July 29, 1997

Damnit, now I want to kick something. My laptop is mysteriously devouring all battery power for no reason whatsoever and eating them alive and won't work without the power adapter. Hrmph. Can't get my writup of the weekend out and it's bugging me. Oh well.

Had some thoughts bounce off my head about jerks and people who act like jerks all the time. Way I figure it, if someone is acting like a jerk all the time it's because they want to. Likely had a reason to as a kid, needed to be agressively into other people's territories before they could be overwhelmed by greater forces. Or at least that's why I do it. Some folks seem to do it in order to filter out those that only go on surface characteristics. If someone's only going to take them on face value, then they deserve nothing but the prickles and spines.

A few folks are really rich and deep and marvelous under that prickly surface. Most are, actually. They want to be accepted as human beings, not nicey-nice ones, but ones with scars and pains and needs to the darker sides of things. Mark was lovely under that I-don't-give-a-damn-about-anyone and everything-sucks exterior, creative, sweet, exploritive and loving; but he couldn't get rid of it, couldn't seem to figure out that I didn't like getting hit in the heart with a fist full of iron spikes every once in a while just because he felt threatened or frightened or just wanted to vent. I don't think he ever really grokked that. Well, other than how he felt after I'd hit him back; but I'm fairly certain he never connected why I hit him back.

He was just being himself. He never really got the fact that just as much as he wanted to be accepted for his depths, I did, too. That for all the ugliness that is involved in the creation of a soul, that there's beauty, too. Sometimes the beauty of a swirl of scar tissue, or the beauty of strength derived from stress, or the beauty of a piercing, a visible difference taken voluntarily to lend individuality. Ugly to some, but they all tell a story. And for me, it's beautiful, a beauty that's heart deep.

But I never could get used to getting abused. I think that the one thing that people who want to be accepted even if they're rude, crude, and hurtful never really realize is that it gets tiring to always have to filter, to always be on the emotional defense, to discount the things that really hurt. And that, sometimes, there are some of us who finally figure out that we don't really have to be abused like that. That there are people with depths and strength that figured out that they are the only ones that are responsible for what they say and what they do and what they do to others, and don't go around wildly hurting the ones they love the most. That I don't have go to walking around with spikes through my heart.

Sure, I understand that they were hurt. I was too, you know? But it doesn't justify hurting the people that didn't hurt you. A hurtful past might be an explanation, but it's never an adequate excuse. Never.

And, yeah, I finally have an understanding of what John went through with me. I appreciate him and his patience all the more now. He has always said that it was worth it, and I'm glad I've given him enough to make up for it.

Whew, now that was a rant and a half.

Had quite the flaming rage last night, during the soccer game. I started the game rather tired. Hadn't slept well the night before, was dehydrated due to stomach problems from the butter on the popcorn that I had with Tank Girl, and then my stomach wasn't real happy with the heat and me eating the Man for lunch, too, on top of it all. So I was not all that happy a camper when John picked me up last night around 7pm.

We were also short one woman, so had only ten players on the field rather than the eleven. So I started at staid old right fullback [1] . Full on defense and I'd only run when I had to. Did a lot of intelligent positioning last night. Was in the perfect place for about half a dozen different interceptions of passes and kept their players well out to the side when they came down and channeled them along the outside lines when I could keep them out there and they'd have to pass, and would often lose the ball. Gradually, I started getting a little energy as I played, and after drinking half a bottle of Gatorade at halftime, I felt adequete.

Second half the pushy ones on their side started getting more frustrated and a whole lot more pushy. We were ahead at the half 2 to 1, which was nice, but not really enough against how hard these folks were playing. Problem was that the more frustrated they got, the less their star men would pass. Which was pretty funny, for me, being a defender. The woman I'd been guarding the whole night was really good, she was fast, quick, a good ball handler, a fairly good passer, but they just never passed to her, which kinda peeved both of us. Her more than I, but that's fair.

Had this one beautiful play where they had kicked it up the sideline on my side and I was just ahead of both her and her halfback. Both of them were right on top of me, so I watched the ball and the distances and when both of them were right on top of me, I reached out with my left foot, rolled the ball behind me and turned to my left. It's a lesson John had been teaching his boys' team for a long time, and I'd practiced it with the boys and it makes for a really neat, clean, tight turn that ends up with the ball at the right foot, all the weight on the left foot after the turn, and you're all set to kick the ball hard. So I did, and sent it right to the foot of our right wing and he was off. If the halfback had stayed back in his position instead of horning in on his wing's area, he would have had me dead to rights, instead, both their wing and thier halfback flew by me when I made the turn. Sadly, he didn't learn from that, and I got the ball from both of them a few more times after that.

Anyway, their former goalie was out on the field and he started plowing into people. He whacked me from behind three times in a row, getting the ball once, only to shoot it five yards too wide and six too high. Whee... but I was starting to get really pissed at the fact that he was hitting me in my blind spot, which can be really jarring at best, and might be badly damaging at worst. Then the guy just slammed into John from behind, trying to take the ball away. Momentum favors the big, and John kept is handily and went away with it while the guy started, of all things, complaining about how John was in the way!

I lost it. I lost it completely. I stood there and just screamed at the guy, "You complete *idiot*. What are you thinking? Complaining about the lack of a call when you ram him from *behind*?" I was just livid, screaming so hard my throat still hurts. I was only glad that I didn't swear much. The referee came up to me and told me to calm down, he hadn't made the call for a reason. All I could do was stare at the ref in complete silence, if I'd said a word it would have been pure shit, so I just didn't say a thing. It's probably the hardest thing I've done in my life. I could have explained that the guy's been running me over continuously even when all play was away from the ball, but it sounded just like a stupid excuse in my brain. So I just didn't say anything, and resolved to pull the guy's balls off if he came near me again.

He didn't. But I was so livid and angry that I started just blasting into the play from all directions, kicking the ball out, taking it away, repeatedly, from all their players. Running like I had so much energy I couldn't contain it. Rage does that to me. From Monty's count, I think I put the ball out of their reach about a dozen times in the last ten minutes of the game, without saying another word.

Finally, one of their players, a guy we knew from a another league came and talked to me friendly like and complemented me on my hair, thought it looked real festive with our red shirts. I shook myself and replied nicely and felt better for it. It helped channel the rage away, and opened up the ability to be coherent again instead of just so pissed off I couldn't breath. He liked the green and thought he might like to try it someday, see if it improved his play the way it seemed to have improved mine. That got me laughing a bit and helped ease the tension away.

Have to admit it, I frighten myself when I'm that purely and that hotly angry. It felt good to let go of the rage.

After the game I shook hands with the cool people on their team, as most of them were pretty keen, and that was that. John did get another ball to Mike and Mike scored again, so we were ahead three to one at the end; and while I usually play just for the fun of playing, last night was one of those times that I really, really wanted to win. Which made reading Bill Chance's entry for yesterday a bit of serendipity.

[1]There are eleven people on a field for soccer. Excuse my use of 'man', I'm of the old school where it stands for people, along with 'he' being adequate for both genders. Goalie is the one position that is always in the same place, in the goal. Right and left in any position is the right or left of the goalie when he's facing the other goal. Fullbacks usually refer to the back line, defensive, only. Sweeper is usually the second to last man back, sent out by the stopper to clean up what they can. The stopper is often the last man back on the defense. Halfbacks refer to the middle line that do both offence and defense. The front line usually consists of wings, which are on either side, and strikers, which are from the middle. The old, old, old fashioned setup we have has four fullbacks, the sweeper and stopper in the middle, and two outside fullbacks; three midfielders, one center, one to each side; and three in the front line, two wings and a single striker. Most more modern setups with people in better shape have only two fullbacks, the outside two being more mid-field like, and, therefore, a whole lot more people on each attack. Being out of shape over-30'ers we play the old field, more coverage and less running we have to do. Back to text

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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