Yesterday was a weird day. After a very strange time at work the evening before, I fell sick with a sore throat and a fever of 38°C. It was bad enough to merit being home, feeling sorry for myself but not so bad that I didn’t feel the urgent guilt of not working, or doing the countless things that still need to be done before Christmas.
I did feel a bit grateful for getting a break however, a time to breathe, even though it was fever induced, and so I cuddled on the sofa with a million blankets because the price of electricity these days is heinous, a fact that’s direly hard to comprehend as an Icelandic person who is used to cheap electricity and warmth coming out of the earth, a person that comes from a place that heats their houses with hot water and not electricity.
Anyway, I was sitting on the sofa, cuddling my dog to keep warm watching Argentina play France in the World Cup final. And as Messi was scoring that last goal, getting that penalty, I realised that the last time I really rooted for Argentina this ferociously was when Maradonna won the world cup for Argentina. This was in 1986 and I was almost thirteen years old.
My Swedish family has a running tradition of betting on the World Cup. No money is involved, just the honor of the win and a trophy you get to keep for the duration till next time there’s either a European Championship or a World Cup to bet on. This year my kid has been doing very well, and originally that was the reason I started rooting for Argentina yesterday (that and the fact that Duchamp’s Resting Dick Face annoys the hell out of me). I was out of the running on the betting list a long time ago, but the kid has been leading the board all along, but it was tight.
My daughter is almost thirteen years old, a fact that hit me hard a couple of months ago when I got a text message from the authorities informing me that now that my child was becoming thirteen, I needed to do certain things (a thing we don’t need to get into).
Of course, my initial response to that was “Who the fuck is becoming thirteen years old?! I have no such chi…” and that’s when it hit me:
Anyway – when the sports commentator spoke of the ’86 final yesterday I started to do some crude math and then I texted a friend of mine saying “Huh, I was almost thirteen when the Maradonna final was, just like my kid is now”. And they in turn started to do the real math, counting for leap years and such things and they noted that we were the EXACT same age…
…TO THE DAY!
Loops! Strange numeral coincidences? The Universe giving me a nudge, a hint? This seems like a very freaky coincidence.
It got me thinking about that summer. It was the summer my grandmother, who raised me, died and though I never put the two incidents together I now, as a grown up, realize that the ’86 final was just over a month before she died. And that fact may explain why I was allowed to empty the battery that drove the TV I was watching the final on in the summerhouse in ’86 – a generosity and compliance we gen-Xers were NOT used to. I had so much fun watching the game then, and I rooted so whole heartedly for Argentina.
I’m still home sick with fever which may or may not affect my judgment, but I find this extraordinary. Having children so often sheds a light on things you had no idea about as a child. There are so many a-ha moments, so many -Oh! That was whys- but this has to be one of the biggest and one of the strangest ways to come about it.
Same age TO THE DAY. It brought up memories, and some irrational fears I can admit or maybe that’s just the fever talking. It was a great match to watch, as the game ’86, though I have no recollection of anything but Maradonna running with that eager “I did a thing” look on his face he so often had.
It’s a circle closing. Another circle starting, that’s for sure.