The Night I Met Jen & Kurt
The night before April 25, 2014, I dreamt that I had met two super fun people and we became the best of friends.
So, there I was sitting at the end of the bar writing and sipping my glass of wine when this guy steps inside, walks over and takes a seat at the bar, only four seats across from me. From the moment he walked in, I couldn’t peel my eyes off of him. I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself…hard. I had seen him before, but only in pictures. Never had I been this close to Kurt Cobain before. I checked my pulse. Yep, still beating. Okay. I just couldn’t believe that this guy was actually sitting in front of me. How was any of this possible? You see, because he’s been dead for twenty years. (I was only seven when he had died. So, the only memories I have are photos and the sound of his voice from recordings. I swear. It was like looking into the face of a ghost. I rubbed my eyes once more. No…maybe once more after that. I had to be sure I wasn’t dreaming. (Which I was, but not in the dream) I wasn’t drunk. I knew that. I had only taken a few sips of my wine. He ordered a beer and barely lifted his head to look at anyone. He looked as if he were deep in thought. As if he were troubled over some majour life decision. He looked as if he were carrying the sins of the whole world on his shoulders. I’m not saying he was Jesus or anything. I’m just saying that’s how he kind of looked.
(By the way, in the dream, Kurt is NOT 47; he’s 27. But this is also not set in some alternate universe where he would’ve died 20 days earlier. Stay with me. It’s a crazy story that shifts between several complex and parallel time-lapsing universes.)
After looking around to see if anyone else had noticed him, I got up, walked over to the stool next to him and sat down.
“Hi”, I said.
He briefly looked up and nodded. “Hey”, he acknowledged.
“Look, this may sound a little crazy, but you are who I think you are, eh? It’s just…you look soooo much like a friend of mine.” I lied…a little. I never actually knew him personally. I was only seven when he died. He just really felt like a close friend. Like if I were born twenty years earlier and went to the same high school, we’d be hanging out behind the bleachers by now…writing stories and poetry.
He grinned and leaned over almost whispering in my ear, “My name’s Kurt, what’s yours?
I smiled and answered, "Abigail.”
“I’m trying to stay low tonight for my friend, Jen, he continued. It’s her night. You think you could keep this just between us?”
Resting my hand on top of his and staring straight into those perfect blue irises, I whispered, “Absolutely, you can trust me.”
We sat in silence for a bit (more like shock and awe on my part) just sipping our beverages. Then, Kurt broke the beautiful silence and asked, “What were you scribbling earlier?
I didn’t think he noticed me sitting in the corner all alone staring at the wall above the bartender’s head. “Oh, nothing. Just some rough poetry and stories.”
“Cool. (brief pause) Can I read some of ‘em?”
“Um…yeah…sure.” I slid my sketchbook over.
As he read the rough lines and sketches, I saw him start to smile. Woah, Kurt Cobain likes my work! I made him smile. Probably not as much as his friend, Jen, can. But I still made him smile! When he was finished reading, he slid my sketchbook back and said, “Daaamn, these are really good. So poetically raw.”
“You should get them published.”
“I would love to, but I just haven’t found anyone yet who wants to publish them.”
“I know a guy who works for City Lights Books in San Fran. I’ll talk to him; see if I can get you a meeting with him to talk out logistics.”
“Thanks! That would be fantastic. City Lights is one of my favorites!
By now it was about five minutes to showtime. “Um, I don’t want to seem too forward or anything, but you mind if I join you for the show?” I asked.
“Not at all. I’m just gonna sit over there in the front corner on the floor just off stage right,” he said as we both stood up and made our way over to our seats.
As we sat down, I asked, “So, how long have you known Jen?”
“Oh…for about four years now. We were playing a show in Boston. She and a couple of her friends had hung around backstage after the show. Earlier, they had slid a cassette of their band across the stage with a note attached to it in hopes we’d find it (which we did). It ended up sliding all the way under Grohl’s drums. We took some snapshots, signed some merch. and discussed the potential of their raucous sound. Then, we ended up hanging out again a couple months later in Los Angeles when they stopped by the studio to record another demo that we were producing for them. We remained really close over the years. We’d make surprise visits to each others’ shows; teasing each other and kidding around.
(So, in the dream, according to Kurt, they’ve known each other only four years. According to Jen, they’ve been friends for 20 years. Just another weird parallel universe dimension thing.)
- Two hours of awesomeness later -
“You want to come hang out backstage awhile with Jen and me; drink some wine and chill?”
“Sure. That seems fun.”
I followed, as we walked across the stage and disappeared behind the curtain.
“Hey, great show tonight, girl!”, as he walks over to give Jen a hug and kiss.
“Thanks! Thanks for coming and having a fucking awesome time! (brief pause) Hey buddy, you gonna introduce me to your new friend or what?”
“Sorry. This is Abigail. We actually just met tonight before the show.”
“Hey, fucking loved the show, tonight! You rocked!” I said, as we both gave each other a big hug.
“Thanks, so glad you could come! (pause) Here, sit; chat for a while. Have some wine", Jen insisted.
“I’d love to, thanks!” I replied.
“She’s pretty cool, too. And a fuckin’ goddamn great writer. I told her I’m gonna try and see if Kenneth at City Lights can meet with her and discuss publishing details,” Kurt noted.
“Wow! That’s fuckin’ awesome! Can I read some of your stuff?” Jen asked.
“Sure!” I said, reaching into my bag for my sketchbook. (brief pause, then handing her the sketchbook) “Here ya go, enjoy!”
As Jen perused the pages of rough poetry and stories from my sketchbook, she nodded in approval and then replied, “You’re right, these are fuckin’ fantastic!”
“Told ya,” Kurt chimed in.
“And Kenneth’s really great! He’ll absolutely love these. You shouldn’t have any problem at all getting published. And if he is being an ass, tell him your friend, Jen, says, ‘Hey’ and that if he doesn’t play nice, I’ll come out to his desert house to discuss things further. I don’t give a fuck if he’s still in the middle of remodeling. He will make the time.”
“Thanks!” I said, as the three of us chuckled out loud.
By the end of the night, I knew one thing for sure. I had just met two of the most incredibly fun & like-minded people and immediately we became the best of friends.
(Ps. In the dream, Jen and I became Kurt’s strength to overcome his addiction to heroine and cocaine. We were like his own personal “sponsors”. We kept him accountable. In the dream, he doesn’t kill himself; he doesn’t die.)
Sometimes I still think to myself that maybe…just maybe…if Kurt really did have Jen and I as best friends, maybe things would have been different. Maybe he wouldn’t have been so addicted to heroine and cocaine. Maybe he wouldn’t have killed himself. Just maybe the scenario could’ve been rewritten, if we both went back in time.
Now, like I said in the beginning, this is all just a dream. An albeit far-fetching, but super fun and fucking wonderful dream!