Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Small Disappointments Light My Way

A small personal blow yesterday; as I expected my column for Maine's Face magazine was added to the kull of hinterland based writers by the new, Portland-centric editorial team. A quick call to my esteemed writer/editor Richard assuaged any feelings of personal inadequacy but all the same I feel a little done in by regional publishing politics after faithfully churning out my column for five years for Face's various incarnations. Still, while I'm having a wee bit of trouble believing the mantra "a door opens when a door closes" this does at least free me up to work on my resolution to strive for the evolution of my writing style, away from the Bertie Woosterish "Englishman abroad" dreck that my Face column so often became.

I finally got to see Goodbye Lenin last night. A bittersweet film that brought back a flood of memories of my pre-teen years in Germany (and in particular a life defining trip "behind the wall" in 1984) as well alas as a darker memory of summer 1990. In the film one of the sub-plots is the march of the German national soccer team towards World Cup glory, and a two second clip of England's Chris Waddle skying a penalty over the bar that sent us crashing out of the semi-finals against Deutschland put me in a rather regrettable funk that somewhat spoiled the rest of the movie. How ridiculous that a sporting trifle effected me so badly 15 years on; I think embarrassment at my own instinctual over-reaction informed my lightly foul mood.

Perhaps that clip triggered the bubbling swamp of memories of my 18th year on this planet- a time of great emotional and life change for me. That game was a defining moment of my teenage years, out of all proportion to real life, and paradoxically was part of one of the greatest summers ever, where many contracts of friendship(with people like Mr. Bowles) were indelibly inked. Who knows?

Behold the manchild- too easily troubled by the small and unmallable, not big enough to have a sense of proportion.

1 comment:

Mondale said...

I was struck by a couple of things in this entry. The whole 'ex-pat' concept. I hate it , yet inevitably, at times succumb. People do ask what you want them to bring over and you do end up hoarding certain items in the fridge or closet. Sometimes I worry about this, the accentuation of Englishness and it's relationship with the modern world that we inhabit but then i realise, I've always been this way. Even living in England, most of my friends (weasel included) were of a particularly insane brand as was I. I've not changed a great deal and neither have they.
As for the Germans in 1990 they had it all ways, they got to watch England self defeat, they won the world cup and they got their country back together. F**k 'em.
But we did have a superb summer.