Florence Witkop

Published by Florence Witkop

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Florence Witkop

I had the dream while wide awake. Sitting on the grass in the park across from my apartment watching my cousin handle first base with his usual finesse, putting runners out with ease while I yelled encouragement. Yelled instead of playing because I can’t catch a ball if someone hands one to me. But I can cheer with the best of them, so that’s what I do. It’s what I do every Saturday, every summer.

My normal routine is to show up shortly after noon and lay out a blanket on the sidelines, then hand out pop and potato chips to any kid who happens to be passing by even while I yell encouragement to my cousin and the rest of the team. By the time the game is done and I wrap up the blanket and head off to do my week’s grocery shopping, I’m hoarse and the neighborhood kids are so full of pop and potato chips that they don’t eat dinner and I hear about it later from their parents. I am definitely not popular with parents on Saturday nights.

So that’s my usual Saturday schedule. That afternoon was no different at first, just another afternoon at the ball game. Until it suddenly got weird.

As my cousin Joe prepared to tag still another runner out and I opened my mouth to let out my usual scream of triumph, a picture flashed before my eyes that was so vivid, so real, that the sound died unuttered and all I could do was sit there with my mouth frozen in a cheer that never materialized as a scene appeared before my eyes that was every bit as real as the park, as solid as the blanket beneath me. A scene as familiar to me as the dogs and kids and parents who were yelling and screaming even as I went mute but that couldn’t possibly be real because it belonged two hours away in the wilderness where I grew up.

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