In a common preamble to dreams, I am at shortstop. My games at shortstop were very few and over forty five years ago. I never was good at it. It's the ground balls. They kept going through my legs. If you're a shortstop, your main order of business is ground balls. I wasn't a very good shortstop.
But that's where I am in that somnolent cusp come nightime. There are runners at the corners and none out. Maybe sometimes there is one out. But the ball is hit to me most often, of course, else why would it be in my predream?
I can start the old double play. But I'm reluctant to allow a run to score. The ball is hit sharply always, to give us time to figure. The runner off third is not well under way when I have the ball.
The keystone corner. The second baseman pivots. He steps on the bag after I toss to him and fires the ball, most often, home. We want two outs with a man on first. That's the best result.
In a variation, the ball is hit to second. When that happens, I take it on the toss and fire it to the catcher.
I think I know why I lapse back into the old ballpark. It's movement, without words. I am beginning to talk to myself, more and more, throughout the day, to write in my head, to act out my reveries. Words, all the day long, and into the night. Reading, writing, talking to myself. There is no talk in a double play.
"My busy heart, who shudders as she talks,
sheds the syllabic blood and drain her words"
as Dylan Thomas says. I only want to stop the words so I can sleep, perhaps to dream, is what I say.
I suppose were I a dancer ever, that's what I would dream. So the only dance I know which can be slowed and involves no violence is that hard hit grounder to short, bouncing in slo-mo on an infield long gone to weed...