dressed in the world (c)2000

They were in the middle of 'Faithfully' during the second show in George, WA, and Jon Cain didn't need to glance at his hands, but he did; the lights were down and Aug had come over to his side of the stage.

Aug. Steve Augeri, no longer their 'new' lead singer. It had taken them awhile to get used to the new lineup.

When Jon glanced up again, it was all gone.

The band, the crowd, everyone. The hillside was empty of the 15,000 that had occupied the outdoor ampitheatre; the folding chairs in reserved seating were gone. The equipment, amps and all, were absent as well. There was only him, and the Whale, and the night breeze off the Colombia River Gorge.

He blinked, hard, thinking he'd zoned out for a moment. But the silence and stillness remained. He was alone.

He opened his mouth to say something, but something moved on the lower slope of the hillside, coming toward him head-on. Rippling toward him. An indistinct shape, upright, graceful. He watched it come, hands still poised above the keys, without an ounce of anxiety.

The shape made it to the edge of the stage, reaching up for him, a humanoid shape that struck him at first as colorless, transparent. Then he realized...

He reached down off the edge of the stage, taking what looked like a hand beginning to ripple out of the air.

Don't let me go.

Jon awoke with a start, in his own home, in his own bed, knowing he'd heard the words spoken aloud.

"I won't," he said to the darkness, staring at the ceiling. "I can't."

Jon had known Neal long enough to trust the guitarist with the contents of the dream he'd had the night before without worrying about being ridiculed. When the band met for rehearsal that morning in Jon's home studio, he pulled Neal aside and told him what he could remember. Neal was quiet through the recounting, then said, "You're tellin' me this because it's bugging you, not because it was weird or interesting. So tell me what you're really tryin' to."

Jon nodded, grateful for the insight. "Okay. It's like I met it before, whatever it was that walked up to the stage. No, not even met, but really knew. It was just a feeling. I keep wanting to call it 'her' but there wasn't a sexual identity. And it was like you could see through her, but that wasn't it either. She was....dressed in the world."

"Jesus," Neal said. "Who do you think she was?"

Jon paused, and chose his next words carefully for their honesty. "Journey," he said finally. "I think she was Journey."