Tuesday, November 17, 2009
A single red sock
I have always been a scavenger. Like a magpie I strut about the abandoned battlements looking for the golden cartridge which felled the colonel.
In my youth I lived nearby the Arawa racecourse in Rotorua. After raceday I'd scour the grandstand for coin & a winner's lost ticket, often financing a week's worth of lolly from the Dairy with my pickings.
After the New Zealand v. Bahrain World Cup Qualifier last Saturday, while the All Whites dressing room heaved to the Black Eyed Peas (great team- terrible choice of post match music IMHO), the Bahraini dressing room stood empty with the door invitingly ajar.
Some minutes earlier I had seen a most sombre sight outside this very door. The Bahraini number 16, Sayed Mohamed Adnan, who had one hour earlier missed a penalty, a goal which would surely have taken his small (but incredibly rich) island nation to the World Cup in South Africa, was coiled in the foetal position on the ground; a towel over his head, an Official kneeling at his side. Sobbing inconsolably his despair spoke volumes about what the miss meant to him and to his country- a deep gulf of guilt consuming his psyche.
So when I saw that the Bahrainis had sidled off silently into the windy night I was curious as to how they had left the scene of their collective crime.
The dressing room was still and quiet- tape cuttings strewn all over the floor and benches. A full box of bananas and apples left untouched on a table, a fridge full of red and blue Powerade. Pretty standard post stress disorder really, except for a little red sliver in the corner- a single red sock.
I had noticed the Bahraini kit during the game- spiffing Puma brand socks, shirts and jerseys- all elasticity and promise, and now here was a discarded specimen.
I scooped it up, popped it into my bag and searched for its brother. On a massage table I saw it; massacred-cut up into three strips for tape, or perhaps some ritualistic suicide bandana which Mohamed Adnan had prepared for himself, fearing the wrath of his return to Bahrain.
I was a little distraught as I had already pictured myself turning up at a park kick about somewhere with my World Cup Bahraini socks pulled up over my knees, but now this was a lop sided fantasy.
What should I do? There is already a tidy little market in All Whites’ qualification memorabilia, as evidenced by the scorn and angst on this Yellow Fever (All White fans’) forum thread.
But this is different, this is no winner’s trophy- it reeks of failure, despite its rosy hue.
Should I wash it to wear again, or leave it sweat soaked with misery? Shall I auction it online for charity or keep it as my own sordid little souvenir? Help me with my angst fellow football tragics…what should I do with my lonely red sock?