Night and day, you are the one
Only you, beneath the moon, and under the sun
In the roaring traffic boom,
In the silence of my lonely room,
I think of you…night and day
Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.” As sung by Iggy Pop. It seems to be his voice I hear.
These lines and the accompanying melody were stuck in my head when I woke up this morning, after dreaming about an old love. A young Irish man named Joseph, who I met in London when I was 19 and he was 20. It was in 1989, when the Irish were the poor laborers in England, many of them struggling construction workers, as opposed to the Polish and Eastern Europeans of current times. He worked in the hostel where I stayed and made friends. It was my first time abroad.
I haven’t dreamt about Joseph for some time now, so this dream surprised me. I was over There, in London, as I often am in these dreams of him. Suddenly, he is in the same room as me. I am surprised – and not surprised – to see him.
“Why are you here?” I ask him.
“Because I knew you would be,” he answers.
In these dreams there are usually long train rides, the effort of travel, the feeling of distance and things stretched apart, and everything looks dim and old-fashioned. This time, gone is the thrill I used to have upon seeing him in my dreams, gone is the yearning to be with him. I am acutely aware of this, although I still feel how wonderful it is to see him. But, the old ties are gone. I have changed.
He begins to kiss me. In the hallway, against a wall, alone. I don’t feel much, but then the insistence of his kisses reminds me of him, of his gentle nature and quiet intensity. I remember who I was. I begin to melt a bit, in the remembering and the kindness I still feel for him. The kisses are long and lingering.
“Where is your wife?” I ask, aware that he is here alone.
“She’s home having our fourth child.” He shrugs. “I think it’s our fourth.”
In real life they live in Ireland, have three children, and she is very blond. In real life he’s a very attentive father and husband. In this dream, he seems detached, stuck.
I am stunned he is not with her at this moment.
I am even more stunned when she appears. She says hello, then leads me towards the back of the building, which is like an old meeting hall or town hall, and we walk through the dining area and into the back where the kitchen is. She seems to belong there, as if she is used to helping out and knows where things are kept. I look around the room, and it’s like I’ve been transported back into the 1950s. Huge pots and pans from a day’s worth of cooking are piled and stacked upon the floor in front of an old kitchen sink, waiting to be cleaned. The large sink is one of those deep, stand-alone ones that you probably have to poor heated water into to fill.
In the dream, Joseph’s wife is a brunette. Her hair is wound up in those old style coils and pinned up in the back. She is thin and plain. She’s wearing an old cotton print dress, kind of a faded white or cream. I remember I was chewing gum before Joseph started kissing me. I smile now, because chewing gum was a very American thing to do…and maybe another sign of how I didn’t really belong? I look down to see I am also wearing a cotton dress. It lightly billows around my legs and is a dark apricot print. The chewing gum I am missing is there, stuck to the front of my dress. I pull it off, and luckily it comes right away from the cloth. I throw it in the trash, realize I have another piece in my mouth, and throw that away, too.
Why is she here?
“Didn’t you just have a baby?” I ask, still stunned, amazed she is on her feet.
“Yes, but things needed to be done,” she answers. She turns her back to me and is preparing something for us. I can’t see what all she’s doing, but I stand and wait, politely.
I know why she is here, she is protecting what is hers. With her presence, she is reminding her husband of his obligations. Joseph is now to my right, has come into the room. I feel his weariness at being with her. He is heavy with obligation, of being tied to her.
I’m thirsty and she seems to be fixing drinks for us. A few other women are milling about, but we are off to the side.
She turns around and places three glasses on the counter between us. Two are towards me, as if they are especially for me and I am supposed to drink them. One is a coke, the next looks like juice. The glass of water is for her, but that is what I really want, just water.
Joseph is attentive, there behind me. Is he also apprehensive? I can’t tell. She is alert, waiting for me to drink.
“There’s your dinner,” she tells me. As if that is all that is on offer, all that is available, all I will get.
I don’t drink, either because I just don’t want to or because I wake up from the dream, full of thoughts of Joseph and “Night and Day” in my head.
Later, while I’m making tea and oatmeal and thinking about the dream, humming the tune, I realize I have had this same dream before. That’s not unusual for me. But I also remember in the past dreaming I suspected the wife was trying to poison me, trying to get rid of me, and that is why special drinks were laid out before me. I suppose somehow I knew not to drink.
Just now, looking up the song online, I browse through the list of artists who have re-recorded this song over the years. I do not find Iggy Pop and for a moment am confused, until my eyes land on U2. I realize it was Bono who redid the song, his voice I’ve been hearing in my head, and it makes much more sense. Iggy Pop was on another song in this compilation album I am remembering. It was the Irish-born Bono who sang this song, which makes so much sense, not just because of the dream and where he is from, not just because of my many Irish ties, through family and friends, but because at this time in my life I was fairly obsessed with U2.
Before sleep, I have been telling my Spirit what I wanted to dream, namely things of importance for me to look at and, perhaps, get cleared. My dreams of late have been amazingly succinct with this instruction, so obvious as to be unable to ignore. I am left thinking this dream is significant, that there is something here to be cleared which will allow me to move on. I am left feeling there is some agreement between us, something from the past to be looked at and healed.
I can’t deny how I still feel Joseph in my heart, and today I feel weepy because of it. For a time, for years, we were like the song. Only you, beneath the moon, and under the sun… Both of us lonely, dreaming about the other and what might have been.
With the new healing work I have learned I can heal this. This is the most valuable method of healing I have ever discovered, and it has changed my life immensely. Simply working with our own Spirits changes everything. It is the most important thing.
I feel I may have promised something to Joseph. I wonder if, in the past, I promised to be with him and change his life, but instead I changed my mind. Perhaps this memory has reached out of the past for me to look at it, reclaim what was promised and heal what was unfulfilled. In a past beneath the moon, and under the sun…