If The Rain Gets Here
9 October 2014
It can't be that the lack of Piatti and Correa is derailing the team completely. Something is happening beyond the absences of those two players. San Lorenzo played in the Bajo Flores against Tigre like they did against Olimpo, more or less. They controlled the ball and, if you hadn't seen the two goals of the visiting team, it would have seemed that CASLA was by far the best and most efficient team. The problem for me is that, with the exception of a couple of great plays like Pipi Romagnoli's great one that Matos wasted at the 69th minute, the attack yesterday began to unravel when they advanced beyond 3/4 of the pitch. I don't know if the lack of consistency from match to match has something to do with ineffectual technical coaching, fatigue, or something else, but I refuse to believe that the absence of a player or two could dismantle the good collective game that has characterized San Lorenzo for the last two years. We have other players with the spark and liveliness of Correa to create problems in the goal area. Although it's true that Piatti, when he was plugged in, completed the offensive wave set in motion by Mercier and his warrior mentality, we saw a couple of times in this tournament that the team is capable of playing well without Nacho. That said, I hope he can play with San Lorenzo in the little World Cup.
Pichi Mercier against Tigre
I'm beginning to think again about what Nene Sanfilippo said several years ago, when we had control of the ball and all the weapons to dominate the opposition but we weren't scoring, that the kids drove him crazy when they missed the goal. Nene is a danger sometimes when he makes pronouncements in the media, but he is one the greatest and most passionate Cuervos in the history of our club and never used to err when he was in front of the goal because he prepared thoroughly with both his legs and his head. He worked every day to fine-tune his aim. For me, he's right when he's criticized the lack of cold bloodedness in our strikers in the goal area in recent years. What he intended, if they'd let him train the first team, was to instil the daily habit of shooting at the goal in every way possible and above all, putting the mental discipline of a predator in their bodies and heads. I've been looking at things I saved about San Lorenzo, and I read this about Nene: "If you are playing in the First [Division] at 18 and you dedicate one hour every day to kicking it, left, right, in two years you'll kick it the same way with both legs. And if you don´t do that, you are wasting 50% of your chances for a goal, because you don´t know how to head or kick with the less dexterous leg." I don´t know if Bauza´s forwards exert themselves this way. Maybe they do. But something is missing. Too often it seems that when stepping into the opponent's area, the vision of our players gets clouded and they lose connection with their teammates. It´s depressing to see a team clever enough to make a comeback and climb to the top of the ranking waste a key match like yesterday's at home. This is the Cuevo's eternal suffering, to have happiness so close and end up leaving the stadium or switching off the TV in silence. It´s only a soccer match, I know, but you know very well, brother, how Ciclon´s ups and downs hurt. We´ll never give up, we will always dream big and cheer on our club, but there are times when the let-downs are hard to get over. It will pass, I´ll get over it...
The story about the obstetrician sounds terrible. What happened, was it that she was not willing to do it as you wanted and you no longer trusted her? I hope you find a person who helps you do things in a more respectful way. When Henry was born, in spite of Exene wanting to have a natural birth, in the end she had no other option and had to have a C-section. The baby wasn´t coming down, and he also had a very wide chest. I remember that, while Exene was straining for Henry to settle in a little closer to the exit door, the doctor was telling me, "He is happy up there; he doesn´t want to come down." I guess it was some kind of joke the doctor told in moments like that, but for me, it was something very serious. I imagined a very happy baby ina magic cave, climbing towards the ceiling and clinging to his mother´s ribs so they wouldn´t get [pull] him out of that wonderful warm and pristine world. The C-section was a tremendous thing. I don't know if you were by Guadalupe's side when Anita was born, but I was with Exene. When she asked me, with a weak voice dulled by the morphine they had given her, if they had started with the cesarean, I raised my head and looked at the other side of the cloth covering the work of the doctor and his nurse and I saw an extraordinary thing. It looked like a very tidy butcher's table, with the guts and organs pushed to one side and the other of the horizontal incision in my wife´s belly. Right then they took a pink and purple boy out of her. They invited me to cut the umbilical cord. Henry´s face was a poem, a sunrise, that of an azulgrana angel who was turning less blue with each breath. It seemed to me his skin filled with color, like the petals of a flower when receiving the sunlight and fresh air for the first time. I remember all that like a dream, but I have this moment on the afternoon of the 28th of January in Los Angeles, a little after 3 in the afternoon, very present.
I think that local governments the world over do things similar to what happened to you in order to raise money, especially in crisis years like the ones that practically all the big cities are going through since the economic meltdown and the resulting institutionalized theft by the big North American financial entities since 2007-2008. The inequality and marginalization of an increasingly desperate population continues to spread in all the Western countries that are opting to squeeze and penalize the great majority of people, while they lower taxes and forgive the financial frauds of a small super rich minority. The corruption and zero spirit of citizenship of most of the richest - people who seem to hate democracy and the equality of opportunity that it entails - threaten to undo the democratic achievements of many countries. Well, these are complicated subjects, and there are many ways of seeing them in every country. I'm not going to get deeper into those subjects now. I did want to suggest one thing to you regarding the fine you're protesting. Your description of the parking place, since it's your word against the hotel and the city government, don't just leave it that way, to chance. If you can, take a photo of this place to show that the stripes or letters that indicate that you can't park there aren't painted. You never know, but if they go and paint them, you'll have no proof or remedy.
I arrived in New York, where we have two screenings of Jauja to present at the New York Film Festival this week. I'll be doing it with Lisandro, giving all the required interviews and talking with the audiences after the screenings. I've never participated in this festival. They say that it's very good, with intelligent and passionate audience members, beautiful rooms for the premieres. On the plane, I read a very positive piece about Lisandro in one of the newspapers from here, the Wall Street Journal. It seems like our friend's stay in this city is being a great success. Good for him and good for Argentine cinema. I just got into the hotel room. I'll stay here tonight and then move to Lisandro and Coca's apartment.
Photo of Lisandro in today's Wall Street …
I got into bed and could catch the start of River-Boca on the laptop, on Fútbol para Todos. The Gallina stadium is a swamp. With so much promotion and money involved, they can't cancel or postpone the match, but they should. Soccer is terrible in these conditions. It can't be played well like this. Anyone could win or lose; you never know what's going to happen with the ball. The Magallán kid just scored Boca's first goal, and his first as a player in this tournament. Nice definition of a set piece play. River hits the post. Orión got lucky there, but he's playing well; he's already saved his team a couple of times. Teo Gutiérrrez, River's Colombian striker, is already being a ballsbuster with his elbowing, kicking, always creating tension. And they called a penalty against Boca, against Gago. I don't get it. He used a header to take the ball out of their goal area. Penalty? No, it wasn't a penalty. No way. And Gago is sent off. The Bosteros [tr. note: Boca supporters] are going crazy. With reason, it has to be said. Gutierrez is going to kick it in. No, Mora. Good. What's he doing? This is a circus. The referee has lost control of this match. Now, Mora kicks...and it heads for the sky. I don't know if he slipped or what. Justice for Boca. Except that they're going to play more than half the match with ten [players]. I always find the clásicos between River and Boca a little disgusting. They bore me. These events are always written and talked about so much, but the matches are seldom well-played. Tense, yes. Imagine if we'd won that match last night against Tigre and Boca ends up winning today. We would have gotten pretty close. But no, it's over. This match is getting increasingly tiresome. A puddle. I'm also half hallucinating from jet lag, so everything seems to be slowed down, fuzzy, half wet. For more than a month, I've been traveling so much and sleeping so little that it's almost come to be my normal mental state. I wake at all hours. I read things when I can't sleep. Recently I read three books by Franz Hessel. Do you know him? He was the first to translate Proust's novel, In Search of Lost Time into German, in collaboration with Walter Benjamin. He was a journalist and poet, a highly respected intellectual. He studied philosophy like you, and archaeology like Henry.
The first book of his that I read was the portrait he did of Marlene Dietrich in a recent Spanish translation. After that, I read, also in Spanish, Berlin secreto, [English title: In Berlin] a novel about the scene in the German capital in the crazy 20's. Lastly, I finished reading, on the plane today, Romance en Paris, the novel that was the basis for the novel Jules and Jim by his friend Henri-Pierre Roche and for the celebrated film adaptation of the same name that François Truffaut premiered in 1962. That Hessel novel is the one I like most. It's sort of a letter from one man to another (one represents the author and the other his friend Roché) about a woman who's called Lotte (in reality a German journalist named Helen Grund who the two friends knew in Paris.) The triangle between these characters is not formed in Hessel´s book; that will come later, in Roché´s novel and in the film by Truffaut. Hessel´s story happens a couple of years before the First World War, at a moment of great creativity and optimism about the wonderful achievements of Western civilization. The war, of course, showed that not even the Europeans were civilized. We are still waiting for that evolution in the human race. At that time, Paris and Berlin were very special places for artists, cities without restraints that were like magnets for young European and Americans who dreamt of becoming painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, dancers and so many other things at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.
River's Pezzella scored the 1-1 in the 78th minute. Like Magallán's goal, this one was the Gallina kid's first in the current tournament. Pezzella is the one who scored the goal against San Lorenzo in the Super Final. With his head, weak, just above our goal keeper. Son of a bitch. He headed it well. Orión intercepted Pezzella's header but couldn't control the ball and the kid was paying attention and kicked it for the tying goal. Now I'm sure that the Bosteros are wondering what would have happened if they hadn't unfairly expelled Gago. I want Boca to score the 2-1, because that would be fair. But soccer isn't fair, or predictable. Funes Mori sent off! Incredible! Fair! Besides they should have sent off Mercado before. As I say, it's an unpredictable game. Let's see if Boca knows how to take advantage of equal numbers. There's very little time left for that. Chávez alone in front of the goal, left side, and, no. Barolverola deflected it. Impossible with so much water. Boyé, alone two meters from Orión's goal, jumps and heads one last center for River. What an ass! The ball heads for the clouds. He's lucky he doesn't have Sanfilippo for a head coach because the master striker would kill that boy. The match is over. A fairly ugly tie, but it leaves the Gallians undefeated. In the rain, everyone's equal. You have to recognize that at least River under Gallardo plays soccer, instead of playing in a faint-hearted, miserly fashion like when Ramón Diaz gave the orders in Nuñez.
Hello, Cuervo: I just spent two days - Saturday and Sunday - in the capital of Mendoza at the book fair. I left on a flight Saturday morning. There's no possibility of jet lag; you arrive in an hour and forty minutes, but the plane shook like crazy. While I mentally said goodbye to all my loved ones who would go looking for my remains in the Rio de la Plata, I wondered, "Is Viggo afraid of planes? Because, for his work, he takes them like taxis." When we finally touched down, the people that were traveling were pale from the turbulence. It was raining in Mendoza - something very unusual, one of the book fair producers told me - and she'd booked me a very nice hotel with a good room and a place to chow down on the tenth floor overlooking the Andean foothills. "This year we're not having winter," one of the maids from the place told me. I spent all day Saturday walking around the city with a green umbrella that Guada put in my bag for me, and I presented La supremacía de Tolstoi [Tolstoy's Supremacy], my latest book of essays, with Leonard Martí, the director of the fair, a great guy. I like being alone a lot, although I'm deeply gregarious. Eating alone, walking alone, sitting on a bench alone is always a source of inspiration. Sunday dawned with sun, clear and warm. It seems that there was a small earthquake during the night, but I didn't feel it. I went to a bar to eat breakfast - I didn't want to have it in the hotel, I wanted to be alone - and I started writing in a notebook the final chapters of the little novel that I have in preparation. Ah, I almost forgot: on Saturday, before going to the presentation of my book, I watched the CASLA match against Tigre in the hotel; outside it was a grey day and it was raining, and a certain melancholy lassitude had taken hold of me. The worst thing that can happen to you when your spirits are a bit low is to be caught by an Alfaro [tr.note: Tigre´s coach] team. Since they produce anti-matter and are not interested in soccer - in fact they hand you the ball for you to play - if you are not inventive and explosive, you end up having a hard time, like CASLA did. Verón, who with his speed usually breaks the defensive line, got injured quickly, and afterwards the team repeated themselves a lot. Notice that the same happened to Racing the next day: they didn´t get it in while they were attacking with offensive intent and they didn´t do it right. I think that San Lorenzo needs to win one of those matches that changes your spirits and your outlook, those matches that build an identity. Will it be with Boca? Will it be in the Club World Cup? I don´t know. On Sunday I watched the Superclásico but I think it shouldn´t have been played in that rain. It was perverted. It wasn´t soccer, it was like some sort of reality show - like women fighting in the mud. Undoubtedly it was very convenient for Boca - in fact they did want to play - and not for River, since they couldn´t demonstrate their offensive and dynamic soccer. Somehow the rain and mud - it looked like Woodstock - it Boca-tized the match.
Woodstock after the deluge, 1969
Myself, I love the rain, especially falling asleep to its music, ideally sounding on a metal roof, and I with a book in my hands and/or an old movie on TV, but I´m actually seduced by the rain´s melody on any surface. The sound of cars and buses passing by on half-flooded streets quiets me; it´s something that makes me remember with absolute clarity my childhood in Buenos Aires and long afternoons in the countryside. Muddy paths, the grey rampart that advances relentlessly and swallows the sky, the threat of something big, powerful, unstoppable. Rain is the universal music - along with the contribution of the wind through a forest or punishing an open window, the roar of the rivers, the sea. Flaco Spinetta has some lovely phrases about the rain in his unforgettable "Canción para los días de mi vida" [Song for the days of my life]:
If the rain gets here, I'm going to restrict myself to living. I will wet my wings like a tree or an angel or perhaps die of sorrow.
Here's the song:
Another phrase of that song that that seems great to me is " I have to learn to fly among so many people on foot.
Listen to what I dreamt today, Cuervo. I'm in school, my school - Martina Silva de Gurruchaga. I did primary school there on Independencia and Boedo, in Boedo. I am surrounded by my comrades - Gordo Teijo, son of the locksmith; Marcos Hoffman, son of a Jewish couple; Soloaga, son of a very poor family who lived in a hotel on Agrelo street; Carlos Buono, a boy whose parents were separated who also lived on Agrelo street and who had the most meticulous notebook in school, and...you!!! And the teacher stands up and says to us, "Listen, you can't end Sobrevuelos until we end up being champions of the world, in Morocco, do you understand?" "Yes," all of us answered. And the teacher repeated, "Since Sobrevuelos has existed, we've saved ourselves from being demoted, won a championship and won the [Copa] Libertadores. It's the most winning correspondence there is!" "Yesss" we all repeated in chorus. Today when I woke, I told this to Guada and she looked at me strangely, as if thinking "This guy is going crazy."
Your wife is right brother. You are really crazy. And so am I. It's an honour to be in school with you, even if it's only a dream. But it may be like that, that Sobrevuelos is a strange sort of guarantee, that with the passing of time our chats bring a bit of luck to our club. Who knows? This is our school, this thread of chats and personal reflections that we share on our laptops. We began Sobrevuelos Cuervos in mid-2011, and San Lorenzo started to come back little by little. We went through bad moments, especially with Mini Mou Lombardi [tr.note: former coach Caruso Lombardi], but after a while CASLA went back to playing remarkable soccer, as the Carasucias, Matadores, and Camboyanos did before. And while we were starting to write our chats, Pipi Romagnoli came back. He physically recovered and took his place as a natural leader, the veteran who inspires the rest. The one who more than any other member of the team saved us from being demoted. When we lose, even in this tournament, at least San Lorenzo has the idea of playing well; they almost always make an effort to practice remarkable attack soccer. There were relatively few times under Pizzi and Bauza that the team retreated, and almost always at a high cost. In general, Ciclón is playing nowadays, and they have been doing it for the last two years, the same way they did when we saw them play when we were children, as if every match was the end of the world. When they play that way, one feels proud as a supporter, no matter what happens. We can talk about good and bad rotations, about the players who are sold or get injured, but if the idea is to attack - and defend in order to attack - as a Cuervo, I always feel content.
P.S. Last night was the premiere of Jauja at the New York Film Festival. Good audience and lovely discussion after the screening. My niece Sydney came with a friend who studies at the same university here in New York. Her friend has parents from Chile and Colombia, but she was born in Norway. That's the thing about migrations and free-thinking - the girl speaks the Norwegian dialect from the south of her country perfectly and a beautiful Spanish, a mixture of her dad and mom's music. There were several Argentine friends that live in this city or that came to present their work at the festival. Here we are with Román just before the screening:
© Gabi Madsen.
The little angel was fascinated with my CASLA wristband, touching it all night. You'll remember that during the Cannes Festival in May, he fell in love with the azulgrana flag that we hung in our rented apartment. It's obvious that the boy, although he comes from a Gallina and Bostera family, is a Cuervo.
Goto page: Previous 1 2
Last edited: 5 December 2014 09:06:44