What Dreams Are Made Of

"What are you afraid of? To wake up and find this is what dreams are made of"

- Prev1, Swollen Members "Groundbreaking"

 

I sat fixated to the old color television, gripped by the storyline that years later would seem cliche and tired.  I was well into my formative little league years, a youngster fully entrenched in the grassroots of America's pasttime.  As Roy Hobbs limped to the plate, blood showing through his jersey, I scooted to the edge of the couch, anticipating the storied ending to come.  Chills went up my spine and my eyes watered as the destined home run inexplicitably set off a series of lighting explosions.  I was hooked. 

The next day I marched into the woods with purpose.  After much searching and contemplation, I found a down tree that I could amply justify as being hit by lightning.  With my trusty handsaw, I removed the straightest limb and trucked it back to the garage.  For the better part of a day, I chiseled, planed, and sanded until I had my own homemade bat.  It sort of resembled Wonderboy and was marginally straight, it was perfect.  Hours upon hours of my summer were spent recreating the fantasy while competing in the reality of the game.  I would face up to my siblings and friends, confident that my bit of the forest would carry me through.  These were the memories that we treasure and too often lose in the mess of modern day stress, norms, and buzz. 

Around 9 am last Saturday, I took to the mound at Burnham Field in Waltham.  I turned to face my first batter, my belly filled with coffee, red bull, and High Life.  I dug into the mound like a bull preparing to do battle in far-off Spain.  Snorting, digging, and sneering at the batter, I threw my first strike.  Inside I chuckled.  It couldn't possibly get more absurd, there I was 32 years old playing wiffle ball in the early hours, acting like a complete idiot.  It couldn't have been more beautiful, there I was transported back to the innocent and marvelous years of my youth, lost in the moment, void of worries and responsiblity, completely content.

The following day, I was sitting in the bullpen with El Guapo.  We were deep into the second game of the weekend, The Holy Matriwiffle.  Guap and I laughed and taunted the opposing players while waiting for Dom to signal for some action in the bullpen.  Dom had already pitched many innings more than a typical wiffle game and there was a silent pact amongst our team that he would not stop.  Suddenly a game of such utter irrelevance took on a higher meaning.  On some days my passion can lead to Black Cloud type moments, but on this day, this day following Dom and Kaela's wedding, this day that Dom beamed from ear to ear as his family and friends cheered him on his homefield, on this day of destiny my passion steered to being a supporting actor in our own little "Natural".

Fittingly the cliche and tired ending, the one you knew had happen, came along in the 8th.  Dom stepped to the plate, he had been robbed of a homer previously on a controversial but heroic catch by The Ox.  I would have to say everyone was on their feet, but of course I wouldn't know.  I sat crouched behind the backstop, pretending that I was Sparky barking orders to the troops.  Playing my minor role.  And then it happened, the tying homerun by the man of destiny, the man of the day.  That familiar chill ran up my spine, I jumped, I yelled, I watched my friend, my oldtime wiffle competitor, and my teammate stroll the bases as his team mobbed him.  It was every bit the feeling I got on the couch so many years ago, just a lot more real.

I can't expect most to understand and will not fault you for laughing at the absurdity of those sentences.  But for some of us that are not afraid, this really is what dreams are made of.

Roots, Rock, Wiffle - HR

Comments

Member since:
7 August 2007
Last activity:
6 years 23 weeks

Thanks for putting it out there. We all have our memories. We all have our dreams. We also have the beautiful present moment when we strike out the Ox looking and all three merge. Write on bro.