A Dead Dream; The Summer of ’62

Arriving home Rich stood the bike against the inside wall of the garage and went inside to where Mrs. Larsen left supper on the stove for him to reheat. It was spaghetti with meatballs.

Mrs. Larsen, Mr. Larsen, and Uncle Bob were in the living room watching TV.

Rich sat alone at the kitchen table and ate. When done, he went into the living room and laid on the floor in front of the TV without a word. Uncle Bob sat in a padded rocker that had belonged his father. Mrs. Larsen sat in a Queen Ann that had belonged to her Mother. Mr. Larsen was slumped on the couch.

How’d the final game come out?” Mrs. Larsen asked.

We lost 4-3,” Rich said watching the TV.

Get any hits?” Mr. Larsen asked.

I went one for two and a walk,” Rich said. “We had a 3-0 lead going into the last inning.”

Who pitched?” Mr. Larsen asked.

Hawk,” I said.

He go all the way?” Mr. Larsen ask.

Yeah,” Rich said.

Dumbasses,” Mr. Larsen said. “Should have taken him out when he got in trouble. That’s the trouble when ya got yer own kid on the team, there’s always favoritism.”

He’s the only good pitcher we got,” Rich said. “We stood a better chance with him than with anybody else.”

If he was so good, why didn’t ya win?” Mr. Larsen said.

We got a bad call in the last inning,” Rich said and h explained what happened.

It would have been nice if we could have been there,” Mr. Larsen said sarcastically.

Rich got up, grabbed gloves from the dining room table, plodded upstairs one step at a time, and went to his room. He tossed his gloves in the corner. He randomly picked out a volume the World Book Encyclopedia in his bookshelf and read about Nova Scotia, That’s where Rich mentally escaped until falling to asleep.

In a dream, he worked there with his father on a fishing boat. They enjoyed long nights on the choppy waters of the North Atlantic working, laughing, talking about the future, and him telling Rich that the boat would be his someday.

He awoke in the morning to the sound of robins and blue jays squawking over territory and a cool breeze gently parting the curtains in his room.

Rich’s first thought was about the game, and how much different his feelings would have been if the Reds would have won. He looked at the lifeless gloves in the corner. He thought about all the things that he had done with those gloves. He got up and pulled his pants on and slipped a shirt on over his head. He picked up the gloves and ran his fingers over them and held them to his nose. He smelled the distinct odor of leather and rosin. He opened the drawer that was full of baseball cards and laid the gloves to rest. He shut the drawer and all the dreams and hopes of a boy playing major league baseball became entombed never to be resurrected.

 

 

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