is surprised to see Karen there. “Am I home? How did I get here?” Tyler asks as he is visibly confused.

Karen approaches him and sits next to him in bed. “Are you okay? You look out of it. Want some water or something?”

“Wow,” Tyler said. “I had the most realistic dream I have ever had. This is weird.”

Karen stands up to get Tyler some water. As she’s pouring water into the glass, she says, “It must have been quite the dream. You were talking in your sleep like crazy. All I heard was a bunch of mumbling, though.” She brings Tyler the water. “Is it something you want to talk about?”

Tyler takes a sip of the water. “No, I don’t think so. It’s all kind of a blur anyway. I do remember you were there. And Robert.” Tyler recalls Karen had mentioned a show tonight. “You said I had a show tonight?”

Karen laughs, “Yeah. At The Old Tavern. Josh had set up a special show just for you. You’re playing all night.” She now gets concerned that something is wrong. “Are you okay? Because it’s not like you to forget about a gig like that.”

“Wow,” Tyler said. He is still confused, and things are slowly coming to him from the dream he had. “That was an amazing dream. I’m going to hit the shower and then get ready for tonight.”

“Okay,” Karen replied. “Let me know if I can get you something. I told Josh you would be there around seven to set up.”

Tyler gets in the shower and lets the hot water run down from his head to his feet. He stood there for a moment as he started to remember Jade and him in the shower. “It just seemed so realistic,” he thought to himself.

Tyler finished his shower and was drying off when Karen entered. “I put out your new clothes for tonight.”

“New clothes?” Tyler said, “What new clothes?”

Karen giggled, “Are you serious? You made such a big deal about needing some new clothes for your gig tonight. We went shopping yesterday and picked out a new outfit for you. Are you telling me you don’t remember any of that?”

Tyler was even more confused now. “Oh, yeah. New clothes.” But he had no idea what she was talking about.

He walked into the bedroom, and laying on top of the bed was the exact same outfit that Jade had picked out for him in his dream. “What the...?” Tyler stood there, looking at the clothes.

“What’s wrong?” Karen asked. “You don’t like them now?”

“No, no. That’s not it.” Tyler replied. “These are the same clothes that were in my dream.”

“Really?” Karen said, “Are you serious? Kind of like a déjà vu type thing going on here?”

As Tyler was getting dressed, he still cannot remember the details of the night before. Memories are blurred, and he is having trouble distinguishing reality from his dream. “What did we do last night?” he asked Karen.

Karen looked confused. “What do you mean? You went to work at Bella. You didn’t get home until close to 3 AM. You tell me what happened?”

Tyler thought for a moment. “I have no idea. I don’t even remember going to work last night.”

“Did someone slip you something in a drink or something?” Karen asked.

“Maybe,” Tyler said, “because I don’t remember a thing.” He finished getting dressed, and they both headed to the kitchen.

Tyler looks at Karen, “Are you going to join me tonight?”

“Yeah, I’ll be there,” Karen responded. “I have a few things to do beforehand, but I’ll be there. Josh is saving a table for me in front of the stage. Are you going to eat anything before you go?”

“I’ll get something at The Old Tavern tonight,” Tyler responded. “I want to get there to go over some lighting changes with Josh.”

“Okay.” Karen could see Tyler was starting to come back to life and appeared to be normal again. “You look like you’re getting your color back. Are you feeling better?”

“Yeah,” Tyler said, “I think so. It’s just a strange feeling. I would compare it to being in a coma state. It’s just weird. And at the same time, it all just seemed so real.”

“That is strange,” Karen said. “You just make sure you get something to eat tonight. It will probably help you feel better.”

“Yeah, will do.” he responded, “I’ll see you tonight.”

Tyler walks out the door to his car and heads to The Old Tavern.

* * *

Tyler arrives at The Old Tavern. Josh is behind the bar, as usual, serving up food and drinks to the customers. Tyler waves hello to Josh and sits down at the bar.

“Tyler!” Josh speaks, “how are things going? Something to drink?”

“Just some water.” he says, “And maybe one of your awesome burgers and fries.”

“Not a problem.” Josh turns to the computer and puts the order in for Tyler. He then gets a tall glass of ice water for him and places it in front of him. “So, are you ready for tonight? I think we’re going to have a fairly good crowd.”

“Yeah. Ready as I’ll ever be.” Tyler says. “Hey, speaking of that. I was thinking of changing some of the lighting for a few of my songs. Is that a problem?”

“Not at all,” Josh replied, “you know where the controls are.”

“Awesome,” Tyler says. “I’ll work on that after I eat.”

While Tyler is eating, Robert shows up. He sits next to Tyler, and he’s obviously in a good mood. “Tyler, bro. How’s it going? Ready for tonight?”

“Dude,” Tyler responds, “yeah. Ready as I’ll ever be.” Tyler wonders if Robert was around last night to fill him in on what he cannot remember. “Hey, Rob, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, what’s up?” Robert looks at Tyler. He can tell he is bothered by something, “Are you okay?”

“Did we hang out last night?” Tyler asked.

Robert shakes his head. “No, not really. I showed up at Bella when you were working and had a drink. But that’s about it. Why?”

“I don’t know,” Tyler is confused, “Karen woke me up a couple of hours ago from a deep, deep sleep. And for the life of me, I cannot remember last night. She said I got home around 3 AM.”

“Wow, dude.” Robert smiled, “You must have done something. It was about 10 PM when I left Bella. I do remember you saying that you wanted to go grab a drink when you were done. But I couldn’t. I had to be at work early.” Robert thought for a moment. “Have you asked Joe? Maybe you two hung out after closing?”

“That’s a thought,” Tyler said. “No, I haven’t seen him. I think he’s going to be here tonight. I’ll ask him when he gets here.”

Tyler finishes his dinner. “Hey Robert, since you’re here, wanna help me with some lighting changes for tonight?”

“Sure thing,” Robert responded.

The two of them walked over to the lighting control panel. Robert stood at the light panel while Tyler stepped in front of the stage to get the audience’s point of view. He gave Robert some direction on the lighting he wanted.

Robert chimed in on the new setup. “Wow, dude. How did you come up with this? This is awesome.”

Tyler remembers the lighting scheme from his dream when he was in Santa Cruz at the Paradise Pub. “I don’t know. It just sort of came to me, I guess.”

Tyler looked over the stage. “This is going to be good for songs one and two.” Tyler was in deep thought. “For the song ‘Latino Jewel,’ I want to...”

Robert interrupted. “Latina-whatta? Is that a new song?”

Tyler realized that he wrote that song in his dream and not in reality. But he knew the music, and he knew the setup. He knew everything he needed because he had already performed it on stage in his dream. “Yeah,” he responded to Robert with a confused look on his face. “I guess it is.”

The two of them figured out the lighting scheme that Tyler wanted for that song. Tyler then said, “Now for ‘San Diego,’ I think it needs to be...”

Robert interrupted again. “Another new song? How many new songs are you playing tonight?”

Tyler was caught off guard again. He cannot distinguish his dream from reality. “What the fuck, dude?” He looks at Robert. “I know these songs. I wrote these songs. And you’re telling me you have never heard me play them?”

Robert looks at Tyler, “No, I’m serious. I’ve never even heard you mention them before tonight.”

Tyler sits down on the step leading on stage.

Robert walks over. “Are you okay?” he asks.

Tyler looks at Robert. “Dude, this dream has me all confused. Those songs that you just asked me about, you asked if they are new? I wrote those. But I think I wrote them in my dream. Now I’m wondering if I even know what the fuck I wrote.”

“Well,” Robert said, “there’s only one way to find out. Why don’t you get your guitar and play those songs and see if you really know them? Better to know now than when you’re on stage.”

“True,” Tyler said. “That’s a good idea.” Tyler went to his car and got his guitar out of the trunk. He returned and headed to the back VIP area with Robert.

Tyler starts to play the songs. First, Latina Jewel. Then San Diego. Then Coastal Party. Robert stops him after the third song. “Dude, these are awesome. I’ve never heard you play these, ever.”

Tyler looks at Robert. “Seriously? I feel like I’ve been playing them for months.”

“Nope,” Robert says, “I would have definitely remembered those. And, it sounds like you’ve been practicing them for a while. You have them down pretty good.”

Tyler has a baffled look on his face. “This is strange, dude. I know I’ve played those before. I’m getting this dream confused with reality. But at the same time, things that happened in the dream are really happening in real life. Like these songs.”

“Keep having those dreams, then, dude. You’re coming up with some good stuff.” Robert said, smiling.

* * *

Later that night, Tyler is in the back VIP lounge, waiting to go on stage. Karen shows up to wish him luck and notices he seems a bit uneasy. “Are you doing okay?”

Tyler looks at her, “Something strange happened earlier when Robert and I were setting up the lighting.”

“Really?” Karen said. “What happened?”

Tyler replied, “I was setting up the lighting for songs that, according to Robert, I have never played before. They were new songs. But they were songs I wrote in that dream I had.”

Karen looked at Tyler as if he was nuts. “What? Are you kidding me?”

“No,” he said. “It’s the strangest thing. Then I played the songs for Robert. They sounded perfect, and yet, according to Robert, I have never played them ever before.”

“That is strange,” Karen said. “Are you playing those songs tonight?”

“That was the plan.” Tyler looked at her and showed her the play sheet. “But look.”

Karen took the sheet and looked over the songs. “I’ve never heard of half of these songs.”

“I know,” Tyler said. “Until that dream, neither had I.”

“And you’re going to play these tonight?” Karen asked.

“Yeah. That was the plan,” Tyler said. “But when I looked at the playlist, I realized it came from my dream. It’s not my normal playlist.”

“But you do know these songs, right?” Karen asked. She was getting more confused as Tyler kept talking.

“Yeah. I know all those songs. But I just can’t believe they came from my dream.” You could hear the concern in Tyler’s voice. “And I know every one of them like I’ve been playing them for months.”

“That’s strange, Tyler.” Karen was done with the conversation. The more Tyler talked, the more confused she got. “I’m going to go to my seat. Have a great show. Break a leg!” She smiles and leaves.

A few moments later, Josh is on stage, introducing Tyler. The crowd erupts with applause as Tyler gets on stage. Tyler thanks everyone for showing up, and he starts with his first song.

As Tyler is playing, he looks down in the front row of the small-town crowd. He notices a woman squeezing through some of the patrons to get to the front of the stage. Tyler immediately recognizes her – it is Jade, from his dream.

Jade looks up at Tyler as she is dancing to the music. She smiles and gives Tyler a wink. Tyler had a feeling that she knew something about that dream.

During the intermission, Tyler tried to hurry and get to the area where Jade was standing. Karen intercepted him. “Great job. And those new songs are fantastic.”

“Thanks,” Tyler was half paying attention to Karen. He was trying to keep an eye on Jade, so he could go talk to her. “I’ll be right back. Okay? I need to go find this person.” He leaves Karen standing there as he runs off.

Karen feels as if she had been tossed aside. “Find who? What person?” Tyler had already left, and now she was talking to herself and standing alone.

Tyler reaches the area in which Jade was standing. He looks and looks but cannot find her anywhere. He starts asking people around if they had seen where she had gone. Nobody had an answer. He finally notices her by the door, about to exit the building. “JADE!” Tyler screams as he fights through the crowd to get to her.

By the time he gets to the door, Jade is gone. Tyler steps outside to see if he can see her anywhere. He looks left and looks right, up and down the street but does not see her anywhere.

Tyler turns around, and Karen is right behind him. “Who are you looking for?” she asks. “Who’s Jade?”

Tyler did not want to fill in the details for Karen. He thought the last thing Karen needed to know was who Jade was in his dream. “I don’t know. She just looked familiar.” Tyler said.

The two of them returned inside The Old Tavern, where Tyler played the second half of the show. His fans gave him an ovation like none other. He felt that it was one of the best performances he had ever done.

* * *

The next day, Tyler’s phone was ringing off the hook. Karen had been answering the phone all morning and taking messages for Tyler. She finally woke him up. “Tyler, you need to wake up! You need to read this.”

Karen handed Tyler a printed article from one of the entertainment news websites. It was an article written by none other than Jade Witherson, a national entertainment reporter. The review read:

BIG STAR HITS SMALL TOWN

Benicia, CA–This reporter does not always listen to her gut feeling when she has one. And that may possibly change after last night’s performance by an up-and-comer, Tyler Bishop. I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was I had a tip from my sub-conscience that I should head to The Old Tavern in Benicia to give this guy a listen. And, boy, I’m glad I did.

Every now and then, you run into that diamond in the ruff. The one that sticks out and seems to be out of place. There are many people out there who are good at playing their instruments or singing with their voices. But the rare ones are the individuals I like to call performers. They know how to entertain the crowd, and they understand how to keep you wanting more. That is Tyler Bishop.

If you ever get the chance to see him perform live, do it. You will not be disappointed. You will leave feeling satisfied that you got your monies worth for that performance. I know this reporter cannot wait to see him again. But you better hurry. If Tyler continues to wow the crowds like he does, he will not be playing in small towns much longer. He will be hitting the big time.

Tyler could not believe what he was reading. “That’s her!” He shouted.

“That’s who?” Karen asked.

“Jade Witherson.” Tyler said, “That’s the woman I was looking for last night during the intermission.”

Karen looked at Tyler as if he were crazy. “Jade Witherson? Do you know who she is?”

He said, “I do now. But she was in that dream I had. She was my agent.”

Karen looked at Tyler. “You’re nuts. Jade Witherson was your agent? Anyway, the phone has been going crazy. Everyone wants to book you from here to San Diego. Apparently, this Jade Witherson, is pretty popular in the entertainment world. With this write-up, you are now just as well known in San Diego as you are here in Benicia.”

Karen walks back into the living room to continue to answer the phone. Tyler gets out of bed.

He looks at his cell phone that he had put on silent. 57 voice messages pending. “What the fuck?” he thinks.

One of the first voice messages is from Jade. Tyler listens to the message:

Hello, Mr. Bishop. This is Jade Witherson of the Entertainment Ledger. First off, I caught the first half of your show at The Old Tavern last night. Awesome job. I can’t wait until I can stay for an entire performance. I also wanted to let you know that I’m doing a small write-up about you online and all of our magazine’s social media postings. As well as a short blurb in our monthly print magazine. I was hoping to talk to you in person to tell you how I heard of you. I think it’s kind of interesting. Without getting into details, let’s just say I had a premonition about you one night. I’d love to talk to you. Give me a call, and maybe we can do lunch. Bye.

Tyler walks into the living room, where Karen continues to answer the phone calls. She shows Tyler the stack of messages he has received.

Karen looks at Tyler, “Tyler, you made quite the impression with the perfect person. Everyone wants you now.”

Tyler sits down on the sofa and tries to take it all in. He thinks about the dream. The dream where he took a road trip down Highway One to find himself. The dream that led him to success. He realizes that in order to find yourself, sometimes others have to find you, too.

The End

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