Alan Vega Dream

Montreal, 1997

I’m in the living room with my mother and we discuss events of the day before. My older brother didn’t come home. Probably out partying with friends. Mom is getting ready for work. Suddenly, a deep voice bursts into laughter. Someone steps out of the hallway closet in stitches. It’s Billy, my classmate. Tall as Motumbo, and dark as the night.

How are you doing, Hugo? I don’t answer. Mom is too busy to ask any questions. I go into the other living room and somebody is laying on the sofa bed. Next to him, a bevy of empty bottles. I politely ask him to wake up and leave. Another friend enters the room. Something is happening in this house but I’m not sure what. I ask everybody to leave.

People start leaving, but others keep entering. Suddenly the apartment is filled with strangers. One of them, in a leather jacket, with a bandana wrapped around his head, with a weathered scowl, is nervously scanning the rooms. I think it’s Alan Vega. He looks alarmed, but focused. After a few minutes, and without speaking to anybody, he leaves. I get everybody else to leave before my father returns home from work.

My younger brother is in the next room, sleeping with his dog. I try to wake him up, but only the dog wakes up. He follows me into the next room, and then outside.

I leave the apartment to go for a bike ride. Lucky follows along. It’s early Sunday morning and the neighborhood is deserted. I reach the shopping mall and see nobody. Lucky is panting exhaustively. I place him in the bike basket and dash back home.

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Alan Vega is back and walks in the kitchen, looking dazed. Without saying hello he goes directly to my older brother’s room. He lies down on the single bed and tries to sleep. I go inside and close the window blinds to cut off the sunlight. I move the plant from the windowsill to the floor. Then I ask, what’s up? He mumbles something and hands me a photo booth picture. It’s his mother when she was younger. He falls asleep and I leave the room.

R.I.P. Alan Vega

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