© alba schloessingk 2024

extract from euros 2020 (2020), a text created in response to, and exhibited by, Football Fan Fiction International. In 2023 it was published in The Sideline.

the bartender looks sergio in the eyes , deep , and he lowers his voice a couple of semi-tones , he says : “ er sergio , can i ask , man what is it like ? playing the beautiful game , weaving in and out of them real madrid players so fast on the green pitch ......... aw shit ! it’s jest like achilles , the heel , slow motion , you take off , you go over , AH , you’re injured , the face screwed up tight , the eyes peekin through lookin up to god , jesus knows i wept for you in those times yessirree “. the bartender lets 1 salty droplet heave itself clumsily out of his right tear-duct , then he wipes it away with eleganz . he looks down . he looks up , sergio stares at him eyes ripped riiiiiiiiight
open .
now sergio he can hardly speak . his tongue has given up the ghost , it’s so dry , he knows if he opens his mouth now his tongue is gonna fall and slap down onto the bar and it’ll all be over ; it’ll all be goddamnmnmnmnover . just 1 drop of white russian just 1 drop his tongue is straining out of the back of his throat like a bloodhound on the leash .