Dropping the ball

As an eleven-year-old, I fell on broken glass and opened my left leg, knee to ankle. Emerging from the anaesthetic, I was tormented by a repeating nightmare: trapped in a web, I could see the spider getting ever closer. 

After all these years, that’s a story to tell, rather than a dream to remember.

Once in a while, there comes a dream that’s utterly unforgettable. A few from my childhood are like that. At nine, I dreamed of a heaven with pure white buildings, emerald green grass, clean air, and handsome men with wonderful wings. At around 14, I found the ruins of a previously-undiscovered Greek city when I dived into a murky, slime-filled pool.

Most dreams – regardless of how vividly they impress us – are prone to vanish quickly, leaving only feelings that quickly fade.

I’m hoping that’s what will happen to a recent dream that seems quite persistent.

I’m passing a doorway in which a boy is tossing a ball into the air and catching it. Without warning, he throws me the ball. I catch it easily and return it to him. A second time he sends the ball in my direction.

And I’m catching it again … but somehow I fumble it and drop it. To my dismay, it rolls away into the gutter and down into the drain.

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