It’s unclear exactly what I’m chasing today.

My tail, perhaps?

I don’t know

What do you think

Should I go play football tonight?

Depends how you feel

I’m frankly a bit torn.

It’s been a slow if incremental recovery, and the lungs are still not up to snuff. I’m feeling human though, after a weeks-long Covid adventure. Breathing well, moving with energy.

But chasing a ball for 90?

That could be a stretch.

The afternoon is frenetic to say the least jumble through an English conference for our tenth grader an hour-long adventure of a meeting planning my workshop tomorrow finishing a blog post and responding to a parent query and dropping Elephant off at a sleepover and picking up the kindest offer of some jollof and oh yeah I’d better take a bloody shower before footie so as not to be that smelliest of smelly guys so then I may as well shave the hair down to the bone and trim the beard because look good play good and then it’s off to the pitch because I think it’ll be healthy for me but first gotta find the socks I thought were in my drawer and make sure Rhino doesn’t burn down the place because he’s preparing a marinade for the barbecue and does the bike still have a charge better grab my helmet let’s goooooooo

And, then.

There are mates.

And turf.

Two goals

And a ball

And, mercifully,


And I remember.

What it feels like to be in control. To dribble between defenders and nutmeg and dart and dash.

To be with teammates

And to strike, that sweetest feeling


Off post, across the net behind the keeper, off the other post and into the back of the net.

That all-too-fleeting moment of brilliance, of beauty,

Of joy

And, sure,

sport is silly.

But there’s plenty enough struggle to go around

And so, today, a tiny taste of silly joy

Is exactly what I’ve been chasing.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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