Monday, July 10, 2006
Today the memory is more painful. So is my right eye – a lighted match head flew into it last night, about a minute after Zizou was sent off. An exquisite paradigm of displacement. I can’t bear all these fucking patronising, supercilious pseudo-explanations of what he did. To hell with the ‘pressures of being the French national icon’ (after all the racist taunts he has endured he could do without that particular calumny) and ‘pent-up frustrations of another mediocre performance’. For a lesser man – Beckham, for example - that might serve for motivation. But for some more evolved beings, there is no fight, no flirtation with darkness, no simple succumbing to its lure when the challenge is too great and others’ expectations too high. It is precisely in the absence of danger that some seek the violent comfort of the shadow-self and own their darkness. Maybe not such an unfitting end to the career of the greatest footballer of my lifetime and a man I admire as much as any other on this earth – on terms I can understand in my own heart.