I began as a middle-aged man, probably in my thirties, in the dream. Somehow, I was asked to come to high school to play baseball.
Several points from reality should be noted: our high school didn’t have a baseball team. I didn’t play for our baseball team.
But in this dream, I said, “Sure,” and went off to play this game. A brief tryout, conducted by my high school football, track, and wrestling coaches, was conducted: “Can you pitch?” I threw some fastballs; they were satisfied.
It was a loose “old-timers vs. young players” game. I was part of the old-timers. Teams were formed: I’ll pick him, I’ll take him. I was selected and was riding the bench until I was asked to pitch in relief in the middle of the game. None of us knew how that would go, but I pitched well, striking out several. Then I batted, and hit a triple. Very cool. By the game’s end, I was considered an unexpected hero.
Back home (after a dream team leap), I was asked to play in a second game. I agreed. Time details were provided.
Now, I was worried. Anxiety levels jumped because, hey, there were expectations. Then I started overthinking things and confusing myself about what time I was supposed to be there.
All sorts of things next happened. I was getting dressed, but paused to pee. When I did, there was a commotion out in the house. Hearing it, I peed on the bathroom wall. It was like, oh, no, but then I threw on a robe to go see what was going on.
My Mom and her boyfriend and their friends had returned from a trip. She and he were their current ages.
They’d arrived home early and unexpected. After briefly greeting me, they went into a chaotic conversation about flights, schedules, and tickets. You’d think that they were planning the trip instead of just finishing it. By the way, Mom asked, did you call your Dad? He was supposed to have surgery. I hadn’t heard anything about that.
Amidst this, I scrambled to dress. They’d given me a uniform. I put that on but now I couldn’t find my glove, bat, and ball. The first two were located with help from my Mom’s boyfriend, but then I couldn’t locate the ball. At last, a cat was spotted batting it around and chasing it.
I retrieved the ball, a mold-covered lime orb that had no resemblance to a baseball or softball. What the hell, that wasn’t important, I decided, and I was running late. Scramble, scramble.
I headed for the field. Along the way, I met my wife. She was going to the game. But first, we were being assembled in a classroom. Some of my friends from this period in my life were there. Weird. The teacher (an old high school English teacher of mine who didn’t remember me) was going around, passing out reading material that we were to read aloud. Each of us were given excerpts from different classic pieces of literature.
Then, though, I protested that I had to go. Telling them that I’d see them at the game, I rushed away. Now I’m in this huge U.S. Air Force facility, passing displays about AF history, technology, and traditions. I’m with some of my military peers. We agree, boy, has this stuff changed.
As I pass through the AF facility, I’m trying to understand where we are. It seems like an air base, mall, museum, and flying ship at the same time. I have a deep, sneaking suspicion that those impressions were all true, that we were somewhere high in the atmosphere.
There wasn’t time to consider it more than that, because, oh! Time! Baseball game. I wasn’t sure what time I was supposed to be there, but now I believed that I was definitely late. Rushing to the field where we were supposed to play, I discover that no one else from my team has already, not even the coach. Holy shit, where is everyone? What’s happening? Am I in the wrong time, place, and date?
Some young players show up. My tensions eases. The coach still hasn’t shown. What the hell, we’re supposed to play soon.
He finally shows, and apologizes for being late, but there was a family thing. I talk to him, and end up counseling him on how difficult families can be. Then he tells me that I’m going to be the starting pitcher. Can I handle that?
Sure, I can, I answer, but I’m enormously doubtful. I remind myself that I was successful before. But that was different, it was unexpected, and now, given the chance, I was overthinking it all, and that would probably skew my performance. I needed to relax and not worry, I told myself.
As I take the mound to warm up, the dream ends.