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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sandman: The Old Ball Game

Here's a Sandman tale (from DC Comics) I wrote thanks to Mrs. Wilson, my neighbour for 20 years, and for whom I was lucky enough to be a pallbearer after her long, and I hope happy life.

Before I traveled to Japan, I had an assignment for a magazine writing class in journalism school that I decided should be about the history of baseball in Toronto.

Mrs. Wilson told me her father was one of the board of governors for the old Toronto Maple Leafs minor league baseball team at the turn of the 20th century, and as a child she would often get to go to games.

The story below uses part of what she told me about that early history, with other elements filled in by her husband, Mr. Wilson (I helped carry him home, as well), and Mr. Knott, who lived in the house on the other side of the Wilson's (I was in Japan when he passed) ... the two boys used to go down to watch games as kids and together as adults.

I used to shovel their driveways and cut all the lawns and listened and remembered all their stories about the past of the neighbourhood, the city, and about life.

I miss them all. This story, one of my all-time favorites, is for you.

 Dream, aka Morpheus (and Oneiros, the Shaper, the Shaper of Form, Lord of the Dreaming, the Dream King, Dream-Sneak, the Cat of Dreams, Murphy, Kai'ckul and Lord L'Zoril,) rules over the world of dreams. He is one of the seven Endless: Dream, Destiny, Death, Desire, Delirium (formerly Delight, but is now two in one), and Destruction.

After being captured and held prisoner for 70 years, Dream is now back in business, rebuilding his kingdom... but there is still much he doesn't know about the power vacuum that occurred in his absence. He has been around for billions of years, but still does not know all that much about humans, as he has, in the past merely acted as King... a king unaware of what his subjects and realm requires outside of the basics.
a ride of reverie by andrew joseph

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out to the park.
Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjack,
I don't care if I never come back..."

The smell of hot dogs smothered my senses.

My cola tasted extra cold under the hot touch of the noon day sun. Dad, sitting beside me, had already eaten his bag of peanuts. He told me that though it cost 10 whole cents for the bag, it somehow tasted like cav-e-are when you ate it in a ballpark. I don't know cav-e-are is, but I'm sure it must be grand. The smile Dad had when he said so was as white as the waves on the lake.

This was the first game my Dad ever took me to. He had always thought that girls wouldn't understand it, but I guess he changed his mind.

Mom made us a breakfast of egg and some really thick slabs of bacon. My juice was tasty. Mmmmm, I can still taste it. Dad wolfed down his food and yelled for me to hurry. He said I'd probably be late for my own funeral. When I thought about it, I told him that seemed like a pretty good idea. Dad laughed, kissed my cheek and pulled me along to the taxi carriage.

About a half hour later, we got off at Front Street. A guy named Old Black Joe sat on the ground and played his banjo for money. Dad gave me a big, round penny and told me to put it in the hat on the ground. Then we walked over to the big ferry boats and rode out to the Islands. White seagulls laughed with a big black bird over the waves. Dad said the Islands used to be joined to the rest of Toronto, but a big storm 40 or 50 years ago, separated them. Dad always knows keen bits of stuff like that.

We got off at Hanlon's Point and walked into the stadium. It was bigger and more beautiful than I had ever thought! We sat along the third base line and watched the game. Some guy called Ruth pitched a 3-0 shut-out for the Providence Grey's over my Maple Leafs. He even hit a home run. It was his first ever, they say. I wish I could hit and throw like him.

Even though we lost, it was still the best time me and Dad ever had. I don't ever want to forget it.

Dream grins at Matthew, shooing him out of Martha's thoughts, as he watches her re-live that day. She's asked for the same reverie for the last eight cycles. Sensing its importance, he will keep this dream available for her. The pitfalls of humanity is such that there is much sadness for some people. At least now, if she needs it, Morpheus will be there for her.

The smell of hot dogs smothered with yummy mustard filled my senses...


G'night neighbours.

My Sandman epic begins tomorrow.

Get some shut-eye.
Andrew Joseph

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