FAST Fiction: Fall Classic Dream State #1

“I still have a dream … I have a dream today.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
— Joel (the Old Testament prophet)

Here in my heart there’s a dream that’s unbroken
And it gets in my way, but it won’t be denied.
Oh, here in my heart, the door is still open
Waiting for you to walk into my life.
— Chicago (the band)

+++

OCTOBER IS MAKING ITS WAY toward the exit.

The woods of Connecticut have already witnessed (and experienced) the force of autumn’s fiery splendor. Flickers and embers remain but will soon be replaced by ashen barrenness.

And on this evening — Thursday, October 26, 2000 — Game 5 of the World Series is about to begin.

The New York Yankees hold a three-games-to-one lead over the crosstown Mets. These clubs are meeting in a Subway Series for the first time — and it’s been 44 years since the last Subway Series. The Yankees are aiming to win three straight Fall Classics (the last franchise to do so: the 1972-74 Oakland A’s).

I lean back on the couch in the mostly finished rec-room basement, watching the Sharp TV that’s contained in the oak entertainment center my wife and I paid a carpenter friend to build with some of my Dad’s life-insurance money. Glancing at the top of the entertainment center, I notice a photo album my Mom gave us from the family reunion on the Cape in July. Somehow I’d forgotten it was there.

Heading into Game 5, I’m prepared for the worst … and the best … or both at the same time. My baseball emotions are as conflicted as a thunderstorm on a steamy summer day. If the Yankees win tonight, they will claim their 26th World Series championship. But, if I’m calculating correctly, that means the Mets will have lost. Hence my conflicted-ness.

See, I grew up as a fan of both teams. I cheered for the Yankees more than the Mets, though that might be because the Yanks won more often when I was growing up. Some say you absolutely cannot root for both New York baseball teams — but, well, they aren’t me. My dual fandom had always been safe, since the Yankees and Mets were never good enough at the same time to face each other in the postseason … that is, until the 2000 World Series.

As I watch the pregame show, fatigue sneaks up and sits beside me, murmuring something I can’t quite hear. Not surprising, since I’d been up late the previous two nights watching Games 3 and 4. Meanwhile, broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are discussing the impending game, its historical significance, yada-yada-yada.

As best I can tell, that’s when I fell asleep … yes, before the first pitch — a first for me in the dozing-off department.

And soon I started to dream …

To be continued …

• Fall Classic Dream State: Part 2

© Bruce William Deckert 2012

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