The events of the past couple of weeks have made me more convinced than ever of the power of art to influence all aspects of society, even the sports world. Even as headlines of game fixing in the NBA, dog-fighting in the NFL and steroid abuse in baseball rocked the nation, one positive story emerged from the muck.
David Beckham, the international soccer superstar and metrosexual icon, made his debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy last Saturday. I was at that game, soaking in the carnival-like atmosphere, partying amongst the soccer-heads and the starlets.
It provided a sense of closure for me, in a way. You see, David Beckham was in so small measure responsible for my writing my novel Anecdotal. And I, likewise, was in large part responsible for his rise to fame in this country and for the very move that had captivated soccer and futbol fans the world around.
Anecdotal was the first American-slice-of-life-thirty-something-urban-tale-rife-with- biting-wit-and-sharp-doses-of-reality novel to feature the now famous footballer. The passage below is, indeed, David Beckham’s American-slice-of-life-thirty-something-urban-tale-rife- with-biting-wit-and-sharp-doses-of-reality literary debut:
[A leering Argentinean has been disrupting the liaison between our narrator Jake and his paramour at a Paris nightclub during the World Cup. Jake has attempted to shoo away the Latin Lothario, but the hombre sweeps in again.]
We danced for about 90 seconds more, our sweaty, shiny foreheads imitating in miniature the light show in the steamy club. I slowed down our dancing pace by a beat, and then by another beat; we were nearly slow dancing in spite of the fast, grinding tempo. I looked deeply into her eyes and touched her cheek as our dance continued decelerating. I leaned my head down and she angled her mouth, awaiting our first kiss. But her eyes stared off twenty feet into the distance.
“Eeeeww. He’s still watching us,” she winced, jutting her chin to point back in the direction of our amigo.
I walked back over to the bar, shaking my head and doing the international sign for “tssk, tssk, tssk” with my fingers. “Friend, I have danced with you and bought you dos drinkos,” I explained as I put my arm around the Argie’s shoulders. “If you stop watching us, I promise you: I will cheer for Argentina if you play England in this World Cup.”
“Yes! Beckham sucks!” he responded.
“Si! Beckham sucks!” I agreed, ten days before I found out who Beckham was. “So, we’re agreed.” The Argentinean took his two drinks and found another nice couple to stalk.
So, Becks, my friend, welcome to America. It’s only fitting we both moved to Los Angeles at practically the same moment, since our lives have been so intertwined lo these many years. I will see you at the Urth Café next Tuesday at 5:30. Cheers.