The First Friday

It’s the first match-day after the international break, what should have been the first truly normal day since the events of last week. Of course it’s not quite that simple. Friday night saw Dortmund visiting Hamburg and what should have been on paper a straight forward three points for them turned out to be anything but. Based on their form this season the victory should have been theirs, but HSV are it seems continuing their streak of good luck against BVB. Their 3-1 defeat has done nothing to improve my mood. I’m always rooting for Dortmund anyway (except when they’re playing Freiburg of course) but I was doubly rooting for them tonight. I have not one bone to pick with HSV but several, not least that it was a 1-1 draw with SC Freiburg and a goal that should not have been a goal which contributed to Freiburg getting relegated. I may have made my peace with the whole situation but I can’t let that particular aspect of it go.

In goal for Dortmund is former Freiburger Roman Bürki, he had no luck whatsoever tonight, mostly in the form of a penalty decision which went against him, a decision which in truth could have gone either way. Also in the starting 11 was Matthias Ginter. A win for Dortmund tonight would not just have been a win for them, it would have been a win for me too. A sort of revenge victory on Freiburg’s behalf. But it was not to be. Some last minute excitement but it wasn’t enough. A painful kind of symmetry there because it was in the last few minutes of Freiburg’s game that HSV equalised last season.

It’s not the only thing that didn’t go as it should have tonight. I’m meant to be getting my schedule back in order but it’s not happening so far. There’s something from a book I like to quote on this subject. The gist of it is, I know not to do something twice because it will become routine, but how do I stop it from happening when I do things once. The author was talking about her autistic son, about how difficult it is to prevent him from creating routines and rituals out of every little thing. It’s a problem I’m very familiar with, do something once and it becomes routine, even when you don’t want it to. I am very invested in breaking this current pattern, not just because it’s a great inconvenience but because it’s a reminder of what happened. It makes no sense why I’m having so much trouble breaking the pattern, it’s not like I want it to continue but it’s proven impossible to fall asleep whilst it’s still dark.

It still all feels so strange, it doesn’t feel like a week has passed and it doesn’t feel like the second game that didn’t get played was only three days ago. I imagine next week it will feel a little more normal, that’s usually the case. It’ll help that next week there is no free time, every night is taken. Champions League on Tuesday with Bayern hosting Olympiakos, Gladbach hosting Sevilla on Wednesday night. Thursday night is Europa League with Dortmund playing Krasnodar. And then back to the Bundesliga on Friday night.

I know tonight didn’t go particularly well, I only got up an hour before the game started but the weekend has to go better. Things have to start going better at some point. I’m hoping that keeping busy will help, that not being given the option of spending the day in bed will fix all of this. Just four weeks to go now until the Christmas break.

Four more weeks of this madness. I can’t wait to have some time without being tied to a schedule, more importantly to have a week in which I don’t have to get up early on a Sunday. Right now nothing else matters than keeping my promise, I haven’t missed one game so far this season and I intend to keep that streak going. I may be spending more time asleep than awake right now, I may be getting close to nothing done and getting dressed may be a challenge beyond my capabilities at the moment, but the least I can do is not miss any of the five games that are left between now and Christmas. And just in case I need a little incentive to do so the one but last game should provide plenty of that. 1.FC Nürnberg vs. SC Freiburg. The reverse of the fixture on opening night, that incredible 6-3 game. Conceding three goals this time is not an option, regardless of how many they may score. The top of the table is so tight that every goal counts.

Since the game didn’t go ahead Tuesday night I ended up watching the final episode of River. Whilst the end of the international break was a huge disappointment at least the end of River was not. I thought it would be if I’m honest. That a show that good could not end well. More than anything I was worried River would die, I’m very happy to say that he didn’t. Not only that but I actually liked the ending. I don’t even have any criticisms about the way the case was solved. To think the answer was right there in front of us all along. I can’t remember which episode it was, the second or the third but Frankie said they were protecting him and he was right. They were all protecting him, including the person he killed. Stevie was protecting him too. She could never have imagined that he would hurt her, that she would need protecting from him of all people. You can try and protect the people you love from every last thing but in the end you can’t protect them from themselves.

It ended where it all began, in the place the story all started, with River and Stevie. We finally got to see him tell her how he felt, to see him and sing and dance with her. But he has to let her go, he knows that. He found out the truth and now she’s gone. Accepting what happened means accepting she isn’t there anymore. He has to stop living in his head, to face reality. His new partner Ira is taking good care of him, he’s proving to be quite apt at keeping him rooted. Which is exactly what Stevie did for him, she kept him rooted in the real world.

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