The Dream

March 22, 2012
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Mike picked the foam ball up from the linoleum floor and held it in his hands; it conformed to them with ease. He aligned his arms with the net, aimed, and released the ball in an arc. It travelled across the room and through the net, which welcomed the ball as it had so many times before. The ball dropped to the floor, bounced once, twice, three times, each with less energy than before, and rolled over towards Mike, who bent down to retrieve it. Mike shot again. The posters on his walls observed, silently. Those men had already won the dream. They need not concern themselves with Mike. Mike glanced at the empty shelf to the left of the bed then shot again. The ball bounced off the edge of the hoop and came to rest, wedged behind the shelf, just out of reach.
Mike looked at the ball for several seconds. He strained to grasp it without success, the effort causing his forehead to glisten with sweat. Finally, Mike let his body go slack, and exhaled. He glanced at a red button by the nightstand and at the placard below: press for assistance. He made as if to press the button but then stopped. Mike heaved himself onto the chair at the foot of the bed. He wheeled it to the left. Mike grabbed the poster above the shelf and ripped it down with a tug. He let the two torn halves of the poster fall from his limp hands. The other men watched wordlessly while they ran, jumped, and scored in a frozen moment of glory.





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