Friday, September 25, 2009

I played a soccer game. I was on a team of guys my age playing a team of teenagers. They kicked our asses 4-0. Later, I recounted the game to someone. I emphasized how soundly we were beaten, making it a story of the old being inexorably eclipsed by the young. "The game started at 2 am and lasted for two and a half hours," I said, as though this made the kids' feat all the more remarkable. Then I relived the game in my head. I cursed myself for not taking more chances. I recalled making some successful passes but I wished I'd launched the ball at the goal a time or two. Then I was playing the game, but the circumstances shifted. Barack Obama was playing. So was George W. Bush. I imagined how terrible it would be if Bush were still president. He took a free kick. His personal assistant was assigned to play goalie.