If you had to pick an American city to relocate to tomorrow, which would you choose and why?
runs straight fucking through the core of everything i believe in.
It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain.
To let it be, to travel with it…is the much harder thing to do.
- from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
There really is no failure - even if the outcome does not go according to plan or as expected. The flip side is that there is also no success. Accept this and you’ll be fine.
We’re all just doing life. And that’s all we can do.
Some people step in to their power and become greater versions of themselves by learning to handle their own lifetrauma. Others, who experience equally difficult lives/events, get the wrong kind of pity at the wrong time and become weaklings.
Place your finger in my mouth
and I’ll speak slower than baby teeth
(say love). South of the boundary rock
we touch the land barehanded.
We gather spider lilies by the Catawba
for our sweethearts. We hollow out gourds
to store our wrens. We help the raccoons
gather piles of silver teeth. Turn alligator
claws into amulets. Wrap red threads
around carefully broken branches.
- from Alyson Sinclair’s The Invention of the South in TinHouse #44.
- Harrison: Hey, how ya feelin'?
- Me: Almost normal. Always a bad idea to go to a bar after a memorial service.
- H: Yeah, but he would have liked that we all went to the pub.
- Me: I know. Still. :) What are you doing?
- H: I'm back at it. Cruising the strip in Pana-Vegas. Come out. We'll go ride the mechanical bull.
- Me: You have lost your mind. I'm in for the night, pajama-ed.
- H: What you said at the service was beautiful, btw.
- Me: Thanks, and, hey, sorry I made you cook drunk.
- H: Anytime, doll. ...There's nothing like a dame...
- Brother: I just...you know... coca cola braised kale and eggs and hollandaise is OKAY... but $20!??!
- Me: Jesus...you are such a cheapskate - you're not even paying!!! Chipotle chocolate torte and bottomless champagne - remember? Besides, you know...you pay for the company of each other. The experience.
- Brother: Exactly. This should be a $5 meal...
“Up to 10,000 England fans are expected in the stadium, with substantial support also expected from the local population. As in Japan and South Korea in 2002, many South Africans are expected to adopt England as their second team, partly due to the popularity of the Premier League.”
Sure, but there was THIS WHOLE THING too.
So, today was the first day, and nothing happened. A little anti-climatic, World Cup!
As someone who is new to sports-watching in general, I adore the pomp and circumstance, the chaotic narrative of The World Cup, but I have no back-story of the teams - the politics, the histories, the petty squabbles, the triumphs and losses, the personalities, etc., and that’s what I really long for to be able to grasp it fully.
Still, my Belgian-born Patron leads an undefeated soccer team (3 years running), comprised of Belgians, Britons, Russians, Costa Ricans, Italians, Czechs, Mexicans, Romanians and Americans. By day, they are the futbol stars of Northwest Florida. By night, they are the barbacks, runners and servers at the local hotspot beach bar. I am inundated by soccer talk and surrounded by players. So, Patron has promised that if America wins the cup, he will serve free booze for a week to anyone wearing their colors…
What this tells me is that they must be a long shot. :) No money on the redwhiteandblue, then. This is how I understand futbol right now. Intuition, analogy. By the threaded stories of these men, a diaspora of competitive players, their promises and bravado and bets, their rapt attention to ESPN2, their chiding and roughhousing and jokes. I begin to understand the rules of the game by their cuts and bruises, the play-by-play narratives of how each injury was incurred.
But there is something so egalitarian in their camaraderie that I am enthralled with these men, and, thus, I am taken in by the sport as well, which is simply one of the threads tying them/us all together.
And then, I am also surprised by their overall, sudden, but natural turn to chivalry (?) (Perhaps this is not the right word. Perhaps it is.) The way they never let me carry anything heavy or pay for a drink or walk to a car alone in the dark. Not because they think I am incapable (in fact, they know better) but because this kind of help and sweet usefulness is what they are good at. And, we are a team.
They may bring small presents of penny-candy and roadside flowers to me, and I’ll bring arnica tinctures for muscle recovery to them. They’ll open the car door or lug kegs to the bar for me, and I’ll wrap a swollen, bruised wrist or ankle before a long Friday night. Physically, these men are machines. But late night, when the tourists have lit drunkenly to their beach houses, I hear all the soft stories about the ice cream factory where someone’s mother worked, the girlfriend left behind in Romania who has never written, how prison is a better fate than the military in Russia. I hear about how cold the cobbled streets were on a Christmas morning in 1995, as a little boy ran 14 miles for help. And that’s what I see on the field. These men, their stories. All the goodhorrible lifestuff that makes us do what we do and be who we are.
Perhaps it is poet-sports-logic. To understand something from a remove, through imagery and deduction and metaphor, through personal anecdote and letters.
I’m new to soccer. But so far, I like everything about it.