Dreaming of some empathy

She clutched the bat as though it was her childhood baba, but the look in her eyes was of determination mixed with fear.  We were all there in spring training for the Dodgers and while I didn’t know why I was there, I knew why she was there. She had come to make the team and my dream didn’t care that she was a smallish Asian baseball player, in this dream she was just one of many players with the same hope of heading West with the team.

Time flew by, practice after practice, and I did the mental math in my head. Andre Ethier was on the last year of a large contract and was certain to be the starting left fielder. Carl Crawford was the young stud gunning for his job but I knew he’d have to wait another year before Andre was gone. All of this made perfect sense even though none of it made any sense at all.

At some point, we are in a room but something seems off. The room seems more empty than it used to be. I asked where was everyone and they just gave me a look that said nothing and everything at the same time. I left the room and turned down the hall and noticed the Asian ballplayer standing in a doorway. She was no longer dressed in ballplayer clothes but in a nice business suit and she was holding a suitcase. I naively asked her where she was going just to make small talk. I didn’t know her name. I just knew the dream had started with her and next thing we were all playing baseball together.

She didn’t answer with words. She didn’t need too. Her eyes were pooled with tears and sadness. It finally sunk into my thick skull. She had been cut. Her dream was over. I’m not a big hugger, but the look in her eyes told me she needed a hug and I gave her one. The hug becomes something more, I don’t want to say spiritual, but possibly metaphysical as though I know what that means. Other players came out of their doors somehow knowing one of their own was in need. They become side players to our connection. In this dream state, our minds met without words and I could see the hopelessness inside of her. I felt for her, her pain, her future that would no longer include what she had dreamed of since she had been a little girl playing a boys game.  I searched for something to say, that would soothe her distress but my calculating brain couldn’t find anything. I knew she would be sad for a while, that she would either find happiness in a different venture or this defeat would hang over her the rest of her life. I don’t offer prayers. I don’t say “God works in strange ways”. I don’t say “You’ll be fine”. I don’t say “This might be for the best”. I don’t say anything. I just keep hugging her and letting her cry.

Just as quickly as I felt this enormous empathy for her situation it was over. The connection is broken, now I’m searching for a way to continue with my life and to put her behind me. I break away from the hug and simply ask her if she needs a ride. She says no, and I wake up.

I have a very active dream state and have always felt that they would make great stories but the details of most dreams dissipate within seconds of waking up. This dream was different. When I woke up, the hug connection was still fresh. I spent the next five minutes trying to burn everything I could remember of the dream into my brain so I could write something about it.  What I remembered is above. I met a female Asian baseball player at a Dodger spring training camp. She was trying to make the team, I still don’t know what I was doing there. I think I was a player, I know I was very young. I did dream the Andre / Crawford part. I did dream the room. I did dream the hug. I wish I could adequately describe what happened during the hug but it is all vague now but a mind to mind connection did occur. I did dream needing to break away from the connection.

I don’t know what my subconscious was going for. I’m a very empathetic person, but it doesn’t stay. This world is in a bad state. At any point, I’m going to read or watch stories about children dying of starvation in Yemen, of children being shot at school, of one time lovers killing each other and their children, of huge swaths of communities losing their homes/lives to fires/ hurricanes/floods, of black men being murdered almost daily by our police, of people dying of cancer, and of suicide. So much suicide.  So much gun violence. I get angry, I feel for the victims.  I send some money.

And then I move on with my life

And I know I’m not happy that I can just move on with my life instead of spending my life trying to make things better. The best I can say is that I’m not part of the problem, but I’m certainly not part of the solution.

Jamal Khashoggi was trying to be part of the solution.

Shannon Watts is trying to be part of the solution.

It is time I become part of the solution.

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