This weekend, the pre-season competition of my favourite sport (Aussie Rules, or AFL) started. Saturday night, the team I've lived and breathed my entire life started their season with a devasting loss. I've talked about my Tiges before... here.
If you've been hanging round these here parts for sometime, you'd be aware I lost my Nanna to liver cancer back in November. If not, you can get to know her a little better here. And discover what a blow it was to me, here and here.
Anyways... like I was saying before my team was embarrassingly defeated. I couldn't watch the game... not just because we played dismally, but because I kept imagining my Nan (a massive Tigers supporter) sitting on her dusty musk pink couch, next to her partly completed crossword puzzle, blackberry wine in one hand, sneaky cigarette in the other, yelling profanities at the telly. It tore at my heart strings so much, I had to chuck on a DVD.
I was also very glad we lost - of course, I would have liked us to put up some kind of a fight, rather than sucumb to defeat so easily. The thought of our first win of the season (if we even do win a game this season) is bittersweet. At the end of each game, I'd (and a few of my cousins and her friends) half pissed, give her a quick phone call. She'd answer singing our club theme song (Oh were from Tigerland) and laughing happily - thanks in part to the blackberry wine. Sometimes, if I were with my brother, we'd give her a prank call - Dale once pretended he was a Policeman calling in regards to a noise complaint.
The simple act of watching my footy team makes the fact that she's gone very real. The emotion that lies dormant slowly bubbles to the surface. I miss the warmth of her hugs... her laughter (which I can still hear in my mind)... her little taunts... her sense of humour.... her yo-yo's, mudcake and jelly slice.
Every now and then I get a waft of her perfume and I have to believe that it's her... floating around (checking that my arse is not rapidly expanding) and reminding me she'll be forever by my side - for all of life's wins and losses.
See she was well aware that a win is made all the more sweet when you know what loss is. And ain't that the truth!
Born in the late 70s during the depths of a harsh Melbourne winter, in her mid 20s, Karls migrated to a much warmer climate - then back to the cooler climate and once again to a warmer climate. With all this to-ing and fro-ing, she's discovered that home is where the heart is... in her case, anywhere that serves ice cold beer.