Saturday, 30th of July 2016
“Did you have a dream last night?” Maya asked as I spooned porridge into her bowl. “Yes actually, I did.” I said, quite pleased to recall. Maya inquires about my dreams every morning, and lately I knew I had been dreaming, but I was not remembering the dreams on waking. This morning though, I had something to share.
“I had a dream about Barney Bates.” I said, with some aplomb. I knew that Maya, had no idea who he was and so I explained. “Barney was a famous jazz pianist, although not so famous like Miles Davis Kind of Blue famous, just a little famous in London and amongst those that really love jazz. He socialized with Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, the artist grandson of Sigmund Freud and other creatives of that Soho era.” Maya’s eyebrows were raised, not exactly sure what that all meant. None the less I continued. “He was an old man who used to come into a place I worked at in London, that had a Moose head on the wall and a real Grizzly Bear standing still in the corner.” I paused momentarily and then I got caught up in an idea. “The Moose and the Grizzly Bear did not speak, but since it is my imagination, let’s pretend they did!” I said delighted at the possibility of the Moose head that hung above the bar at the Coopers Arms speaking to the patrons. “Did you know a Moose has googly eyes?” I said, diverging from the point of the story. “It can look one way with one eye and another way with the other eye at the same time. Which means it can have it eyes on everything! “Ive got my eye on you! Also, a moose does not sweat, which means he stays cool under the most intense situations. Mmmm, what else, a moose follows his nose and those antlers, are all about perception of space. What a great character he could be!” I marveled, thinking of the wonderful things the talking Moose head could say. “And perhaps the Grizzly Bear scares people who are too intoxicated out the door, reminding them to go back to their cave and sleep it off! I added. Maya rolled her eyes at me, because she finds it silly that I like to imagine things that could not possibly speak, coming to life to communicate. I am usually spurred on by the contrast of Maya’s logic and my fantasies, and so I continued. “I worked at the Coopers Arms five days a week, no, actually six days a week, no actually, I think I worked there seven days a week. I don’t remember doing anything in London other than working, walking through the park, and a little shopping on the way. I was trying to save money for America.” I said.
Maya was still listening and so I continued. “Barney would come into the Coopers Arms almost every evening. He liked me, and I liked him.” I said. When Maya heard this she became protective. “Why isn’t Daddy in your dreams?” she asked, narrowing her eyes. I like that she guards her father’s relationship to her mother so fervently. “Barney was an old man.” I said to put her at ease. “He was in his late eighties when we met, and he had white hair that was longish and stuck out a little bit at the sides, he still had some hair on top too. He always wore a black suit.” Maya was imagining all that I described. “Did he have a mustache?” she interjected. “Did he have a mustache?” I repeated, feeling entertained by her mind. “No, he did not have a mustache.” I said. “So he did not look like Albert Einstein?” Maya queried. I could see a little bubble above her head, with Albert Einstein in it, and so I quickly popped that visual. “No, he was very tall, and lean, with a handsome face.” I said. The mention of handsome had Maya’s spirit riled up again. “Daddy is handsome!” she said somewhat defensively. “Maya, he was an eighty eight year old man, and I was a young girl!” I said with exasperation to eliminate any concerns she had about where this story was going.
I have noticed that the more Maya knows about human behavior, the more details and truth I have to share. “Barney and I liked each other very much, but we were not in love.” I said to Maya. “But once he did get very cross with me for paying attention to younger men instead of him.” I said, feeling a reminiscent wash undulating over.
I took a moment to reflect, and realized that even though I was trying to justify Barney’s age as a reason he could not have been a threat to her father’s love, I know that love has no bounds, and that love transcends age. I did not think I understood this at the time of meeting Barney, I did however respect him and enjoy his company and when he asked me to be his date to a special event in his honor at the Chelsea Arts Club, I said yes. I really had no idea who Barney and his friends were, or perhaps I did not care because it was so far removed from the world I had been raised. I was not cultured, nor educated, but here I was living in London, working on Flood St, spending my days with the British upper class. Sometimes ignorance gives you the hand in life you need, because innocence and ability to relate soul to soul, without airs and graces, was exactly what a man at his point in life needed. A simple friend, who was light and free.
Lisa was sitting at the end of the Bar as she always did, overseeing the operations of the pub. I was behind the bar, on a regular Tuesday night, only it was not entirely regular. Some young men had come in to drink to some success and they were sitting in the middle of the bar celebrating a day that would lift their esteem and finances to new levels. When people have good news, they want to share it with someone, and there I stood, listening to their story and serving them the beverages to make their toast. It is easy to get caught up in this sort of jovial feeling and when they offered to buy me a drink, I accepted, knowing that sometimes, it is perfectly right for the bartender to accept. One need not drink the drink, but to accept and hold the glass and lift it as a tribute to their life advancement. So that is what I was doing. Clinking glasses and exchanging smiles.
Such a moment can be like looking through a giant magnifying glass and Barney watched on closely it became apparent he had developed a soft spot for me and when he saw the younger men, so vibrant and powerful, taking up my attention, he was agitated. When I made my way to where he sat, in his usual spot at the end of the bar closest to the window, he was in a huff. Instead of allowing me to pour a claret he made a proclamation. With his elbow resting on the bar he threw out his hand dismissively. His long exquisitely articulated pianist fingers exaggerated the movement, making it an artistic emotion. “If you want to be with them, then go ahead.” His wine stained teeth were hidden and his mouth became tight and closed. Then he got up and left. My heart surely skipped a beat. This show of expression surprised me. He was jealous. It appeared I had been flirting with the younger men. But wasn’t I just doing my job?
Lisa meandered into the bar to poor her and Simon another round. “Barney likes you.” she said gently as I stood there in wonder, learning life’s lessons about love.
The next night Barney returned with a tape. An old-fashioned cassette. He handed it over the bar to me, and told me it was the latest album he was working on. I turned the cassette over to read the spine. “Lady Loves The Blues” ran the length in neat hand writing. “Thank you,” I said with as much sincerity as possible, being very mindful of his feelings. “I have a walkman, I will be able to listen to it on my way to and from work.” I said. Which is exactly what I did. Riding the underground in London, listening to the Blues.
Maya interjected my memories. “But what does that have to do with your dream?” She said. “Oh, oh yes,” I said, remembering to piece it all together. “Well Barney was in my dream last night and wrote me a note. We were at an event together, and he came over and gave me a very important message that I had been wishing to know the answer to.” Maya looked at me with some skepticism, but of course she wanted to know what the message said. “I can not remember the whole message word for word,” I said. “It was on a white piece of paper. Barney handed me the white piece of paper and I opened it up and there was typed out message in black ink. The gist of the message was this:
START FROM THE BEGINNING AND PUT EVERYTHING IN ORDER OF HOW IT HAPPENS.
This really made no sense to Maya, but that is how dreams are, they only need to make sense to you. I knew this dream was the message I had been asking for and yesterday seemed to be especially fluid so this message needed to be recognized. Also, It was the first time I recall reading a letter so clearly in a dream. I remembered the words on the page and I don’t know that I would have remembered a conversation otherwise. Ahh… so many clues in dreams!
“Did anything else happen after that?” Maya asked. “Yes, I stayed at the event for a while. Barney had a camera. It was a new age digital camera, not one he would have used but it was in an old-fashioned leather camera case, and he brought the camera over to me and sat it down next to me. I wanted to look at the photos on the camera and I opened the camera case, but as I was doing so, intuitively I knew I should not look at the photos, and with much self-control I closed the camera case clasp again.” Whilst relaying this I then understood the greater psychic message, about resisting looking at the photos of others when I knew I should not. “Ahhh… instagram!” My inner voice said. Do not get caught looking at the photos of others when it is not right.” Maya did not understand this really either, because she has yet to learn the abyss social media can be, and how much precious time can be lost, looking in on the lives of others. “Well, social media is just like television was when it came out. Only worse. We all have to be very careful mindful of quality and quantity.” I said letting Maya know that using devices comes with responsibility and that one must always use their intuition. “Well since you mention Einstein, I might as well quote him: the only real valuable thing is intuition! So be sure to listen to yours my love.”