Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There are 15 definitions for “to lose” in the American Heritage Dictionary - a short story

The Following are two excerpts from a short story. To download the entire story Click this Link


It didn’t take long to find Sal standing on the beach. Cowboy hats stand out in Oahu. His boots and balled up socks were in a pile a safe distance from the water and he was just standing there, his ankles barely wet. The ocean looked as though someone had put a few drops of blue food coloring and one drop of green into the expanse.
Hawaiians are used to seeing mainlanders come and stare for long hours at the ocean, in awe of that much beauty in one place. No group of tourists is allowed to leave until someone in the party makes a comment about how amazing it would be to live there, surrounded by water and sunsets. Hawaiians listen to people talk about how amazing it would be to live there all the time. A lot of them want to leave.

Sal wasn’t doing any of that. He was staring at a spot about two feet out in the water when Wes walked up. The dinged leather of Sal’s aged face was a sharp contrast to the youthful smooth of Wes’. When Wes shaved he looked seven or eight years younger. He had shaved that morning.
“What ya lookin’ at?” Wes said.
Sal pointed to the spot. Sitting a couple feet below the water was a single solitary sand bag. The great big ocean, and one fifty-pound bag of sand. The kind they would use to protect the house when the river would flood back home. The top was tied off with a cord and the excess material was flapping back and forth as the waves came in and out. He had been standing there for the better part of an hour, not sure what exactly to make of it.
“I s’pose that’s a losing battle,” Wes said.



By all accounts the footballer Zinedine Zidane was one of the best around. Correction. By all French accounts Zidane, or “Zizzou” was the best around. By all Italian accounts he was a hack with a dirty whore of a mother. Nobody gets to have everyone say nice things about them. Nobody.
Objectively speaking Zidane was at the pinnacle of the game for a long time, playing key roles for professional superclubs and leading the French national team in multiple World Cups. He was on the field when France won the ’98 World Cup in France, and he captained the team that made it to the Finals against Italy in 2006.
The lights were bright that night on the crisp perfectly trimmed pitch. Everyone in the world was watching, but Zinedine was used to that. You had to tune it out and play the game. Doesn’t matter if it’s the World Cup Final. Doesn’t matter if it’s your last game. Stay focused, stay calm. That’s what you tell yourself. You don’t always remember.
Within close earshot the Italian Marco Materazzi muttered something to him. No one else heard it. Everyone would ask about it later. Everyone would want to know what had caused Zidane to turn and headbutt Materazzi to the ground. It wasn’t much of a surprise when the referee sprinted over with his whistle blowing wildly to pull the red card out of his pocket and send him off. France lost in penalty kicks. Not everybody gets to pick how they finish. Not even the best.

Zidane was given a suspension. It was known before the game that he would retire after the match. He was still given a suspension.
People who don’t know soccer, know the guy that headbutted that other guy in the World Cup. Nobody gets to choose how they’re known. Nobody. Not the best, and not hacks who are born to whore mothers. Neither of them.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this one Rick. I feel like I've heard these before, but wanted to dap you up