Thursday, September 03, 2020

The dream about my ‘only you’

Dreams can be funny, scary, irrelevant, or profound, and they can also be disturbing or unsettling. Bits and pieces of all those were in a dream I was having when I woke up this morning, and it’s been with me all day. So have tears.

I couldn’t say what precisely this morning’s dream was about, but I think Nigel was with me. What I remember distinctly was that I was watching Yazoo performing “Only You”, and then Alison Moyet got to the chorus (Lyrics):

All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
Only you

I was crying in the dream because those four lines carried the entire essence of the sense of loss that I’m feeling, especially now, as we get closer to the horrible anniversary. Those words were, in the dream as in reality, how I felt about Nigel. But the dream, and that song, ended—just like the life we had together.

I didn’t wake up crying—I’ve seldom ever done that—but my eyes were moist. I swung my legs over the side of the bed, and the dogs stirred and became excited because the day was beginning. I put my face in my hands and sobbed.

That wasn’t the only time I cried today, and that song was playing, even if only in my memory, every time. The song is a melancholy look back at a relationship that ended, which is actually what I’m experiencing. The bridge is what I’m experiencing now:

This is going to take a long time
And I wonder what's mine
Can't take no more
Wonder if you'll understand
It's just the touch of your hand
Behind a closed door

Those lyrics encapsulate what I’m going through right now: The realisation that this recovery will take a long time, that I don’t know what’s mine in this world, and that especially includes what my life will be without Nigel. I certainly can’t take any more, but that last part? That’s the big truth: The fact that I’ll never get to touch Nigel again, to hold him, to kiss the top of his head when I brought him a cup of tea, or the good night and “have a good day” kisses we had every day. There’s the other side of that, too: That I’ll never feel Nigel’s touch again, and that he’ll never hold me again, and I fucking hate this reality. All that is at the core of of my pain, and the main cause of it.

Many days I have a point where I’m convinced it’s all been a huge mistake, maybe a nightmare, and things will be put right any moment now. That feeling was more frequent at the old house, not surprisingly—that’s where our life together ended. Even so, from time to time that weird, confused feeling still sneaks up and jumps out at me.

That says to me that there’s still a part of me that simply cannot accept that Nigel’s gone, not even after nearly a year. Maybe I never truly will.

I don’t know where that dream came from. I watched a video recently about the BBC's “Top of the Pops” in the early 1980s, and that was one of the songs. But there’s not really any other connection I can think of. Maybe it was something else.

Yesterday, I was at my brother and sister in law’s house, and after dinner we were sitting around talking about some topics of the day. It wasn’t anything terribly important, really, so it wouldn’t have been a particularly memorable thing, were it not for that dream.

There was a point yesterday when I was sitting there, listening, and it suddenly struck me that the discussion was like the nearly daily conversations about stuff that Nigel and I used to have, sometimes only briefly, but sometimes we went on for ages. It’s one of the things I miss the most about my life with Nigel, a feeling the silence of my new life only makes worse. At one point I nearly teared up at the thought, but I don’t do that with other people around, and, in any case, I was distracted by something and that was that.

And then this morning brought that dream, filled with my sense of loss and longing, and the realisation of very specific ways the two are connected. That dream wasn’t exactly welcome, and yet, maybe it was. It helped me put a frame around what I’ve been feeling abstractly for a while now, but haven’t been able to get into clear focus. The loneliness of living without Nigel and the silence are overwhelming sometimes. And then one of the dogs does something funny or cute, or something else happens, and I’m distracted again—but only for a time. The feelings always return.

Sometimes, maybe dreams speak the truth when we’re unable to. I wouldn't choose an unsettling dream, of course—who would? “Sometimes, It's the broken heart that decides”, as an erasure song puts it. Indeed. That was certainly true for me this morning.

The video up top is the 1999 version of the song, the closest I could get to the original recording. The original version was Yazoo’s first single.


Roger Owen Green said...

Dreams! Last night, I was suddenly scheduled to have open-heart surgery, and I was trying to reach the Buffalo, NY blogger JaquNandor to post something on my blog. WTF.

I'm very sorry about your dreams, and what you are experiencing, and probably will as the anniversary approaches.

Roger Owen Green said...

Meh. "Video not available." Don't know if it's a region thing or what.

Andrew DIneley said...

Beautiful and poignant words as ever, Arthur. If anything can help heal the pain, then it must surely be the catharsis that can come from writing. And music, music is the enduring soundtrack to our lives and your double Vince Clarke reference in this post gets a full five pop points from me.

Granthor said...

Also by Yazoo:

"Don't you know I ain't never gonna let you go
Don't go"

(double negative used via artistic license)

I have no loss I can compare to yours, so I'm treading lightly here.

What I can say is that each loss I have lived through has had the "Don't go!" as a big part of it. Denial. That didn't happen. You can come back. Humans are so silly sometimes. But it's how we deal with it. It's the peeling of the grief onion over time, for as long as it takes, and with sometimes perhaps the rest of our lives.

I think the trick is to not let it be the FOCUS of our lives, long therm.

LONG term.

You're not there yet, beloved friend. You'll get there in your own time. I am so very sorry that you are sad. <3

Arthur Schenck said...

Roger: That is one seriously weird dream you had! I think that I will have more odd moments over the next few weeks, so, in that sense, my dream wasn't that odd.

The video thing could be a geoblocking because there was an American band that used the name "Yazoo" at the same time as the British duo, so they were known as "Yaz" in the USA. I bet there's another version of the song available on YouTube, but it's pointless for me to search because I won't be able to tell if it's geoblocked in the USA. Sorry!

Andrew: You're exactly right: There is catharsis in writing, and it also helps me make sense of a lot things.

As it happens, when I made the second Vince Clarke reference, I was thinking that you'd be one of a handful of people I know who'd catch it. Thanks for vindicating my faith in you!

Grant: Thank you. You described a message I've been trying to promote, that grief is a process, not a moment, and that process goes all over the place. You'll be glad to know that yesterday I had a very good day—lunch with my mother in law, visiting a niece, buying a new frypan (seriously!). I find that there's huge comfort in the ordinary, and I believe (at the moment, anyway) that it's there, in the ordinary, that I'll eventually find peace.

But, as always, thank you for your kind words, dear one. ❤️