Tuesday, April 12, 2005

12. Magic - Part 1

First Love?!

I fell in love for the first time during the summer break of ‘94. And what a summer it was. The weather was hot, the birds were singing, and the world was still a small but grand place. I was still a teen then in my second year in the university, and it would be my last year that I could call myself one. The summer would be a long and welcome break after a semester of trying to keep up the grades (and failing miserably) at school, there was much to look forward to. The time was as ripe as any to finally discover this strange and wonderful thing.

Sure, there were the normal crushes in high school, you know, those fleeting moments when you're a teen that you really think that you're in love (rather than it just being a chemical reaction brought about by those raging hormones). That the girl in the school bus, or a classmate from tuition, or that co-worker from your summer job, or wherever else. Heck, I was pretty much sure I was in love with Laura Palmer (played exquisitively well by Sheryl Lee) from Twin Peaks. But nothing like absolute love, a love that you just know will last you for a lifetime.

What is it about first loves that thinking about it gives us warm fuzzy feelings? It’s just like how we remember great friendships from our childhood, or that very first kiss that all other kisses would be inevitably measured up against (and always hopelessly fall short), or even that exhilarating feeling of going sledding for the first time on a perfect winter’s day. It’s funny how those memories will always remain with us, never to be dimmed but instead, enhanced by time and age.

Well I can tell you now that love for me was not kindled through looking into the eyes of a girl who you just knew was your soul mate for the first time, unfortunate as that sounds. Yet kindled it was, without rhyme or reason, by only the other thing that can turn grown men to pitiful whimpering creatures, this little thing called football. It was found during the month of the World Cup, and like all great love affairs, it ended in heartbreak and anguish.

This is an annoyingly long essay about my memories of USA '94 that is going to be of little or no interest to anybody but myself. It's mostly written on the wave of the good vibes and that little bit trepidation being felt at the moment concerning Chelsea's run in to the season. The League Cup is in the bag, the title's more or less there, and there's Bayern Munich in the 2nd leg coming up tomorrow morning. This feeling of anticipation mixed with anxiety reminds you of why you love the game so much, and why people can be so passionate (some to ridiculous lengths) over this simple sport of sweaty men kicking lumps out of one another. But of course, were Chelsea go out to Bayern and blow the title by losing all their remaining league games, I may feel differently. Bloody hell. But as it is now, am loving every minute of it. With that caveat in place, onwards we go.

Next: Divine Ponytails and those bloody English

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