Men who are nostalgic for the game of soccer they used to play come back to pickup soccer. To score the goal they missed as children, playing in their backyards with their families and on street corners with their friends. To reverse the defeat they made as goalie.
Other grown-ups make the team that they never wanted to join, because a coach or child-hating adult recognized their talent and the hidden resolve within them.
On Saturday mornings at 7 am, middle-aged, and elderly men make their way through a tarred parking lot in pairs to the indoor soccer arena.
Their eyes sparkle with an urge for revenge as they flash back through the decades. Their voices are a sign of the urgency of watching their soccer history slip away. Age does not hold any barriers, they assert. Soccer skills can be found in the heart, and not in brittle legs or aching feet.
Each participant pays the ten dollar admission fee at the dark-brown front desk.
After being paid and putting the money into a drawer, Matt warns: “Don’t let the youths fracture your leg, Matt.”
Matt uses this warning to start a dialogue with himself. Matt never saw or felt an aging Matt. Could his mind be lying about him? Can our brain trick us into believing that our body is in good shape? What did the attendant see in him?
Matt, now 10 dollars less, turned left, as he did every time, swaggering forward and following a short corridor. Bathroom signs were posted to the right, one for males, and one for women. He could enter the brilliant blue-white field of tructiepbongda Xoilac TV by entering through a swinging wooden door.
The indoor arena was completed by a cathedral-high dome. The indoor arena was covered with metallic frames with fluorescent bulbs embedded in them. Slowly turning fans suspended from poles vault jumpers would envy provided air flow.
Foam was used for padding the field’s walls. A sheet of netting ran from the roof’s side metals to the artificial Astroturf floor below. Between the net-covered walls and the padded walls was an area with three silver-colored benches. The field was occupied at both ends by mobile goalposts. Emergency exit signs were placed over the two doors to either side.
Matt entered while the players were warming-up. He was wearing plain black shorts and a red T-shirt, which he loosely wore around the waist.
Matt was familiarized with the names of many of these men, as well as their nicknames. Kris laid down, flexing his knees and extending one after the other. Ejikeme was quick to throttle up and down.