What [Bad] Dreams Are Made Of
“I wonder what it must be like to be Luis Castillo, waking up this morning,” my husband said on our morning walk with the dog.
“I’ll bet it all seemed like a bad dream, and then he realized the disaster had not been a dream,” I responded.
Luis Castillo’s dropping what should have been a routine fly ball that would’ve ended the game with a Mets win but instead resulted in a brutal Mets loss at Yankee Stadium last night no doubt resulted in loss of sleep by the player himself and countless interested parties in the tri-state area. No doubt, this botched play was also part of many Mets fans’ morning ruminations.
Thinking of the incident in the context of a bad dream led me to think about my own and others’ nightmares and their origins.
Even though I have not been in a broadcast studio on any regular basis for seventeen years, my years as an announcer for public radio stations in Kansas and Washington are the basis of nightmares I have to this day:
I’m stumbling around the music library, trying to find a CD while the unbearable silence of dead air over the station’s monitors provides the (non-) background music to my insufferably slow search for some appropriate music to play.
“Hmm. A Beethoven String Quartet? How about a Mozart overture? No. I’d have to run back here and get something else longer to follow that. Hurry! Hurry! Just PICK something!”
It amazes me that the challenges of my professional radio days continue to formulate my subconsious, even many years later.
Less surprising are the nightmares I have in which I am at my place of employment–the Metropolitan Opera. These dreams have a recurring scenario: I can hear the orchestra playing in the pit and the singers onstage. No matter what I do, I cannot find how to get into the pit. Yet, the music keeps going and going.
I can literally hum along my own part to the music as it keeps going and going, but every passageway I take ends in a dead-end, and the closest I can ever get to my designated chair in the orchestra is looking down into the pit from various high vantage points in the opera house.
Baseball players must have similar profession-related dreams, don’t you think?
I bet it would very interesting hearing the details of those nocturnal visions, fueled by each player’s specific phobias.
To some, perhaps certain ballparks loom large and formidable.
Perhaps batters dream of facing a particularly daunting pitcher: Randy Johnson in his prime, for example.
Those dreams everyone has in which one needs to flee but is running slow-motion in quicksand? Perhaps the equivalent is that a player’s bat speed has decreased so significantly that he can’t keep up with any pitches at all.
While I would be curious to hear what happens in ballplayers’ reveries, I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to see the stuff of nightmares played out in front of my very eyes as I and thousands of groaning Mets fans did last night.
I have a feeling Luis Castillo and that routine pop-up will be seeing one another at night for years to come.
“I Got It”, by Sherry De Ghelder, St. Louis Burb, Missouri, USA. Oil on panel.
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