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Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Midwinter Night's Dream

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My soul is trapped in a winter's maze. Arctic winds pierce my inner being. My face is glazed by a steady snow. I stare into the window of a summer past…

The heat takes my breath away, and humidity forces the slow trickle of sweat down my back. My hands are wrapped around a familiar bat. This familiar feel of wood bat in my hands... Rather than a strange feel of batting gloves it is a touch unfamiliar to the player of today. Man and bat as one.

My spikes glisten in the afternoon sun as I tap them with my bat. The third base coach, a ghost from my past, flashes the sign. I grin: It is good to see the old coach again. He has been gone now for twenty odd seasons. I acknowledge the sign.

I step into the batter's box, to face my old adversary: the mound. He doesn't smile, he is known to me. He knows my strength and weakness. On many a summer's day he has had my number, but now, I arrive from the future with the knowledge of his game.

Old foe, I know your plan: a hard fastball to knock me off "your" plate. You will then start by moving the ball off the plate by a few inches with each proceeding pitch. I know you, but I have come from my future, to the past.

Your plan is as expected, something I could never see in my youth. The breeze of an object passing close to my elbow, and the snap of the catcher's glove. I wait, my pitch is next, I have imagined this moment a thousand times since I last played this game.

I see the pitch as if it were a basketball being hurled at the plate. The distinct sound of wood crashing into horsehide as it drops in front of the right-fielder. Ballgame!

My teammates congratulate me. My teammates… Many of whom are now shadows in my mind. I am pulled away from the window. It is still snowing, and I am cold. It is time to go in now.