Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Albert Camus, Goalkeeper

Last night I played soccer as I normally do Monday nights.

Two years ago, I tore a ligament in my ankle playing. When I recovered I started playing goalkeeper with the thought that the position would be easier on my ankle. What I didn’t realize was that it would be tougher on every other part of me.

It’s a strange and difficult position to play but that said, it did enable me to see the game from a whole new perspective. It's widely believed that goalkeepers are insane and perhaps this view is correct. Why else would someone willingly choose a position that offers such a poignant and tangible opportunity to wallow in existential angst. It makes perfect sense then, that Albert Camus was a goalkeeper.

I find it tremendously reassuring when I learn that a literary hero is obsessed with sports. The Times recently featured an article about Jack Kerouac's obsession with baseball. Suddenly, the gods of the bookshelves become accessible to us mortals.

So in honor of Albert Camus, I've adopted these simple Existential Truisms of Goalkeeping:

1. When something good happens, it happens far away from me, while I stand alone.
2. When my team scores, it is not because of me. When the other team scores, it is all my fault.
3. When something good happens, I stop a shot, I am preventing the joy of another person.

1 comment:

  1. Camus believes that the most spiritually satisfying moment for Sisyphus is when he returns in hopeless, grim determination to the rock that has just rolled over him and back down the hill. I'm sure Packy Bonner felt that way against Mexico in the Citrus Bowl in 1994. "Feck."