Kissing a Dead Man coverExcerpt from "Kissing a Dead Man"

I have been working at my job—a good job with good pay and benefits—for nearly three years, but it hasn’t brought me any closer to Freddie. He fills my days with expectation and my nights with comfort just by his music, his words, his magnificent voice. His music
is constantly playing in my mind. I have seen him and his band in concert four times, have taken pictures of him, have spoken to him, he even spoke to me, in a joking manner—but he lives half a world away.I would need to travel to London to see him, to be near him—but can I get over there and all the way back in one night?

Now I’m there, in an open marketplace. I can tell this is London by the absolute dreariness, the gray sky, the mist in the air. Everyone is speaking with an English accent, and it is delightful! How can I find Freddie in this mass of people, in this huge city?
I am suddenly hungry, and I see a vendor selling pastries from a booth. I look at the donuts, eclairs, and all sorts of pastries. They look different from the kinds of pastries we have back home. However, they still look good. I realize that even if I have any money, it’s American money, and not money I can spend here to buy food.

A rush of people, like an ocean wave, bursts around the corner through the crowd, and Freddie is at the head of the group, the Freddie of the early 1980s. His hair is full, yet short, and he has his mustache. He seeks me out, he sees me and stops near me, near enough for me to smell his after-shave. The scent is very pleasing. I want to speak
to him, but he has come upon me by surprise; I’m not prepared to speak. I have come thousands of miles to see him, and now that we are together, it is not as I had imagined it would be. Too many other people are around us, and now what do I say? He is standing near me, wearing a black leather jacket and pants, with a black hat. I can feel heat radiating from his body as he puts hisarm around me. He speaks to the pastry vendor and buys an eclair. He takes one bite, then shoves the rest into my mouth. I have never
eaten an eclair before, but this is one of the best treats I have ever tasted! I taste the chocolate and the cream filling.

A zipper from his jacket scratches my left arm; I am wearing a sleeveless top. I am still unable to speak, now because my mouth is full. I feel the cut, and I look as he glances down to see a small line of blood appearing on my upper arm. He gives me a squeeze, then he whispers into my ear that he will meet me later. As quickly as they have washed
in, the entourage with him disappears around the next corner. I am left standing, white cream on my face, in the middle of an English crowd and I have no idea where I am or where to go.

I close my eyes, sure that this must be a dream, since I can’t remember traveling to England. OK, it’s time to wake up now. When I open my eyes, I am still in the midst of the English crowd, everyone going about his own business without paying any attention to me. I look for anything familiar—how did I get here?—but I see nothing I know. I see no way out of the pressing crowd, no end to the multitude. I close my eyes again and get knoSeptember 12, 2012uo;s sorry. People are moving about, all around and above me. I feel dizzy, unable to stand up again. I can’t be dreaming, this is too real. I am really here, even if I can’t remember the plane trip. Can a person
taste and smell, and touch and feel, and see and hear while in a dream?

Freddie reaches down and pulls me to my feet, apologizing for having left me earlier. He wraps his arms around me—I am a little shaky by this time—and whispers to me that everything is all right now. He touches the cut on my arm, licks his finger and wipes the
blood off my arm. He puts his hand over my eyes, whispers in my ear for me to relax. I obey his instructions.

When I open my eyes again, I am lying on my own bedroom floor, a blanket wrapped around me, and my arm hurts where it was scratched. I smile to myself. It was just a dream, one that I had a hard time ending. I gently pull the blanket from around me, and as I look to see why my arm is hurting, I see that it is indeed bleeding, the scratch Freddie’s zipper made.

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