"Some things we wait for all our lives without knowing it."
"Then it happens and we recognize at once who we are and how we are meant to proceed."
"This is the idea I've always wanted."
"I know what scientists mean when they talk about elegant solutions."
The Architect; the Terrorist; the President; the Assassin. If individuals are crushed by the forces of history then an individual's purpose, as posited by Don DeLillo in Libra, is to merge with that history. That's what Oswald does. He becomes one of those people that shape the very forces that shape everything else; that shape the world.
For the purposes of today's sermon, this is the world:
And this is how Roman shapes it:
Juan Roman Riquelme is going back to Boca Juniors. His return--reversing the usual Argentina-keeps-on-making-it-Spain-keeps-on-taking-it--is a nice respite from the usual playin'-in-the-asshole-of-a-camel-in-Dubai-just-for-the-gold-bricks trend (if that kinda shit keeps you up at night....). It's also further proof of the same kind of divine benevolence that gave us DeLillo and football.
Marcela Mora y Araujo has all the news that's fit to print, including some no-shit-I-really-should-read-more-books stuff about the midfielder-as-poet.
We'll get to poetry in a minute. But first let's talk about where and how amazing happens.
I caught a critical case of the football bug when I found out there were people like Steven Gerrard out there...
in 2007, you should get an Oxycontin habit going because you're gonna need to address that shit somewhere down the line, and since you'll lack the minerals and vitamins, you might as well get your Berlin-era Lou Reed on).
I'm talking about something inside that rages against the sign and signifier. Something inside you that says, I am allafuckinglone. And I will do whatever it takes to feel otherwise.
And there is a breed of athlete and creative artist (one in the same if you've ever tried both) who gets that, whether consciously or not. That their role, ultimately, is to be a bridge between us and the dreams of the way we'd like things to be and how we'd like to feel.
So, I like shots from the motherfucking cannon of catharsis and leave talk of 10 behind the ball and playing to the flanks for guys who understand that shit.
And even so, as an expert on such moments, even so...
I have never...
like Boca's Copa Libertadores run in my entire life. One of the top 10 players in the world when he feels like it (my favorite kind), in the midst of a creepy spat with his father figure at Villareal, somehow talks the suits into letting him go back to Buenos Aries (I do believe he'd enough), and sets up one of the great Prodigal Son gets returned-to-sender storylines of the last few years.
And then Roman destroyed storylines. Retarded ski-jumpers, gymnasts who miss their moms', Peyton vs. Eli vs. Brady vs. the Devil vs. Daniel Webster vs. an old lady who knit scarves for Ray Lewis while he was in the bing. Those are storylines; that's some Bob Costas shit.
Storylines can't support what happened in La Bombonera.
The reach ain't long enough, dunny.
Riquelme at Boca was definitely some Liberty Valance shit for me. I watched it on Fox's Spanish language channel, knowing none of the language and only a few of the actors and plotlines. And that naivety was only increased by the sets.
I mean, did that Cucuta match really fucking happen? I know it was just a bunch of guys playing football inside of a fucked up Monet painting...happens every day.
Like a dream, right?
Ray Hudson has said "a goal is a dream with a deadline" (he's also said that Riquelme has a "walkie talkie to heaven").
For dreams to become reality you need someone to be the engine for that happening. You need someone who can see the possible and render it real.
Roman isn't known for pace (he's actually knocked for his lack of physical assertion, though regardless of what the speedometer readshe is rarely caught). He is a playmaker known for his vision. His precision is effortless; like a savant who doesn't need to study. He doesn't pass to the man, or to where the man should be. He passes to where he WILL be. That isn't just awareness of a physical field. That's an awareness of need; of what has to happen. This pass to Milito
Venezuela 0-2 Argentina (0-1 Milito)
"The big, beautiful, strolling zombie; I call him 'Riquelme'"
Sure, this is not an entirely unique trait. When Jordan methodically knee capped the Ehlo's of the universe,
...we all watched in slack jawed wonder. But that dude was fucking insane! Mike tended to do shit like fabricate a subliminal insult from some beshitted CBA call up on the opposing squad to motivate himself. He wasn't playing for the Southside or some shit. And that's cool, nobody needs a fucking planet full of Woody Guthrie's!
But when Riquelme applied this vision to something as inherently epic as the first leg of the Libertadores final, in Buenos Aries, up against Gremio, in what was to be his last match at La Bombonera, he turned a free kick into poetry; a song; a national anthem. He turned an individual act into a gift for thousands of people. Right here...
Boca Juniors 3-0 Gremio (2-0 Riquelme)
"he's from the stars"
...he does something you can take and remember and share.
That you can rip from history and make your own. Like a home movie about a murder that becomes a documentary for a nation.
There is preparation.
Something is triggered; set in motion.
He becomes an instrument of history
He comes running towards us. Screaming.
This engine is powered by belief.
He is saying, I am listening.
I am with my brothers.
Tonight we are family.
No more masters, no more pupils.
Banners and streamers and fire and smoke and blue and yellow and Argentina; a choir singing ecstatically.
The pandemonium and the harmony. In this moment, there is only Boca, only La Bombonera. It's something you can't talk about, a dream that will leave us tired and sleepless.
This dream's deadline has come.
It is accomplished.
The moment ends...
Love is forever.