Boys love toys and balls- the kind you can kick around without feeling a stabbing pain in your soul. I am culprit, I can’t give stick to this whole inexplicable madness without feeling like a sellout, tag along if you may.
A while ago, we were a force to be reckoned with. We were a small time, rock solid football team with fiddle fit cats that had an understanding of football. We had Chingy with his mad left foot and blistering pace to reckon with. T was a calm presence in the midfield save for a one off occasion when he would lose his marbles when somebody overly harangued him, Lang’o was a dexterous maverick of a flat foot (which is a rarity, like a right handed southpaw) and then there was Jeggz, a bloke from Naija who played barefooted but with the ferocity of a chap donning studded Nikies, he was as tough as old roots. We had Eugo making weaving runs on the front, Nyachae having his usual on and off days that were never reliable and Nash our prodigy, scuffing sitters and huffing with whatever else remained. Gitzie had quick feet but was always unsure about his last touch which means that he reminds me of one fancy Lucas Moura, good on his hey days and on the other days, you never know what goes on in his head, he has the last touch of a pregnant sow, noisy, lacking in stealth, moody and heavily unpredictable. What remains of the team now is a battered flag. We are an outfit making a weak struggle to stay relevant.
We can be equated to a cheapskate brothel in downtown, anyone with a pair of breeches or boxers can score a worldie or a screamer, so much for comfort.
On Sunday, our pious asses (mine exclusive in this regard) got knackered by a bunch of ragtag Sunday team drunks which either speaks about our glaring incompetency or it was probably because the chap we assigned to be a shot stopper for us was properly knackered, he was seeing in twos, threes fours and was inexorably loud. He was brought to the match by a designated driver, and so we couldn’t slate him for making effort, I mean there are better places a drunk could spend their Sundays rather than in a sweltering pitch with hordes of sweaty men. The other team had more drunks than our team did and they played out their livers. We had sobriety, in all phases except the one that mattered most, our goalkeeper. He was like a floodlight in Kibera, lit proper.
The match was slotted at 12 noon at the Globe Roundabout, crackpots if you ask me because at 12 noon in Nairobi, the heat rivals the girls, the sun is a proper furnace and we the minions are a replica of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, probably without the heat resistance and the fourth wheeling lad draped in robes.
I arrived late because amongst other things, I do most of my house cleaning on Sunday and I am the tool that does it with the whole décor of music and dance, I took my time boys. I get to the venue and the boys are nursing an eleven-goal lead deficit, my old nanny, bless her had better defenses.
There was a lone bleacher on the ground which acted like a raised terrace that habored an iron roof where the lesser men were cooling it off with drinks because it is hot and sense dictates that alcohol, well whisky, being a fine tongue cooler.
Lang’o is his usual flatfooted self, pensive, loud and irrevocably mean, I think he was born on an anthill, and I mean no, human should harbor such witted bile. He gives me a look to signify that I am late and should be hung for it but I have little hoots to give. It is a Sunday, I have always hated Sundays and there is nothing in this world worse than Sundays, Lang’os look is a virgins touch, besides I am not marrying him and so my mate here can give me as much of a scarring look as he can, I do not give a fiddlers fart.
We are down by five goals and trailing to a team of drunks who take every opportune moment to remind us that they are drunk and that if it goes on like this, we might as well wear their engagement rings.
We are getting drubbed because we are sober but unfit, well except our goalie who was a practical dud in between the sticks. We don’t exercise, we eat like wild boars and we have the fine touch of a three footed donkey, it would take a miracle for us to sail through, it doesn’t matter if we are playing against a team of drunk or a whole platoon of village hags, we would still get hammered.
Two guys in our team are real good. Chingy, a fully fit quick footed leftie and some dullard called Wayne who has a silky velvety touch. Lefties are one trick ponies and it doesn’t take a genius to square them out, so the drunks have pretty much figured out on how to lock our first talisman from the game. Wayne is slow and undecisive with his last touch, yes he rakes in a couple of belters but he gets pretty much roughed up because he has the rangy frame of a skinny chap. The drunks have a chap that loves things physical. He roughs up everyone, he is overly touchy and frisky and if anyone happened to hand him a Durex, we would have a steamy session on that pitch.
I sub Gitzie.
Two minutes in and I can already smell blood, my lungs are on a revolt. I take in air but I smell blood because I like my teammates is a finely unfit bastard. My feet are wonky sticks and my shots are rugby conversions. I tap out because I want to die old. I don’t want to die in an artificial turf surrounded by drunk bastards and pious cats, sweat, spit and a sweaty ground that makes it feel like I am taking a walk on hot coals. I want to die in a backward village with the smell of cowshit, chicken poop and the breeze from pollinating avocados wafting in my nostrils. I want to die to the music of cricket chirps, bat sonars and the scattered barks of village mongrels. If I die in a city, id have failed myself.
My team is called Shofar FC an equivalent of a church choir outfit and we were given a proper drubbing by a bunch of tottering drunks, we honestly need to pray more.
Photo by fabian wohlgemuth on Unsplash