"wash away my sorrow
take away my pain
your love's coming down like...

The rain falls, not as droplets, but as quick silver streaks as each catches the light from the pitch's lights just right and gleam as they fall in from the darkness. Streaks like the ones anime artists draw to show rain as the hero dies a self-sacrificial death to cover everyone's tears. I walk onto the field, muscles elastic, loose, and warm. Just a bit too warm under the rain and sweat soaked white sweatshirt, worn nubs of damp cotton rubbing my skin, the rawer rub of the wet cotton of the red t-shirt the sweatshirt is covering sliding along shoulders and chest. So I open my arms to the coolness sliding down from the sky, tilting my face up to catch the rain.

The streaks forshorten to spots of silver against the velvet night. Thousands of tiny cool touches bloom against the heat of my skin, melt against the inferno of my kicked up metabolism. The coolness kisses my lips, but is so insubstancial it leaves no mark, no moisture against them. I rest as I walk, opening myself to the coolness, to the caress of the rain, which I cannot touch back, filling myself with what I hunger for more than knowledge or any single thing.

The second half starts and they come at me. A shorter man, all quickness. His face intent, his limbs efficient and skilled, all pistoning smoothly as he runs. He comes inside me and I move to intercept. He looks up, and I see his body tense as he starts a move, touching, juggling the ball between his feet, looking for the opening, so he can just touch it by me to go around. I ignore his tricky feet and go for the ball. The opponent's hips, feet, hands are all just distractions. What I want is the ball. That's all.

That's all I get.

I've touched it from between his feet to be just behind him to his right because he was planted on his right foot, momentum and physics as well as his own spirit leaves him there as I follow the ball. Plant the right foot, and my left connects sweetly, as the grass holds the ball far enough up to kick it truly. Erin cackles, behind my back, "Phyllis has her stop sign up! No one's gettin' through." The ball goes up, over their halfback, and comes back down at the foot of 'Shell. Her control is absolute as she takes it around their fullback and then touches it to Greg, who takes it two feet, nearly gives it to their stopper, and gives it back to 'Shell. She swings back, pivots and shoots. The goal net blooms, and we have another goal.

Seven goals for seven people. Eric marvels that he's never seen that before, never seen a team that passed so well, giving up their own chances for the utterly clear person to take the goal. Yura takes one ball in. Erin and I in unison scream, "Yura, there's FOUR on you!" He instantly pops it back out to Terry, four defenders for Yura means none for her, so she scores. Colin goes back, after the sixth, to play goalie for the first time in his life. Erin, our goalie, sheds leggings and comes out with most righteous plaid shorts that bag to his knees. Everyone starts calling him Archie Bunker as he races around, and he cackles maniacally. He scores the seventh. He's never scored before. We all pile on him, laughing nearly as maniacally as he. Nearly.

There are reasons Erin's a goalie.

Is the needle's eye which all you have experienced and will experience threads through.
Is the place where all the places you have ever been, ever seen, and will ever discover meet.

Together, Here and Now provide the fulcrum for our pasts to move all that is to what we would choose for our future.

© 1997 by Argent Li-Rostykus

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