Thursday, January 13, 2011

Soccer Stalker

The first time I went out driving by myself after my knee operation it was a Monday night, and I found myself driving by the soccer field to watch my friends play under the lights. Since I still limped pretty badly at that point, I didn’t go on the field itself-- I felt self conscious and I didn’t want to have to answer a million questions about everything, plus it was dark and uneven in that parking lot-- so I just stayed in the car, watching them play.

Stalking, some people would call it.

Not stalking those stinky boys I used to play with, god, no—stalking soccer itself. It was so beautiful. They ran up and down the field under the lights, passing so smoothly, chesting and heading the ball, running back to defend, laughing and mocking each other for missing perfect opportunities....and all I could think was I used to be able to do this too. Much slower of course, and more ungainly and inelegantly, but still. Soccer is so pure. It really is lovely to watch.

Fine, okay, fine, fine. I might miss those stinky boys a little bit as well. They used to ease off on me just the exact right amount when I defended against them, so that I didn’t feel like a charity case. They didn’t hesitate to pass to me right in front of the net, when they could so often just have scored themselves. One night, when I scored twice, they practically fell over themselves trying to help me get a hat-trick.

But I’m pissed at them too....Monday night soccer has since folded, from low attendance. Couldn’t they have kept it going exactly as it had always been, perhaps pining for me a little, but waiting for my triumphant return? Don’t they realize that I am getting ready to come back and be even more badass than before?

Of course, there is a very real possibility that it hasn’t folded at all. Perhaps it has simply moved to a more secret location because one of them saw me out there in my car, all stalker-like, and now they’re all freaked out.

See, what did I tell you? Badass.

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