Monday, August 10, 2009

Real Madrid's Going Down the Road: Conclusion

This is part two from Christiano Ronaldo's Toronto travel blog.

Wake up in Metzelder's strong arms. They are like oak branches. I feel so safe. At least at first, before I remember what happened the night before. We were so giddy from our training session, we all piled in to what we were told was Toronto's best nightclub: the Comfort Zone on College and Spadina. I had ten Sambuca shooters. We all piled in a cab and destroy the King Edward lobby. I have never seen so many smashed tea pots in my life. Manuel Pelligrini calmly checked to see if there was room at the Hyatt. Great success, two to a room, Meltzelder grabbed my hand. It was so strong.


Wake up. We take a subway and a bus to get to the best breakfast place in the entire world: Vesta Lunch. Though we don't actually take the bus, as we are told by an irate Korean woman it will not come, ever. Not today, not tomorrow. I have the peameal special. I am charged more than the listed price on the board.


We return to the hotel to find the entire team is forced on a school bus to go see the Art Gallery of Ontario. We are specifically going to see the Surreal Things exhibit. Surreal Things offers a new perspective on the surrealists’ contentious and ambiguous relationship to the commercial fields of design, fashion, advertising, architecture, film and theatre. The curator asks the whole team to get in a group photo.


We take the ferry to Centre Island. I walk out to Hanlan's Point by myself after the Centreville train ride makes me severely nauseous. I look out onto Lake Ontario, a fresh water ocean of blueish grey as far as the eye can see. Herman Melville once said of the Great Lakes, "they possess an ocean-like expansiveness, with many of the ocean's noblest traits, many of its rimmed varieties of races and of climes." All I can see is a naked Italian man and an empty six-pack of Labatt 50. I think of Madeira and yearn for the smell of salt.



Then, the game. We train live on television. BMO Field reminds me of Sunderland's Stadium of Light. The game is fun because we win. Yet a little man in red named Gabe Gala scores a very ugly goal, he could be a boy even, he has never scored for this Toronto club, never played even, and I am mystified when the stadium erupts. We are Real Madrid aren't we? I could buy this stadium, and have it destroyed. I make a mental note. Later I find Gabe crying on the phone in the change room hallway, talking to his mother I think. Poor boy just can't take a loss. I offer him condolences and he stares at me stunned. On the bus to Washington City.

3 comments:

Kevin Coleman said...

Again - brilliant.

Red Ranter said...

We are specifically going to see the Surreal Things exhibit. Surreal Things offers a new perspective on the surrealists’ contentious and ambiguous relationship to the commercial fields of design, fashion, advertising, architecture, film and theatre.

Heh!

BTW, any particular reason you insist on calling him Christiano (with the 'h')? Just curious.

Richard Whittall said...

Setting up an unconscious association so as to make him more approachable? Distinguishing him from his real life persona which would never quote Herman Melville? Bad editing?