The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my brother on 3.4. 2014. Two years ago he had the opportunity to visit London while I was there studying abroad. Being a huge football fan, we wanted to make sure we made the most of his time there. Although we were unable to see this monumental game at the stadium, the experience at a pub in the city was a pretty close second. My brother is a very even-tempered person, so I always love to see him uncharacteristically excited. I could tell that this was a great time for him.

The day my best friend Devin and I arrived in London was the day of the North London Derby. A derby is a highly rivalrous game between two teams within a close proximity. Tottenham and Arsenal have an enmity that extends 100 years. Devin adjusts his watch to our new time zone, “We have a little under an hour and a half to get off this plane, get our luggage, meet Natasha, and get to a pub to watch Arsenal get pummeled.” I scoff at his latter comment and refuse to honor it with an acknowledgement. “We better hustle.” I say simply.  Every season Tottenham and their fans think they have a chance at overturning Arsenal’s dominance as North London’s football club. Every year, they fall comically short. This year will be no different.

We deplane and rush frantically to retrieve our luggage just to wait for my tragically slow sister to arrive. We finally get onto the tube and make it into Central London. We enter the first pub we spot and jump onto some of the few empty stools. I look around at my current setting, an English pub. Just as I imagined of this moment over my years of watching the British Premier League from my American couch at 5am. “What can I get ya, mate” I was asked from behind the bar. “I’ll have a Guiness.” I take a long sip of my dark stout. Brilliant. This is brilliant.

The moment before halftime, Tottenham was ahead of Arsenal 2 – 0, to Devin’s delight. A smile crept on his face, his naturally quiet demeanor kept him from any obnoxious taunting, but his pleasure was obvious. However, it did not stay 2 – 0 thanks to a ravenous run of form following a red card and ejection of Tottenham’s striker Emmanuel Adebayor. ”Karma is served, Emmanuel.” I yell at the screen to the former Arsenal player who performed an unforgivable taboo: crossing over from the Red side of North London to the White. In the second half, Arsenal overturned Tottenham’s advantage and was now leading. Tooot toot’, I leap from my stool as the final whistles blow, fist clenched with excitement. Arsenal 5 -2!

‘Arsenal! Arsenal! Arsenal!’

I join the chant with the rest of the gunners. What a win, boys. What a win.

“We’ll take two more stouts, my friend here could use one.”  

Gunner Win

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February 2012
Central London

I interviewed my brother on 3.4. 2014. Two years ago he had the opportunity to visit London while I was there studying abroad. Being a huge football fan, we wanted to make sure we made the most of his time there. Although we were unable to see this monumental game at the stadium, the experience at a pub in the city was a pretty close second. My brother is a very even-tempered person, so I always love to see him uncharacteristically excited. I could tell that this was a great time for him.

Recorded by Natasha Rojas on March 20, 2014
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