May 2, 2012

     Game lost.  The team was flat; the kid was flat.  The air was dead.  And it all ended just as it started 10 years ago.  Out in the breadbasket of California, out in the grapes of wrath. And the same old truth: the ones that want it the most, get it the most.  And once more it was the Latinos who wanted it and the white kids, going off to college, nothing pressing on the mind or the wallet, didn't want it so much.  They had hope not drive.  Even after the harrangue they got at half time.  
     The kid had one goal late, off his head, into the upper right corner.  And almost another seconds later in the same place.  But that was it.  No great runs.  Nothing to compare with the day before, when the winning goal was his, when the whole field was his and as the game went on he just got better and better.  But no way to do that two days in a row.  And so that was the last state cup.  
     And the last trip to Turlock and Ripon and that whole cosmos of motels and games and more games, in summer and winter, all that driving, thousands and thousands of miles, at dusk and day break, up and down the 'meth highway', with everything at stake and nothing, and at the very beginning, with the Mission Black Panthers, those kids overwhelmed in their shorts.  
     And now as we come back into the MacArthur maze, it occurrs to me that this is the last time.  Now it would be busses and planes, on a college team, intense, impersonal.  Far away. We would not making any more trips like this. 

1 comment:

Anjuli said...

It all comes so suddenly.... They move on it should be, but oh my it does change things and requires readjustment of thoughts and feelings.

Great post as always