Tag Archives: River

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.

Why we do the things we do

I only went to see Burnt because Daniel Brühl was in it. In fact if it weren’t for this fact I wouldn’t have gone out at all. Daniel was his usual excellent self but the film was as I expected terrible, the sticker album I’m so looking forward to getting isn’t in stock yet and to make it worse I didn’t even get to have Bratwurst from the Christmas market.

Halfway through the film I started to get bored and wondered why I’d bothered going out at all. I could have waited for the DVD, if I’d done so I could have fast-forwarded through the scenes I found to be annoying. Maybe if I weren’t so tired I would have been in a better mood. I probably just should have stayed in bed. I started thinking similar thoughts on the way home, about why I bother to do anything, especially anything that involves going outside and being around other people. I try my best to remember social rules and what I should and shouldn’t do, but apparently it’s ok for other people not to make the same kind of effort. I certainly don’t appreciate being stared at. You bought a train ticket, not a ticket to a freak show. You think I’m strange, fine, whatever, I certainly find other people strange a lot of the time but I’m not allowed to (and I don’t) sit there staring at those people. It’s somehow worse when they do this but don’t say anything, at least when they call you names you know what their problem is or just what it is you’ve done for them to consider you strange. What makes it worse is the more they stare, the more nervous I get and the more nervous I get, the harder it is to keep still. Though I have to admit I was on edge anyway so it probably wouldn’t have made much difference.

Back to my main point, I knew how the film was going to go, you have an idea of how most films are going to go, so what’s the point? Why bother watching them. In fact why bother doing anything. I got to thinking about the upcoming week, about the press conferences and the videos and the pictures I like to collect and upload. Why do I do any of it, because it’s fun and because I really like doing it or because it’s familiar and safe. How many other things does that apply to, where you do it because it’s the safe option and not necessarily what you really want to be doing? I remember reading in a book once that the difficulty with the author’s autistic son wasn’t that doing something twice would create a routine that he would want to stick to, but that doing it once would be enough to have that effect. I’m not exactly certain what my point was, I just felt like that belong here somehow. I guess what I was trying to say was do I do the things I do because it’s what I want to be doing or because they’re safe and familiar and I don’t know what else to do?

I’m not especially enthusiastic about this international break and yet I’m doing it anyway. Why, because I couldn’t bear not to, it would be unthinkable, it’s an international break. I have to do what I always do, it’s been almost a year now and it’s become routine. Therefore it has to happen because I expected it to. One thing was cleared up today anyway, I was reminded of a reason why I might not have been looking forward to this week. It’s not that I’d forgotten about the reason in question, more that I didn’t want to remember. Today is six years since Robert Enke died. Birthday’s are always tricky anyway, all the more so because mine is so close to Christmas and it’s generally an unsettled and difficult time anyway. But what happened to Enke makes it all the stranger and all the more difficult. Ever since I read that book last year I haven’t been able to let go of it, of what he did.

I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, what the point of it is, or what anything means. When everything seems like such hard work it’s tempting to think that it’s easier not to do anything at all. But not doing anything at all just makes it worse. I don’t know what I’m doing or why. I just know that I have to keep doing it, to keep doing something. Whatever gets you out of bed everyday. Forget about other people, forget about whether they think what you do is a waste of time or not. It’s not important. You have to do what you need to do. Other people’s expectations and standards aren’t important here. That quote from the book about Enke is still worth remembering: “in the morning you don’t feel like you can do anything and so don’t try to do anything, then in the evening you beat yourself up for not having achieved anything.”

Maybe none of it never will make any sense. Regardless you still have to keep moving. Maybe accepting that little of it makes sense is what you need to do.

On the subject of making sense and accepting things, the penultimate episode of River was on tonight. One step closer to getting some answers, one step closer to letting go of River. I don’t want to, he’s a fascinating character and I’d happily spend more time watching him. But I don’t think it’s the kind of show they’ll make a second series of.

In tonight’s episode his partner Ira points out to River that he could talk to him instead of Stevie, that he’s right there in front of him. River admits he knows he could, but then he’d have to come up something interesting to say.

It made me remember something in real life, a conversation where a friend told me they wished I would talk to them a little more, that I would share more of what I’m thinking. There’s one obvious difference here, my friends are imaginary, I know that, they aren’t delusions or anything like that. But the point is the same. I should talk to the person who’s actually there in front of me. But I can’t and in truth they wouldn’t really want me to. I can’t because I can’t talk out loud that much. And as for why they wouldn’t want me to, well because they’d be bored.

Back to the topic of River I’m still not that interested in the case, I mean obviously I want to know what happened to Stevie and who killed her but the real fascination is River and him dealing with her death. This is what makes it worth watching and Stellan Skarsgard certainly makes for compelling viewing.

He’s starting to accept that Stevie isn’t there anymore. At the beginning of the episode in the car he doesn’t talk back to Stevie like he usually does. He looks back at her but says nothing. Then she’s outside of the car, it’s the first time we’ve seen her when she’s not actually with River. She’s outside of the car and he hears the shot again. He knows she’s starting to slip away and he can’t accept it. He’s not ready to let her go yet. But the blood on his hands, what’s that about. I get the symbolism but whose blood is it, Stevie’s or the guy who fell to his death?

Whatever it means I liked Ira’s reaction to it, the way he didn’t make a big deal out of it. He didn’t get freaked out or get mad at him. He didn’t call him names or make a big deal out of it at all. He just calmly asks if he’s ok and then offers to drive. Him and Ira are good together, I just hope nothing happens to either of them in the final episode.

One final thing I have to mention, I know what the shirts look like now. I don’t have to wait until it gets here to find out. There was a presentation and a whole big show in Berlin today with some of the players. The home one is still white and I guess it looks ok, it has kind of a retro 90’s feeling to it, the away one not so much. I don’t like the grey and green. The goalkeeper one is a dark navy blue, it’s nice but I liked the green. I was right about one thing, not expecting it to be here in time for Friday, that is almost certainly not going to happen. So it’s a good thing I prepared myself for the possibility. Some pictures of the shirt and some from the presentation:

Heimtrikot EM 2016 Torwarttrikot EM 2016 csm_84429-GettyImages-496423798_0ea66fdb1a csm_84430-GettyImages-496423808_ba887b1f13 csm_84427-GettyImages-496423500_056aa28350csm_84426-GettyImages-496421354_d568cc633b