Another challenge from Terrible Minds - for this one we were to pick a random song from iTunes and use the title for a story.
I picked I Remember - the version by Deadmau5 - here's a link to the song and lyrics.
This story was inspired by memories of a friend that passed away last December - I met him a few times at my "new" local pub. RIP Archie.
I remember days like today.
I remember these first days of spring, with warm breezes, melting snow, the sun bright enough off it to make you blink. The ballparks would still be soggy, so we'd meet on the street in front of my place, and spend a few hours working the winter kinks out of our gloves - and ourselves.
I remember the simple pleasure of the windup, the stretch, the throw, all so fluid and effortless after years of practice, the solid thwack in my glove as the ball came back, and the friendly teasing if I missed a wide throw.
I remember the games on a sunny afternoon, some of them league, some just pickup. The crack of the bat, the slide into a base, the calm of the outfield, the first cold beer in the dugout after the game.
I remember walking the streets on a warm day, lunch at one place, beer at another, friends everywhere I went, always glad to talk sports with me. Then at the end of the day, back to my little apartment for a simple dinner and some baseball or hockey on the TV.
I remember those early years for my Senators, only 10 wins the first season, and not much better for the next few. I stuck with them though, especially when they played against those Leafs, and was glad to debate players and ratings with anyone.
I remember when the aches and pains got worse, the specialists, the treatments, never a complete cure, just a postponement they said. After that I'd get tired if I hurried too much, people would tease me about forgetting things, my throwing arm slowed to no better than a gentle lob to my grandson. He smiled at my style just the same, and still wanted to hear my stories.
I remember that one day, not long ago, when the pain hit me like a wild pitch to the side of the head, bringing me right down to my knees. More doctors, more tests, my family all around me crying. I tried to tell them it was OK, as I closed my eyes and let the pain finally fade away.
I remember a lot less after that, just bits and pieces of the good days, but I must be doing OK because my kids aren't arguing any more about me going into a home. I feel better than I have in years.
I remember this bar too, it's one of my favorite spots, small and always friendly. Big screen TV's for the games, a good hot lunch, cold beer, my seat at the bar, my buddies all around me. They've got that big side door open today, letting the fresh air and sun and laughter come in from the patio. All my day needs now is an ice cold bottle of Blue.
I forget the name of the bartender – I forget a lot now - but she's nice, like all of them, so I just call out to her. "Hey buddy!" I raise my fist for a bump, but she doesn't see me at all. That's been happening a lot lately - I sometimes think I know why, but then it slips away from me. No matter, it's all good. Maybe another day I'll have that beer, after the game. For now I'll just sit here with my friends, enjoying the day.