Life Comes at Ya Fast

I got my car out of the shop on Friday the 20th.

On the way to the bar to watch the match on Sunday the 22nd, I was in a car wreck that totaled my car.

Now, don’t be too worried. No one was injured at all, everyone has insurance, it’s fine. Ashley, my ex, was driving because I wanted to play Fire Emblem: Three Houses on my Switch, and I’m not mad at her about it. Like everyone always says, accidents happen and that’s why insurance exists. Yeah, she was cited and my insurance will probably go up some, but whatever. I was getting my car fixed to sell it anyway, so maybe I’ll get that money back and and then some.

All of that is backstory. It’s not what I wanted to talk about. A few days before the wreck, I happened upon a wikipedia article about Bavelile Hlongwa, a South African engineer and politician who was killed in a traffic collision at the age of 38. What’s crazy is that she wasn’t even killed in the accident. She had stopped to help with someone else’s accident when a truck plowed through the scene and killed her and a few others.

Through the usual shock of the car accident, the dealing with the cops and the tow truck and the insurance exchange and all the rest, that random death was on my mind.

I spend the lion’s share of my weekdays driving for hours on end, from stop to stop. I’ve been in my fair share of accidents over the years, and I have a little bit of trauma there. When I’m pulling out of somewhere with very little visibility or going through a four-way stop or even sometimes when I’m just driving around, I get flashes of horror-imagination that I’m going to get in a terrible accident. I think on some level I believe I’m going to die in a car wreck. They’re so common and I drive so much. It’s lowkey terrifying.

I know this post is only tangentially related to soccer. The only real tie-in so far is that Ashley and I were wearing our kits and going to the bar to watch our team. When I agreed to write on this blog, I knew eventually I would write about my psyche. It always happens; I can’t help it.

I guess that was more backstory, too. Whatever. Keep reading.

What I’m beating around the bush trying to say is the same thing everyone says after facing their mortality: Tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Well, here it is.

I truly love the community we’ve created here with the Cincy Gooners. We have so many great people in our group, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it. I’m proud as hell to be involved with all of you. Really, I’m more proud of helping grow and promote this group than of most things in my life, and I’m hardly even a central figure. I’m really just the loudest extrovert, and that’s only because Rory disappeared on us.

I know I can be overly excited and loving to the point where it probably feels more like an act than genuine appreciation, and some of that’s probably true. It is a built-in defense mechanism I have. But every time I hug one of you and tell you I love you, I mean it. I love seeing the bar full of red and white. I love hearing you all sing with me.

Arsenal fuckin’ suck sometimes, but you all make every match worth it. Remember when we lost to Liverpool and shut them up by singing anyway and sarcastically chanting Ole! every time we completed a pass because that’s how fucking terrible we were? God, I hope that memory never leaves me. It’s gotta be one of my favorite Gooner moments, and I’ve seen us win silverware. I’ve been to the Emirates. But honestly? I’d rather be at the bar with you guys. You’re irreplaceable.

See you next match. I’ll show you my new car. Although… maybe I’ll take a Lyft instead.