While You Were Sleeping

Blog 2183 – 10.09.2021

While You Were Sleeping

One of my all time favorite movies stars a lovely young Sandra Bullock as a young Chicago girl named Lucy. Lucy’s mother died when she was a little girl and she was raised by her daddy who passed a couple of years before the movie begins after a long bout with cancer that cut her college plans short as she quit school to go to work and take care of him as he had always taken care of her. She works at the El making change for tokens for passengers wanting to ride the train. She fantasizes about a love relationship with a handsome young businessman who takes the train across town every morning to his office and back to his high rise apartment. Peter is played by Peter Gallagher. She smiles at him every morning, but cannot even muster courage enough to speak to him. On Christmas Eve morning from her booth she sees him mugged and fall onto the tracks and rushes to his aid, jumping on to the tracks and rolling the both of them out of the way of an express train just moments before it passes the station.

Peter wakes from his concussion but a moment on the tracks then goes right back to sleep. In a mix up at the hospital after Lucy is told only family can visit the comatose young man, a nurse hears the leaving Lucy say exasperated under her breath, “But he was going to be my fiancé” and slips her passed the security guard saying, “She’s the fiancé.” As Lucy is sitting in the hospital room next to the young man’s whose life she saved, his parents, grandmother, sister, and godfather arrive all anxious and excited. The nurse when some asks Lucy, “Who are you?” interjects, “She’s his fiancé.” Before Lucy can explain they all hug her and the moment is so warm and wonderful that she cannot tell them and then the doctor comes in and rushes everyone out of the room.

Lucy comes back and sits at Peter’s bedside all night. When Saul, the Jewish friend of the family and Peter’s godfather arrives early the next morning, before coming into the room he overhears Lucy saying to Peter, “Did you ever have a fiancé in a coma that didn’t even know your name?”

When Saul tells her that he overheard what she said, Lucy tells him she meant to tell them the truth, but that all their love and hugs were just too overwhelming. Saul says, “Don’t tell them just now, they need you, Lucy.”

So Lucy keeps up the masquerade fabricating a life that she a Peter never had together.

Jack, Peter’s older brother shows up later and the fun really begins for Jack just does not see Lucy as Peter’s type. When Lucy asks him, “What is your type, Jack?” He says I like chunky blonds, which makes his mother smile, but his younger sister corrects him, “You like brunettes, Jack.”

I have seen this movie so many times, more than any other in fact, and I have it pretty much memorized from start to finish. The last line in the movie from which the title comes is a voice over by Lucy as the train is leaving the elevated station where she had worked, with the bride and groom, she and Jack, aboard and a large Just Married sign and streamers on the back of the train. Lucy says, Jack gave me the perfect gift for our honeymoon, a trip to Florence, and a stamp in my passport. Peter once ask me when I fell in love with Jack. I told him, “while you were sleeping.”

Do try to see it for yourself. 1995’s While You We’re Sleeping, starring Sandra Bullock as Lucy, Bill Pullman as Jack, and Peter Gallagher as Peter.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White


I Know I Need To Be In Love

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