Chapter 1: Dream
Fiction // 4 months ago
By: Jack Alfonso
It’s been a while since I’ve written something for Miami Heat Beat, and my appearances on the podcast have been inconsistent and forgettable at best. I’ve been preoccupied. I’ve been working on a story. I’ve seen the future of the Miami Heat, I think. Not really. I should just tell you about the dream. The dream is what started everything, more or less:
A fresh white sheet is spread across the flat ground, blending into the pale winter sky. The horizon is indistinguishable. The AmericanAirlines Arena is resting alone in the snow. It looks flat, like it’s painted on an empty canvas. There’s no wind. Everything is silent. Still.
I’m in the arena. I see championship banners hanging proudly from the rafters. I see stands flooded with screaming figures in white t-shirts.
I feel the arena vibrating from the steady roar of the crowd. I hear sneakers squeak against hardwood.
Down on the floor, the Miami Heat are playing the Atlanta Hawks. Miami is dominating. LeBron James is setting up a wide-open three for Mario Chalmers. Chris Bosh is swatting a layup into the fifth row.
Dwyane Wade is getting the ball in transition and ferociously dunking over the Hawks center. Feathers fly everywhere.
A bright sun is breaking through the clouds and bringing a soft orange to a blank sky. Hints of brown and violet are peppering the ground as the melting snow gives way to dull roots and the first lilacs of spring. Muted thumps from the arena are playing out the opening riff of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Unseen birds are cawing. It’s getting louder.
I’m in the arena. I see tattered championship banners clinging to the rafters. I see empty rows of seats covered in popcorn, beer, and nacho cheese.
I see a lone Heat player, Dwyane Wade.
The Hawks are swarming. They’re clawing at him, pecking at him, tearing his jersey. Wade is pleading for the referee to call a foul, but his whistle isn’t making any sound. I see a tall thin silhouette. A man sitting motionless on the Heat bench.
The sun is high and the sky is blood red. The soil is barren, mud cracked, sun bleached. Shadows of distant birds are circling the ground. A dark water is filling the cracks in the soil and a pool is collecting around the arena. The arena is sinking slowly. A thick brown fog is descending over everything.
I’m looking down onto a vast sea, flat as glass. I see a small wooden canoe drifting across the surface, the water around it somehow undisturbed. I see Chris Bosh sitting in the boat, perfectly still, wearing a sleek black suit with a fishing pole in hand. I see the yellow sun reflected in the surface of the water. For a moment I see a face. I see a baby, a little pudgy with an inscrutable expression. The fog returns.
I hear the bounce of a basketball echo against hardwood.
Another bounce. Another.
I woke up, wrote down what I remembered about the dream, and went to see the Heat Beat president, Giancarlo. I thought he may know what the dream meant.