He was a little mutt that somehow made his little way into my life at a time when I had just suffered a broken leg.
I was playing for a city league team and I still had a little somethin’ somethin’ left as I made a break from midfield on a long kick from our fullback, who was a ball-busting badass that would give no ground. He was thick and strong as a horse. Appropriately named Tank, let’s just say we gave up the fewest goals in the league.
We didn’t even know how good our goalie was because he was never tested.
I was a center forward and my one and only job was to put the ball in the back of the old potato sack.
I was a goal-scoring machine in my first year on the team. I started the season with 11 goals in the first six matches.
I took the overhead pass from Tank and started sprinting towards our opponents’ goal. The halfback and fullback from the left side of the pitch spread out and then converged.
I flipped the ball with an overhead back-kick and spun around both defenders.
I could have walked that goal in, but I stopped about twenty yards out and blasted a top-left corner goal which the goalie could only wish to ever lay a glove on.
We ended up winning by five and I got my third hat trick of the season.
Right before I could be pulled from the lineup and a substitute enter the match, I went up for a header in the box.
When I fell, I heard my leg snap like a branch.
So, I am on the porch, drunk and stoned, and I decide that my cast was hard enough and I could probably spin around on it to Marshall Tucker’s Searchin’ For a Rainbow.
Lord knows I’ve got the rhythm.
I was the Mexican Michael Jackson.
Do not get drunk and stoned with a broken leg and try spinning on your crutches to Marshall Tucker’s Searchin’ For a Rainbow.
I fell over the railing which surrounded my porch, and damn if I did not hear the now eerily-familiar branch-snapping sound.
Two broken legs.
Half a body cast.
In Tucson, Arizona.
In the middle of a record-breaking heat spell.
My mode of transportation was a sturdy buffet table on casters that I could fall back on and scoot around my tiny apartment. I was enjoying the early-morning cool air on my front porch when I heard a rustling in one of the small bushes in front of me.
I couldn’t even think of moving, and I was so glad that all of a sudden, a tiny black and tan puppy came crawling up the three stairs to the porch as if he was scaling K2.
When he hauled his little butt up on the porch, he came right to my outstretched hand and let me pick him up.
I loved that little guy so much and it broke my heart when I had to put him down due to distemper.
Only two weeks later.
Being a dog of mine, you know they were very good weeks.