Journal, June 2, 1977 PM

Today is the second in a row that I’ve played soccer with the CIGRAS boys. I think I’ll take tomorrow off to get my head straight. Yesterday was a pretty clean game. I only got the sore on my leg reopened, which is inevitable when I play. I vaguely remember that I was bemused by my observation that “ticos {Costaricans}” are incredibly prone to blowing their own horns. Gerardo Arce and Ronald Jimenez are the “stars” in this activity, but all my “compañeros {companions}” take their turns.

Today the game got heated because the other guys (We seem to always ‘randomly’ divide up into almost exactly the same teams.), who always beat us, were down 4-1. Since they simply couldn’t bear losing, we played until nearly 1:30 PM. I finally gave up & left, and shortly afterward the rest followed. Apparently the other guys put in two quick goals, because they were down 7-6 when I left, but claimed to have won by a goal.

I got my anger up in today’s game. Carlos Chavarría nailed me in the genitals with a hard-kicked ball and ran off gleefully calling “hand” (in accented English). When the jolt of pain subsided, & after uttering a few random oaths in mixed English and Spanish, I hollered, “Me dió en los huevos y dice {He hits me in the balls and says} “hand!” Ramón will never get over it. For the next week he’ll be asking me where the ball hit me! I haven’t yet learned to take it well.

Anyway, I started playing hard after that, like the rest. It’s dangerous in a game like soccer where you continually leave your body vulnerable while feet are in the air. Somebody could get seriously injured. I feel like I’m learning how to play though.

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