Thursday, May 22, 2008
Stev, Camille, Keziah and Peterson. If you rank the four of us in terms of soccer skill from best to worst, you get Peterson, Camille, Stev and Keziah. So if you were going to create teams for a 2-on-2 match, logically, you would pair Stev with Camille and Keziah with Peterson, right?
Stev and I took on Peterson and Camille in a sweaty match of tennis-soccer-ball in the courtyard. We were all barefoot, under the hot Haitian sun, kicking a filthy little tennis ball from one end of the boys' courtyard to the other, trying to not let it slip under the gate and into the street, fighting to be the first team to score 5 goals.
Peterson and Camille drew blood first. Camille scored on a smooth move that took him past me and past Stev and right up to the goal. Then Peterson scored on a sharp kick from the mid-field. The next goal came on our nemesis: the hand ball penalty. My hands have been engineered perfectly to hang at the exact level where 50% of every ball kicked comes in contact with them. There were so many penalties off my hands that by the end of the day I lost count. Peterson dropped that penalty shot perfectly in the goal and Stev and I were well behind, 3-0.
I don't know what happened next. Suddenly, we started playing flawless soccer! He was giving me neatly placed passes, I was stealing the ball from Camille, Stev was heading my free throws, we scored. We scored again. We scored again. Eventually the game was tied 4-4. Stev kicked it up the terrain for me, I dribbled past Peterson, Camille stole it, I stole it back, I kicked wildly and the ball bounced off Camille's foot and into the goal! Stev and I went crazy with triumph. We had won 5-4!
Peterson and Camille demanded a rematch. Once again, they took an early 3-0 lead and once again, we came back to beat them 5-4. Our third game was the same: we started behind, but clawed our way back into it and won.
Our opponents finally starting winning in games 4 and 5. I conveniently decided that I was going to get a bad sunburn if I played another game, so we ended after 5 games with me and Stev holding a one game lead.
What a team. World Cup, here we come!