When I wake, i am clutching on for dear life. i am the only one without a lifejacket! Slowly does this warship plod along this river. I'm surprised that not one of the Upper Brass is saying i'm in the wrong. As cunning as these soldiers might be, they're not so quick without their technology. As i get my berthing all set, i venture up to my new Ship's Store. Its much larger than the Ogden's. I see 'ol boy, as he walks up to me he warns, "watch out for Technical Chief. He's around." I give him the "say what?" look... "Technical"? there's no such thing as a "technical" Chief... well, lo and behold, who comes walking onto the messdecks not more than a second later? Technical Chief. He's about 6'5" 300 with skin like armour. He's quite nice though, even after I call him just "Chief" to see what his reaction would be... he quickly corrects me without anger and i repeat in kind and carry on as if nothing happened. He is on the ropes now. He needs me there and its fun being the only one wearing Navy coveralls. This is my first ship that is fully co-ed... am i sure this is the US military? Wow, things have changed as we lay in the double sunlight making the non-skid our lounge. And before i know it, i'm cropping a digital picture in the sky of what i'm looking at, of where i am now, actuallly,... I'm in Southport Park! But this is not how i remember it. And the people talk like they're from another ... yup, its the 1920's and not only that but my soccer mates are French. That means lots of cigarettes. The Park is majestic! I can now see it in all of its glory! There are people everywhere, cars in every stall, trees abundant and the water is crystal clear. This summer day is not too humid, but of course, its on the Lake, so I expect it... we play until dusk breaks and i find myself smoking WHILE playing. Geez louise... and then i witness the most perfect save from across the whole length of the field. The save turns into one desperate kick that lands perfectly on me mates' head which soars directly towards me. All i do is move my foot an inch and it slams into my toes and into the goal past a diving goalie. It happened in less than 4 seconds and blew everyone's mind for it was as if the ball was finding us. We stopped the game after that. You cannot keep playing after perfection reveals itself as so.
As we stumble back to the cars as if we'd been drinking all night, i wonder who are these people? My great grandparents and their friends? complete strangers? actual soccer players from that time? The soccer ball is a huge lemon, half-peeled as if it were ragged from being kicked relentlessly... used and loved with fervor. The group starts to dissolve before my eyes as everything around me crumbles. The laughter fades and the smoke dissipates... except now there is my girl, who is anxiously puffing and waiting for me by our tug boat which is sitting in a stall reserved for me as if it were dropped onto the concrete from the heavens. It felt like I think we floated home, but then again all i smelt was amber waves of her lost lipstick.