He came to her in a dream. Actually, she couldn't say later whether or not she'd really been dreaming. All she knew was that one minute she was asleep, and the next, a pair of thickly padded headphones was being slipped over her ears. And as that didn't happen much in her waking hours, she had to conclude his was a nocturnal mission, and he, a nocturnal vision.

"Dillon," she grumbled, groggy and grumpy. "What the fuck." She lifted her head and squinted towards the kitchen, trying to make out the green-glowing numbers of the stove's digital clock. Three thirty-seven.

"Shhh," he said, wearing the same absurd grin he always did. It was the one that said he knew precisely how absurd it all was - the celebrity and the money and the idolatry - but also that he loved every last bit of it. He was kneeling next to her bed, his face inches from hers. He looked like he'd been awake for hours days his entire life. He looked like he never slept.

He looked like he never needed to.

"Listen," he said. And with the flick of a fingertip on his mp3 player, waves of sound ripped into her brain. 

But she was just too tired. And what made him think he could sneak into her head like this, anytime he wanted, anyway? She yanked the headphones down and glared at him. He was such a little monkey. That stupid hat, with the shock of unkempt blond peeking out from under the bill. And...was he wearing some kind of furry suit?? She shook her head, hoping to clear it. Half-hoping he'd disappear.

She knew though: once he was in, he tended to stay for a while.

"I already decided I'm not going. Bonnaroo is more than enough. I can't justify it. Fuck, I can't even justify Bonnaroo, but I've already got my ticket, so..."

"Shhhh!" he insisted, with mock anger. He reached forward and opened the headphones back up, raising his eyebrows questioningly. May I?

She sighed and collapsed back onto her pillow. There was no use fighting him. There never had been. She nodded, and he practically squealed with childish glee as he outfitted her head once again. Seconds later, music. 

She closed her eyes. She opened them. He was watching her face. She had to laugh. He knew. 

She let him play what he wanted her to hear, every beat familiar to them both. Every rise, every drop, every last surge and swell. Energy and promise and joy and irony and playfulness and movement and light. When it was over, she spoke.

"You know, my friends think you're ridiculous. Half the time, I think you're ridiculous. And I'm definitely more than a little bit ridiculous for loving you so much." She paused and cocked her head. "Do you even know how old I am?" 

"I don't give a fuck," he said. "Or, you know..." He trailed off and pointed impishly at his hat. His face grew as serious as she'd ever seen it, which wasn't very, at all. "I wrote it for you, you know."

She rolled her eyes. "Don't start that again."

"No, really," he said quietly, and, letting his hand hover above her outstretched body, gestured down the length of it. "For all of this. Your arms and legs and shoulders and muscles and blood and brain. You needed it, and I gave it to you. Come to me, come see me, and I'll give you more, too. You don't even know."

"You don't even know," he repeated.

She looked at him quizzically for several seconds, trying to determine whether he had a single drop of sincerity in his peroxide-bleached head. Then she realized she didn't give a fuck or shit, either. Because whether or not it was true was besides the point. His mind was an IV drip of pure ecstasy that he was inviting her to plug into, again. She could have said no, but she didn't want to. She just plain did not want to.

"Ok, ok," she said, happily defeated. "I'll get a ticket. Just don't say 'yolo'." 

He leapt to his feet in victory, and was at her door a split second later. As he cracked it open, light from the hallway poured in and she saw he really was wearing a furry suit. Some kind of cat. Of course. It dawned on her that his visit was probably one of several thousand he'd be making that night, seducing good little boys and girls everywhere with his promises, his talent.

He looked back at her and saluted. "See you in April." And before letting the door swing shut behind him he added, "Oh, and I will play it this time. You've been more than patient. Now go back to sleep."

As if.

As. If.