The Crimson Dream

I’m awake at 3:OO AM. It’s as if The Phone Call has reset my body clock to beat the roosters.

But then again, it could have been The Crimson Dream that startled me awake. I mean, when you have a dream like that, why risk going back to sleep and forgetting it? No, better to get up, get at it and write it down quickly to preserve it for posterity.

In The Crimson Dream, I was as I am now: a balding, 47-year-old male who is in pretty good shape for his peer group, but with the usual trace of middle age paunch. For reasons forged in the dark, netherworld of my subconscious regions and known only to Freud, the University of Alabama was recruiting me to play football for the Crimson Tide.

I was at Nick and Terry Saban’s house with a group of 4 and 5-star recruits from all over the country. Eyegal was there, too, making me the only one of the recruits who was married (although some did have kids). We were all sitting around their living room eating and chatting. They have a very, very nice house. Nick was sitting in a very large, leather Barcalounger which looked conspicuously like a throne.

At one point, I remember asking Nick about his son and why he played golf in high school rather than football and why he didn’t become a coach too like a lot of sons of famous coaches do. He smiled and answered, but I don’t remember what he said because his voice was garbled like the school teacher in the old Charlie Brown Peanuts cartoons.

A little later, his daughter, the one who’s a senior in high school, walked in. I remember thinking Hey, she’s kinda cute, so I turned and asked Terry if she had a boyfriend, and if not, would she mind too much if I fixed her up with Number One Son. “Don’t worry,” I said, “he’s premed.”

I would have really liked to have heard the answer to that question, but The Crimson Dream suddenly time-shifted to the scene where we received our gift bags. We got all kinds of cool stickers, posters and a little autographed football (the kind that the cheerleaders throw into the crowd at halftime) signed by St. Nick himself.

But the best part of the gift bag was the personalized set of Crimson Tide football sweats and the brand new pair of Nike Air Max running shoes. I remember holding the sweats up, looking at Eyegal and saying, “These are absolutely the most beautiful sweats I have ever seen.” Then I started taking off my clothes right there in the middle of Nick and Terry’s living room and putting them on. But it was okay, because all the other recruits were doing it, too.

I then reached down to start putting on the Nikes when Nick said, “It’s time for the 5K.” I guess the 5K was a tryout of sorts and I remember thinking, Uh oh. All the other recruits were already dressed and shoed and outside at the starting line when Nick blew the whistle and said, “Go!” I thought Oh no, they’re starting without me and ran outside to their driveway but the others were long gone and out of sight. I asked Nick if I could run anyway and he said, “Sure, go ahead.”

So I did and ran a time a pretty good time (somewhere in the low 20s). When I finished, Nick said, “That’s pretty good.”

As I caught my breath, I walked over to Eyegal and said, “This is the best program and I want to come here.” She reminded me that they only had one scholarship left to give out and that I probably wouldn’t get it because I was 47 and all the other recruits were much younger and faster than I was. “Don’t get your hopes up,” she said. Now that I think about it, that was the only part of the dream that made any sense at all.

And then I said, “Even if I never set foot on the turf of Bryant-Denny Stadium, these are still the coolest sweats and shoes in the world and this is the best day of my life.”

That was when I awoke with a start. I lay in bed a few moments trying to get go back to sleep. When I saw that wasn’t happening, I smiled, shrugged and thought Oh well, and made my way toward the kitchen and started the coffee.

I am a little concerned that some parts of The Crimson Dream (namely the gift bag) may constitute a primary recruiting violation. So don’t tell the NCAA, and please, whatever you do, don’t tell Lane Kiffin.

And to think, I managed to dream all that without pinching a single one of Number Three’s Darvocets.

Roll Tide, and Happy Fat Tuesday to all.

  1. S. Freud

    Theese is an eeesy von.

    You are a vannabe writer who vants to be famous and who longs for recognition thee vay some junkies long for drugs. You are transferring theese desire to theengs that are veeery dear and close to your heart (football and running). You are unsure that you have vat it takes, considering how old you are and how many younger, more capable writers there are out there.

    Theese ees a valid concern. Hence, Eyegal’s vahning and presence as a voice of reason.

    Nevertheless, een your final comment, you affirm your love of writing even eef you never get paid a single penny (Not setting foot on thee turf at Bryant-Denny Stadium = laboring in obscurity for thee rest of your life).

    There, I hope that helps. That veel bee $500.00, please.

  2. dunderwood

    Good stuff. I don’t think anybody will ever get you mixed up with Joseph! 🙂


  3. Mike the Eyeguy

    I don’t know, I’d put up my Technicolor Dream against Joseph’s any day.


  4. Stoogelover

    When you dream, you dream BIG!

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