I’ve always been a big day-dreamer. It’s usually when I’m driving long distances, and suddenly I’ll be lost in an exciting brain plot. The recurring one lately has been that I’m framed for murder, and then sentenced to life in prison. Once in jail, I make an unlikely escape, and then go to New York City, where I become a street musician, and have coins tossed at me, while playing popular cover tunes on guitar at a barely passing level. Eventually, I become a great songwriter, and start putting out successful albums. I can’t tour of course, because I’m a fugitive, and my face is on America’s most wanted list.
It’s an odd day-dream, because why not just day-dream of being a successful musician, without the hassle of the prison escape and the fugitivery? Starting backwards, I suppose the street performer thing makes sense given I’m wanted for murder. You can’t exactly get a good day job, and New York City might be the best place in the world to hide. I’d just get a beanie with ear-flaps, grow the beard out, and wear some horn-rimmed thrift-store glasses.
On a side note, it makes me wonder how many actual street-performers are criminals who can’t get day jobs do to their record. All you need is three or four guitar chords. If you play “Country Roads” you’ll get a dollar from every John Denver fan, and a dollar from every West Virginian…so, not that many dollars actually. But I’m sure there are plenty of four-chord money-makers.
After several years of covers, my music becomes so good (obviously), that a big time manager takes a liking to me, and wants me to tour. But I can’t tour because I’m a fugitive! So, I just start producing great studio albums, under an alias (probably “Sandman”). By that point, I’d be a pretty odd bird, and I’m thinking my style would be kind of Tom Waits meets Lady GaGa. In other words, Bjork. Because I’m never seen, the media would obsess about whether I have some sort of social phobia, or obesity issue, or that I’m actually the guy from Coldplay taking on a different identity. No one ever guesses that I’m JOE ZIMMERMAN, from the top of America’s MOST wanted list!
Now, prison is one of my biggest phobias, so I think the initial day-dream stems from that basic fear, and then figuring out what to do in such a predicament. I’ve seen enough History channel prison shows to know about the Mexican, white supremacist, and black gangs that form, and I don’t think I’d fit into any of those groups. Furthermore, people do go to jail for crimes they didn’t commit, so it could happen. In a way, my brain is just planning for the worst, boy-scout style.
It’s weird that the escape plan I dream up is always the most meat-headed jail break possible. You’d think I would brainstorm some cool Shawshank escape. Nope, it’s always me just chilling in the yard, and then a shank-fight breaks out between two gangs. While the guards are breaking up the fight, I climb the wall, deal with the electrical shocks and barbwire (through sheer pain tolerance), and sprint to the nearest forest – somehow avoiding the rubber bullets that are being shot at me by marksmen? I then bury myself under some leaves and branches for a few days until the man-hunt simmers down. They can’t look in the same woods forever can they? I know, I’m pretty smart.
In some scenarios, the search dogs find me, but I win them over, and we become best friends. I think this is realistic, as I’m pretty good with dogs. A bloodhound comes at me with the bite-to-the-shoulder move, and I start rubbing his belly. Now I have a sweet search dog companion for my long hike to NYC. Granted if it was a German Shepherd search dog I’d be screwed – they hate me.
By the way, if David Blaine really wants to do something special, I think a prison escape would be the way to go – way more impressive than sitting in a box. He needs to rob a bank and then post the video to YouTube, with a note that says, “Hey Bank of America, it was me, David Blaine.” Then they’d have to take him to jail. At that point, he sneaks in a camera, and records his escape, again posting the whole thing to YouTube. Voilah! That would make me a true believer.