Soccer has become my life.

I play & learn, I read about it, watch training videos, think about it, talk about it non-stop, watch it on TV, practice, learn from other players, write about it, dream about it.

In this life, I’m a late indoor soccer player. In my next life, I want to come back as a Premier League footballer. Specifically a Gunner.

By Chance

I stop into the bar tonight for a glass of wine, alone. I turn on my “do not approach” attitude, something relatively new for me, and am sad to see a guy who seems anxious to chat choose a seat near me before I’m even two sips into my wine.

I turn up the “do not approach” and give my attention to an extremely important text conversation. He orders a craft beer and turns his attention to me.

“I wasn’t sure about ordering something ice cold,” he opens, referencing the frozen tundra outdoors. “That wine looks pretty good.”

I nod. “Yep.”

I order food; he tries a few more times to start a conversation. I finally feel bad enough to ask what he does when he’s not at the bar. “I work in finance,” he said. I nod politely (yawn). “We’re very busy.” Another nod (mm-hmm). “I ski a little. You know.” I turn back to my wine.

Then he says, “And I play soccer.”

I’d like to say I played it cool, but I’ve been waiting for ages to meet another soccer player off the field and away from the indoor center.

“Soccer, really? I ask.

“Well, indoor soccer. Yeah.”

“Someone put you up to this.” (Yeah, like I said, I didn’t play it cool). “I mean, it’s just that I don’t meet many people who play. I play too.”

This leads to a brief discussion about where, when, and how long, and then I have to bite my tongue to keep from looking like a complete dork.

Then he says something about playing golf but not loving it. (yes)

Then he orders food and tells the server he doesn’t like mayo. (yes, again)

Mentions an appreciation for wine again. (alright)

And then he engages in a respectful conversation with the female bartender without a trace of creepiness and still manages to include me.

I force myself not to say anything that indicates he’s remotely interesting. I settle my bill, note that he’s watching my departure, smile and say, “Maybe I’ll see you at soccer sometime,” and leave without introducing myself.

I finally managed to have a casual drink without attracting a creeper – cheers to me!

don’t let me breathe

the owner of my heart

still has it

tied up on the end of a yo-yo string

every time I think I’ve given up

I come to realize

I’ve simply tangled the string

to prevent the inevitable ups and downs

time spent apart

is really spent untangling the knots

so my heart can be wound up tight

and let back down again