Confessions of a drinker student abroad

Monday, June 13, 2011

Under the Setting sun

Here in Wales the sun has just set. The sky is still the lighter blue of twilight before the night goes dark, and it's 10:30. I would apologize for not posting, but before tonight all you would have gotten is a short "Here's my daily routine, gym, lab, watch baseball online, eat some frozen food, sleep." Which is quite boring, nothing new has happened, not much exciting going on. Tonight however two things happened, I played some futbol with coursemates, and watched an excellent film, these things have gotten me in an artistic mood.

The Last Word
As I said, I found this to be an excellent film. Maybe it's the writer in me, but I always enjoy understated, realistic levels of drama. Stories that are fabricated, but the people in them react in a normal fashion. There's no overt comedy, no melodramatic rise and fall, just life. Good things happen, bad things happen, a joke gets told in passing, and that's how it goes. Somehow the characters become so much more relatable then, allowing us to truly experience the emotion as they are. I vastly prefer this to films where the entire point is to be sad, or make the audience cry. Because while life can be sad, it is often overplayed into tragedy for the sake of an oscar, but even while viewing an intensely sad film, I often struggle to understand the emotions portrayed, because it's just too much, there's no empathy between audience and character. Because of this, The Last Word was a great film.

Well, it wouldn't be a proper evening of kickabout if both my toes weren't bleeding, but happily the damage appears minor, no massive holes or ripped blisters, just ones that formed and popped. It was a good evening, the only two shots I took were both on goal, but blocked by a defender who decided handballing was better than letting it go in...kind of a dick. Granted I also miscued about 10 passes and through-balls, but hey, I'm American, we're not good at this. I forgot how much fun it is to get a group of friends together and just run around. One of the more interesting conversations I heard was a kid from Libya explaining that he wouldn't be going home this summer, due to a lack of interest in getting shot. He was so matter of fact about it, "I'm not going home, there I'd be killed." Happily his family is safe, hopefully soon they can all be together again.

There's a shine on the green turf as the players take the field. There are no stands, no crowds, no refs, and most of all no salaries. Uniforms are only makeshift, those who brought a red shirt against those who didn't. With a rush the ball is off, whirling and dancing through the forest of legs. The sun settles low over the trees as shouts of Line, Again, and Center echo off of the surrounding buildings. The most common sound is the rattling of the ball off of the fence behind the goal, since none of these are professionals. The heat, the excitement, there is a joy in racing along the springing turf, legs stretched out and lungs pumping. Friendships are forged, respect is given for a well struck ball, or a well cut out pass. It is a game, just a game among friends. As the sun sinks lower many legs tire. The energetic runs of early on are gone, replaced by closely marked friends, casually strolling and chatting, waiting for an opportune chance to spend some of their precious remaining energy on a run. But eventually the light fades, the boots are removed, and everyone limps off the pitch to return home.

Anyways, I'm off to bed, early start tomorrow. This summer cannot go by fast enough.

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