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feeling sleepy, hollow

is there a curse of trashcans past? trashcans present? trashcans future?

Clinton Cole/South Side Sox

From: Mechanical Turk
Fwd: Are we actually cursed?
To: Brett Ballantini
Date: Oct 11, 2021, at 8:10 PM

Hi Brett, I was asking around if any Astros players were feeling the effects of the curse yet and I got this anonymously. Kinda weird, don’t know if you’d be interested in taking a look at it.

I wish I knew who wrote it (not that I would reveal a source).

---------- Forwarded message ---------

I awoke last night from a strange dream. In it, I was back in the game. At bat against a faceless pitcher. His movements were blurred, and I couldn’t even tell from which hand he threw. I focused in, and he became clearer. The rest of the field faded to black and became silent, and he began to throw. As he reached back, it was as though he had a thousand arms, each moving independently, each throwing a ball. When he released, a thousand pitches were thrown, all moving toward me differently, at me. I dove out of the way.

I found myself on the ground, face down, gravel embedded in my palms, and as I got up I was at a game from my youth. High school. I am the star player, and my confidence returned as I stepped into the batter’s box. Cheers rang out, but one caught my ear. It was the voice of my grandfather.

My grandfather is long dead. He passed away when I was in sixth grade. I turned to see whose voice I was hearing, and there I saw him, in the stands. I would give anything to talk to him again. Ignoring the game, I tried to walk to him, but I could barely move. My feet were heavy and the ground was like quicksand, but still I plodded toward him as he cheered away. With every step I took the distance to the stands stretched further and further away. I tried to run, but my feet were clumsy and would not move. Again, I fell on my face.

Suddenly he stood before me, just out of reach. I couldn’t move, not even my mouth, yet I spoke. Grandpa, I did it. I got drafted. I made it to the majors. I won a world series. The people love me. You would be so proud. He wrinkled his brow, as he always did when I had done or said something wrong and was in need of a lesson. All you have to do is be true to yourself, he said, do the right thing light I taught you, do your best, and I will always be proud. I wanted so badly to hug him, and to look away from his gaze, and to say anything, but I could not move.

And I awoke. I sat bolt upright in my bed, back in the hotel, lightning illuminating the room for a moment before thunder crashed and shook everything. I climbed out of bed, free to move, and went to the window. Outside it was black, but another flash of lightning revealed the scene below. It was the ballpark, and there I was at bat. I was striking out. I pressed my face to the glass as I scanned the crowd for that old man, to see what he was doing to me. Again lightning flashed, and I saw my reflection in the glass window in front of me. But it was not my face — it was that of my grandfather.

Again I awoke. No storm. No nothing. All was normal, the sun was shining. I met up with the team, and we went about our business. At the park, when it was time for batting practice, I went to grab my bat. It seemed to move away from my hand, but I was able to reach out and grab it. It was heavy, and my arms weak. I could not lift it, but I pulled and something came away in my hand. I looked down and I was holding sand, running between my fingers and falling away. As the sand ran out, my flesh began to go with it, leaving nothing but bone.

Again, I awoke. I am back home. It is the offseason. I have no memory of how the season ended. I get up and go downstairs, but it is my childhood home. My parents are at the kitchen table. I stop. I don’t want to approach them. I turn around to go back to my room, but again I awake.

I believe we have really been cursed. As I write this now I don’t know if I am going to wake up again to something else, or not. I feel as though I have not slept for a week. I know I am not alone.