Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chance Encounter with someone who watched over me.

He was right where I knew he would be. Where he always was at this time of the day. All his friends were home having supper but there he was sitting quietly slamming the ball into the pocket of his already well worn in glove. What was he?...fourteen maybe. There he was; this skinny little freckle faced runt, his blond curls sticking out from under of his royal blue Dodgers cap. He wore a blue and white horizontal striped t-shirt, denim jeans (holes in both knees) and white high top runners. He was waiting for Beans, Coop, Specs and the rest to return to the field so they could have another practice. Going home wasn't an option for him at this time. His father would be coming home from the hotel...staggering drunk to report to his Mother that no he didn't find a job today and yes he had spent all the money she had given him this morning on beer. He would go home later after the arguing, after the hateful, hurtful words and his father had passed out on the couch. He would eat what his mother would have put in the oven for him.

I stood there looking at him tossing the ball up in the air and catching it, over and over again. I couldn't believe that it was actually happening. The old lady said that she would grant me the opportunity of having a chance encounter with anyone I desired. I had saved her dog from being hit by a car and she would give me this gift for my heroic deed, but I must decide who it was I would most like to talk to, past or present and in my dream I would get the opportunity to meet with whoever it was I chose to meet. I never really took her seriously..I mean really, who would believe that would ever happen, but there I was looking at the one person I desired to talk to the most...myself.

I was almost at the bench before I realized that I had come prepared for the meeting. I was carrying a ball and glove under my arm.

"Hey!" I said; "how about a game of catch?"

"No thanks...I'm waiting for my friends, they'll be here any minute now."

"I know, but how about a game of catch until they come, You know..sort of loosen up so you'll be ready for practice."

"Do I know you?" said the Boy. "You look familiar."

"No, but I know you. Come on a little game of catch, I'll take it easy on you. We can talk while we play."

"How do you know me?" said the boy; "I've never seen you before but you do look familiar." He got up from his seat and walked on to the Diamond.

"You'd be surprised what I know about you I said. I know that you have great hands and can catch anything that comes within your reach and first base would be your ideal position if only you were a little taller. You'd make a great Center Fielder but you have a weak arm and have trouble hitting the cut off man. Your turtle slow, so short-stop is out and again that weak throw rules you out of being an effective third baseman, That leaves second turn a great double play and smart enough to position yourself where the ball is most likely to be hit and that's the position that you play. Oh yeah your a lousy hitter but walk a lot because your hard to pitch to...How am I doing so far?" I picked the ball out of my glove and threw it to him. "Let's use my ball."

He caught the ball and shoved his own into the pocket of his Jeans. "So what do you do, hide behind a tree and watch us practice?" He tossed the ball back easy but with great follow through.

"No, I know lots of things about you," I said; "I know that your favorite food is Fish and Chips. Your favorite drink is Grape Nehi. Your favorite baseball team is the Brooklyn Dodgers. Your favorite Hockey team the Toronto Maple leafs and every night you go to bed wishing that you were never born, thinking that it would be better if you never existed at all. I threw the ball back to him with an equally great follow through.

"Mister...this is all getting kind of creepy, maybe you should just go and I'll go back and sit down to wait for my friends."

"NO! No , wait a minute I have some things I want to say to you but first I have to make you believe something that will seem impossible to believe. I want you to look at me. Really look at me!! Who do you think I am, think the impossible."

"I don't know, we could be related. Are you going to tell me that your my real father and have come back to find me? That's what happened to a friend of mine."

NO, but close," I said; laughing out loud, "I'm really you 50 years from now. I need you to entertain the possibility of that being a true statement. Do you think you could so that?"

"What? Believe that you are me? It's more likely that you walked away from the looney bin."

"Look at the ball and tell me what it says."

The young man took the ball out of his glove and turned it over and read the inscription. World Series 2007 Boston Red Sox vs Colorado Rockies." "Who are the Colorado Rockies?...That team don't even exist."

It will one day and the Brooklyn Dodgers will move to L.A. and you will never forgive or pull for them again." I said.

He looked up at me like a young deer caught in the head lights of a car, wanting terribly to run away and hide but unable to make his feet move. "A-A-Am I supposed to believe that this ball came from the year Two thousand seven?"

"Yes! I know it sounds crazy but that's exactly what I'm trying to make you believe. At least be open to the possibility. The Red Sox win it in four straight by the way."

"I have a hard time believing that." he said.

"Listen to me. I'm you from the future and I want you to pay attention to what I have to say. I want you not to worry so much about your parents, They'll be fine and none of it is your fault. You'll understand it all when you get older.
I know you don't apply yourself in school. I know you try very hard to become invisible, not stand out, to do only enough to get by without standing out from the crowd. Strangely we create our own Universe..reality and you will succeed at becoming invisible. You are going to wish had persued your dream.
I want you to pay attention to the world around you, hold on to each moment like it's something special and may never happen again. The trees are not just green, the sky is not blue and the clouds white. Look at them... really look at them.
Don't bury your head in the sand and hope that it will all go by quickly because believe me it does and you'll regret not having paid attention. When you get to be my age you are going to regret not having gone to India in search of a great Spiritual teacher, not seeing the Taj Mahal.
Your going to have wished that you had trekked across France and Spain on one of the great Christian Pilgrimages called the Camino.
Your going to wish you had walked the labyrinth and seen the Rose Window of the Chartes cathedral in France.
I want you to Learn the names of the flora and fauna around you. Keep a journal. Learn how to ski and surf, your going to wish you had.
I could tell you how to become very wealthy but money won't make you happy, living in the moment will. Don't be afraid to live your life."
"I know that this all seems crazy to you and you just want me to go away and leave you alone and I know that you don't understand half of what I'm telling you but I'm hoping that one day that some of these suggestions, these seeds will take root and become a reality. Don't be too hard on yourself kid, your not going to kill yourself. Your in it for the long hall so you might as well enjoy it." with that I started to disappear and I knew that I would not remember all this when I awoke but I wonder if I will have memories of great and wonderful things and places I visited when I wake up. Wouldn't that mean that he took my advise?


rebecca July 11, 2008 at 5:53 AM  

oh, but wouldn't that be nice if we could all do that? each one of us, with the experience and sageness of life we have now, could go back and give that one person that matters the most and who we know best, the advice needed to go down that road not taken.

i liked this use of the prompt...well done.

Lilibeth July 11, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

An interesting story. It keeps moving the reader along to the finish. Well done.

Lirone,  July 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM  

Very intriguing story. Are any of these things you wished you'd done things that you could do now?

Rob Kistner July 12, 2008 at 9:55 AM  

I enjoyed this... ;)

"Be here now" ...Baba Ram Dass

danni July 14, 2008 at 9:53 AM  

well written - if only we had a shot at this kind of wish fulfillment - i know my little girl self sure could have used it!!!

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