You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?
This is a most unlikely scenario for several reasons, mainly because I wouldn’t under any circumstances be on a long flight and I certainly wouldn’t let someone read my palm. Not just because I think such things are nonsense but because I wouldn’t want some strange person touching my hand or really anyone at all. Though I suppose I would make an exception for Manuel Neuer.
But I’ll bite anyway since I do have some thoughts on the matter. They wouldn’t tell me anything I don’t already know. They’d tell me that I’m going to keep making the same mistakes, saying I’ll learn from them, trying to do so but always failing. Meaning to do something and actually doing it are not the same thing at all. I feel some kinship with VfB Stuttgart right now, not because I empathise with their predicament or because I care whether they get relegated or not. It’s more because we have something in common right now, they keep trying and trying, they keep creating chances, starting games well and then just throwing it all away. They have the potential to not be in this situation, they don’t have to be a club in the bottom third of the table. But that’s where they are and this season is so far going even worse than the last. They keep trying and they keep failing. At what point does it get so disheartening to go out there and do everything that you can week in week out and still not win that you can’t do it anymore? I’d like to know the answer to that question, not for Stuttgart’s players but for myself. I’d like to know at what point you get sick of knowing you are never going to win.
But then does anyone ever really win? There’s a scene from The Wire in which Prez is trying to write a speech to his class, he’s got the TV on at the same time. I can’t remember what sport he has on in, point is his wife comes in and asks him who’s winning. He says that no-one really wins, that one side just loses more slowly than the other.
This post is not going how I expected it to, how I had it outlined in my head. A fact which compounds my frustrations from yesterday. It’s yesterday’s events which are the reason I’m feeling so sorry for myself right now. Its stupid and yet I take it so personally. I know it’s stupid, I know I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did and I shouldn’t have said what I did today. I don’t know why I did that, they were trying as best they could to apologise and what I said in reply was not at all helpful. Telling them that I meant everything I said was not only the wrong thing to say, it’s not even true. I don’t know that I meant what I said because I don’t know exactly what I did say. I’m still not even sure what happened. All I know is I said something I shouldn’t have and got plenty angry afterwards, and in a few days I’ll have the bruises to prove it. At least there’s one thing I know for definite, my PS3 controller did not get mistreated this time. A good thing considering the punishment I meted out to it on Sunday evening, stupid billboards on Need for Speed: Most Wanted are partly to blame for that.
Another thing they could tell me that I already know is that I’ll be dealing with such frustrations from now and until the end of time. There will be plenty more occasions when people don’t say what they really mean, when I get confused and can’t ask for help, when I say the wrong thing and can’t fix it. Just like I’ll still be dealing with the double edged sword of having difficulty being around other people and yet needing someone else there. If you want friends, if you want to in some way be a part of the outside world then you have to accept that you’re going to have to deal with these things.
All of that is thoroughly depressing, so much so that I feel the need to end with something considerably more lighthearted. There is one thing that I won’t require them to tell me. One thing which prior to Tuesday night I would have needed someone who could see the future to tell me. That is whether or not I would ever learn to tie a scarf like Joachim Löw. Now I know how to do just that. The person who figured it out for me is already someone I like a great deal. How could I not, despite being somewhat scattered and scaring me a little because they are so unpredictable at times they are the one person above all others that I trust. As much as possible they always show the utmost patience when it comes to dealing with my special interests, and whilst I’m never going to make a football fan of them they now love Jogi and Hansi almost as much as I do.
That day we exchanged Christmas gifts, I got them several books I thought they’d like including one or two I think everyone should read like “Look Who’s Back.” I also got some very special Jogi and Hansi wrapping paper made, and I made them a very special card. They were worried that they hadn’t gotten me enough in comparison because all they’d gotten me was some German snacks and some beer. First of all, that’s a good gift for me. I like getting books but it’s impossible for people to buy books for me because chances are I already have all the best books relevant to my current special interest. Secondly they didn’t have to get me anything, I didn’t care about getting anything in return. I just like buying books for people knowing they are actually going to read them. More importantly I like making special cards that have pictures like these on them:
My point is them teaching me how to tie my scarf like Jogi’s is the best gift they could have gotten me. If they had bought me nothing but just taught me this I would have been very happy. Even if they hadn’t taught me I still would have been happy. I know other people think I’m selfish and that I only look out for myself. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, I know I’m meant to think about other people, to take their feelings into consideration. I mean to, I try to but somewhere along the way that intention gets lost. I do spend a lot of time thinking about such things, just not in the way I’m meant to. That may be true but at least I get to show them at times like this that I do think about them.