My wife and I are house shopping, and we are walking down a woody path to the For Sale sign. Along the way, we see squirrels — lots of them. And one in particular is enormous, as big as a child.
“Do squirrels get that big?” I ask my wife.
She shrugs and we move on.
We arrive at a house that is actually a train, as in a locomotive. Old-timey, all black and with a steam chimney. The owner, a woman, greets us. Inside, the train is well furnished. It’s long, but it’s a house with all things you’d expect in a house. She meets us at the kitchen.
“I need to be able to drive this thing,” I tell her.
“You can’t. It’s a house. Besides, you need a license if you wanted to drive it.”
“What about the electricity, water?” I ask, thinking you couldn’t move a house-train so easily.
“There’s another train house down a bit,” she says. I think she’s trying to get rid of me.
And then I wake up.
Commentary: On a recent run, I ran past a trailer park. Trailers sort of look like railway cars, don’t they?
I’m walking with three guys from high school I haven’t thought of in…at least a decade. But of course, in the dream no time has passed. Donnie tells me about the varsity baseball team. I ask him who’s the power hitter on the team and he proudly announces that it’s him. He’s batting cleanup, fourth in the order. Chris, tall and lanky, says he’s batting third, which means he’s the best hitter on the club (at least this used to be true in baseball — not sure if it applies anymore in the world of Moneyball/stats-everything nowadays). Before Justin has a chance to speak, we’re at the ball field so my fellow classmates take the field.
I sit on the bleachers to watch, and lo and behold, half the team are girls at our school. And while the guys are wearing random sweatpants and t-shirts, the girls are all in different sundresses. Big Red (my high school team name) is on the field and I know most of the girls on the field. Jenna is the pitcher, while the bases are covered by Tracy, Stacy, and Helene.
Jenna throws the first pitch, and it’s not over-the-shoulder like regular baseball; she throws it underhand, more like fast-pitch softball, except this has a bit more of an arc. She’s got a devastating off-speed pitch that has some serious bite, fooling every batter to swing and miss.
My college friend Mark walks in, and he looks absolutely exhausted. He’s been on a very long trip and he tells me all he wants to do is sleep. I tell him he should just get on the couch and close his eyes. Lucky for him, there is indeed a couch, right there, and he falls into it and does just that. Within a few seconds he’s snoring away.
And then I wake up.
Commentary: My wife and I are currently on a trip to Orlando, FL, and yesterday, after visiting a friend, we stopped by First Data Stadium, where the St. Lucie Mets play, the affiliated minor league team. And a few days ago on the flight over, I wasted an hour or so playing Amiga games on my laptop via emulation, and Hardball! was one of the games I played (pic above). So baseball has been on my mind, plus playing that old-school video game must’ve activated some very old bits in my brain.
The reason why girls might be on the team is because before going to sleep, we watched two episodes of Russian Doll, which I can see easily burrowing its way into the dreams of many of its viewers.
I’m in Yankee Stadium, though not in any standard seating. Rather, there are cafeteria-style outdoor tables, like for a big picnic. And I’m sitting next to Pedro Martinez, the great Hall of Fame pitcher. We must be friends because when the waitress comes by to offer drinks, Pedro declines for the whole table and says we’re good.
When she leaves, he takes out a jug of ocha — it looks like lemonade. He pours it in everyone’s tumblers, but he misses a lot — like half of it ends up on the table each time. But he doesn’t mind — he’s just smiling and laughing and pouring and missing. When he comes to me, I try to put my cup right underneath the pour, but mine doesn’t do any better. Still, I got enough and I drink it and oh my goodness, it’s so tasty.
“What’s in this thing?” I ask, curious and wanting more.
“Muchacho,” Pedro says, and pours me another. “Why you gotta worry all the time?”
At this point, I get something like a Wikipedia insert in the middle of the dream, like a commercial break. And the soothing voiceover says, “Ocha was accidentally discovered by a peasant who stepped on cow urine and moss.”
And then I wake up.
Commentary: The soothing voice is from First Man, which I watched last night, a part of the movie where a space mission is being described. I think Pedro is on my mind because of the Super Bowl. Even though Martinez pitched for my Mets for a few years, he’ll always be a Red Sox pitcher to me, and since the Pats are in it, my mind must’ve made the connection.
Caveat emptor: Please don’t take this as a predictor worthy of a bet on the Patriots for today’s game. My dream is just a dream…
Ocean’s Eight with heft? No, not even close. This is thrilling, risky art.
Widows may be the most complete film of 2018: imbued with morally significant themes and yet breathtakingly entertaining. Writing, acting, directing, cinematography — there’s so much talent packed into this movie, and like the four women in front and center, everyone does their job to the fullest degree. Lean and mean, it just clicks.
All I knew going in was that a bunch of male criminals died and left their widows with a serious money problem. That’s all you need to know, too. Talk about female empowerment done right — Widows showcases this better than any film I’ve seen in a long while.
It is a shame that Viola Davis was left off the Best Leading Actress Oscar race, because she absolutely belongs. She’s got her big scenes, but it’s the subtle ones where she truly shines.