Green, Green Grass of Home

2629476So there was Luka, crying, an old man, bald, a well respected member of the club, climbing onto the back of his fat friend against the fence, who kept swearing both in Czech and German. Luka, holding a bag of shredded paper between his teeth, like his four legged best friend. But on the other hand, even if he was feeling ridiculous and about to lose his balance, he felt like the tears purified him then the memories hit him: An incredible crowd, the whole stadium packed with feverish, colorful fans. That glorious day when Luka’s father turned to him and said:

“You see, Luka? This is the meaning of happiness” And from atop the wire fence they could see the ardent fans jumping and singing. It is as if time had not passed, because while Luka climbs one more step onto the shoulders of his other friend, while trying to catch his breath, he saw everyone jumping and screaming and waving flags that shone in that weak November sun. Luka did not care about the four policemen pushing through the crowd to put an end to their “Soviet-acrobat-like show”.

As Luka holds on painfully to the barbed wire and reaches into the bag to produce a little box with his free hand, he feels like the pain of his dad’s absence is finally starting to subside and he understands everything. When his dad got sick and made him promise, he probably envisioned this scene: Luka, aided by his life long friends and surrounded by thousands of other fans screaming and signing an ode to joy, opening the box, looking on the horizon, beyond the scoreboard. Luka understood at that moment that his dad was still with them and would continue to stay there, forever resting on the green grass of their home venue, as he observed the triumphant flight of his father’s ashes.