“You grew up in Cleveland, went to Cleveland Heights High—an Indians fan—you told me so in the French Pyrenees on our last mission,” my Mossad agent girlfriend, Avra reminds me.
“Are you kidding me? The Tribe to the death. They broke my heart so many times. It was my father’s dream that they’d win a World Series.”
“I know. So let me give you the gadol scenario, the best of possibilities. Somehow the Tribe survives to the seventh game of the World Series at home. They are losing by three runs. It’s the last of the ninth inning. Bases are loaded with two outs; the count is 3-2. Somehow, Rocky Colavito comes to bat.”
“But Rocky retired a long time ago…must be 90 by now.”
“I know, I know, but he comes back the way he was. Just imagine….”
“Avra, he’s too old to even run to first base.”
“Maybe he won’t have to run.”
“Just listen, Stevie. It’s a story…a fable…maybe even a dream in an Altered State,” she explains. “Pay attention and just pretend. The Rock steps up to the plate and looks around. The fans are standing and cheering, ‘Go Rocky! Go Rocky!’ They’re going crazy. The place is electric. Rocky holds up the bat, and the fans go berserk. Could this be? Can he do it? Can Rocky Colavito bring a World Championship back to the besieged city of Cleveland?”
“So, what happens?” She has my full attention.
“Whaddaya think?” she asks smugly. Her slight smirk is rapidly becoming a full-blown shit-eating grin.
“I’m getting turned on; ya gotta tell me right now.”
“You know, it’s because of you, Ranger Steven, I have become a big Indians fan. I know all about them, now. I’ve been reading about them and their great radio personality, Jimmy Dudley.”
“You’re making me crazy, driving me nuts!” I cry. “What the fuck happens?”
“He fouls off ten pitches, then steps out of the batter’s box, and again looks around at the fans who are screaming, ‘Rocky! Rocky!’” Avra says it just like Jimmy Dudley, the famous voice of the Tribe. “Are you ready?” she asks me playfully.
“Ready for what? What the fuck happens?” I’m practically begging.
“Well…hang…on…to…the…seat…of…your…pants,’” she says, prolonging my anticipation. “Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma’am! The Rock hits a towering drive to right field…it’s going, going, gone for a walk-off grand slam home run. The Indians win it! The Indians win it! The Indians win the World Series!!’”
“No fucking way!” I shriek like there is no tomorrow.
“Yes, way!” She says, laughing excitedly. “A walk-off grand slam to win the game and the World Series for your beloved Cleveland Indians.”
“Oh my God, does that really happen?” I cry. “This is my fantasy come true, what I’ve been waiting for all my life!”
“You bet, big boy!” Avra yells and smiles with pure joy because she can see how happy I am.
“Wow, The Cleveland Indians, Champions of the World! —My father’s wish before he died!”
“Don’t knock the Rock!” she cheers, waving her arms in the air.
“OK, so wait a minute,” I ask. “What does Rocky have to do with our special mission to Cyprus?”
“Steven.” She draws me close and whispers in my ear, “You have no idea what’s in store for you—don’t miss the next mind-blowing adventure, Reach for the Stars.”
“Reach for the Stars”, my new novel, comes out on Amazon…soon!
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