Last night I dreamt I was laying on my back looking up at the sky and there were kids playing soccer using the moon as a ball, and Jupiter and Saturn, Mars and Uranus served as goal posts, St Peter wearing all white was the referee, and the stars were the fans, blinking and falling across the dark abyss, and the rings around Saturn flashed when there was a hard tackle, and wormholes open up to swallow the angry erupted. St Peter would laugh and the planets would shake, sending raindrop size star dust floating into space. and at the end of the game, when the children shook hands, the sun exploded, sending orange, gold, yellow and red streaks of light to the far corners of the universe.
In the fall, an incident transpired that totally turned me off from playing ball. I was walking to the dorm when two school buses drove by and all the kids screamed at me. Their voices echoed through the small city as the busses rounded a corner just down the road. I thought nothing of it until the busses came back, stopped and all these kids ran up to me. I was a little unnerved and almost took off running. This one red headed kid frightened me so bad, all I thought was “Children of the Corn”. Bloody kids were like vultures, jumping and screaming, pushing notepads and pencils at me and basically treating me like I was a big star or something. You would have thought that I had just stopped a hurricane, or brought peace to the Middle East or something. Their faces were red from the cold. Yeah that is something I noticed: lots of red faces, their little eyes wide with excitement. Hell, I had not even played a game yet.
Stories about cricket matches, on the beach, at the old Guide’s hut, at the Tanteen pasture oh yes I feel some stories coming up in the future.
It was the eighties, those were the days when men wore booty shorts to play basketball. So here I was, 18 years old, six feet eleven inches, a twig at one hundred and forty seven pounds. The game was on, it was hotly contested, the tropical night was hot except for when we ran, and the breeze coupled with our sweating bodies cooled us down. I was uncomfortable, the bloody hot pants were too tight, go figure, as skinny as I was, those shorts were too tight. They must have gotten mines in the little girls section of the store. So after some spirited hustle, the ball went out of bounds, I ran after it, bent over and heard the most horrific sound I had ever heard in my life, worse than the fighter jets dropping bombs, worse than the sound of A K 47 rifles. The I felt the dreaded breeze, up my leg and I swear, it felt like I was not wearing any pants. At first it was silent and then the laughter. I ran of the court to screams and laughter. Some were rolling on the ground as the unpantsed human Ostrich lumbered off the court, my hands covering my ass. And to add insult to injury, when I got home and told Mommy Charles what had happened she asked “Yuh was wearing clean underpants right?”
My school was playing another school in a football, soccer, match in a village called Hurricane, The game was close, two alls with less than two minutes to go. The boys were getting real rough, pushing and tripping. At one point, a scuffle broke at because one of the opposing team tripped one of our players. Boys were pushing each other, yelling, “Boboclart, wey you do dat for eh?” the referee rushed over, “Is a game, is a game wah all you fighting for, bunjaaaa, all you school children have too much temper you know!” Nobody threw a punch, they knew that if they did, chances are they will never play again. After the last harsh word was shouted, and the last threat was promised, and the referee blowing his whistle for the thousandth time, the game commenced. With less than a minute to go, one of the boys from my school team broke away, he was streaking down the feel, the ball expertly played in front of him. The mid filder from the other team confronted him, he jucked to the left, then jucked to the right and brap, the defender fell on him bamsi. The crowd was in a frenzy. “Go go go go go!, my schoolmates shouted, “Kick him in he shin, knock him down!” The opposition supporters shouted. The boy was still going, like a young Pelé. The other teams full back rushed forward, a big kid, he was so big he looked like a grown man compared to our little striker. The stricker did some fancy foot work, one foot going over the ball and then the other taping the ball IN the other direction, the full back grunted, he knew he was beaten, he stumbled, tried to regain his footing, but it was too late, with lighten speed the stricker went around him and raced to the goal. The goalkeeper waited, his body tense, his eyes as big as an owl caught in daylight. The stricker kicked, the crowd erupted, “Catch de ball, catch de ball!” The goalkeeper’s supporters shouted. The goalkeeper threw himself to the right, but the ball went to the left, “GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!!” my school mates shouted, and the dancing ensued, girls wining, boys jumping, screaming, “We bust dem up, we ge dem good licks!” We danced all the way to the bus singing, Goal in you bam bam, goal in you bam bam!” When we reached the bus we heard someone shout, “Hey!” we all turned round, about ten boys from the other school stood there, “All you win the match, but we go win de fight!” Then they charged, we were unprepared. As they approached we pilled onto the bus and closed the doors, Then were pounding on the bus mad they could not get at us. One of the girls opened a window, pushed her head out ands stuck her tongue, someone jumped up and slapped her, she pulled her head back into the bus and we sped off as they showered us with a barrage of stones.