Those of you with a brain might find it hard to believe, but back when the author was a simple SoMiss, she was quite the social butterfly. Flitting hither and yon, she waited in vain for someone to ask her to dance to the slow part of “Melt With You” … but she is over that now, totally. Really.
[Perhaps you’re looking for a preview. In that case, it’ll be up in a few. You’re welcome!]
It’s a good thing, too, because just the other day I was wandering by Bernaboo High, and there was Joey Mourinho — mobbed, as usual. I stood nearby, pretending to squint upward at a solar eclipse.
“Yeah, well, they whistled Zidane, too, you know,” he was boasting. “And Cristiano. Who am I to not be whistled? Aren’t I handsome, talented and famous too? Why shouldn’t they whistle me?” Someone mumbled, and the crowd guffawed.
Joey narrowed his eyes. “Well, who are you to say it wasn’t a wolf whistle? I don’t listen to ’em!” He shrugged his track-jacketed shoulders. “Maybe one day I will do something about it. Maybe I’ll go poke some Madridista in the eye. Put whoopie cushions on their seats. Or maybe I’ll go whistle at them, that’s what I’ll do! Stand in the coaching box and whistle at the whole ungrateful lot of ’em. And then they’ll see. They’ll be muy tristes!“
My eyes watering from sun-blindness, I stumbled across the school yard right into Sergio Ramos, who was kicking rocks around with his toe. He looked at me as if I were invisible.
“Hey! It’s me and Sergio down by the schoolyard!” I sing-sang (sang-sung?).
“It’s Julio,” he muttered. “Me and Julio, for god’s sake. God, I hate people who don’t know the words.” He kicked a rock as hard as if it were Leo’s shin. “You know, he’s never worn the shorts! He doesn’t know that you get cold and skin your knee and your leg hair gets all muddy. You know what I think? I think he’s still mad about that stupid Copa.” He turned towards Joey Moe and raised his voice. ” It was an accident! I had no idea it was so freakin’ heavy!” He dropped me like a tackle on Andrés, and I split.
I wandered into the building and saw that the door to the Teacher’s Lounge was ajar.
“Hey, Coach G,” I called. “What’s news?”
Mr. Guardiola scowled over an I-Phone. He wasn’t sure how to work it yet — it was a Chinese New Year’s present. “First he practically calls Pelé senile, and then he says I want to move to England!” He glanced over at me. “Who let you in here?”
“Lemme guess,” I said. “The Boca hath opened.”
He put his closely-shaven head in his hands and peered out among manicured but manly fingers. “Why does he have to listen to him all the time? I know he’s a legend, but come on. It took me years to get rid of that mullet. Now I’m afraid of diamond square studs, just like whatisname –” he snapped his fingers.
“Dani Alves!” I chirped.
“Right,” he muttered. “Beat it.”
Wandering down past the lockers, I spotted Iker, looking all Jake Ryan in his varsity letterman’s jacket. Sara Carbonero leaned against a wall, looking all hot and ticked off. I tried to look all sang froid, or je ne sais pas, or bourgeois, or something.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he sighed. Sara’s mouth popped open, and she quickly applied bubble-gum gloss.
“Suuuure,” I said. “How could you know? It’s not like you’ve spent a lot of time in, oh, El País.”
“Whaaaat,” La Carbonero whined, smacking her lips in a compact mirror.
I winked at her. “Say no more,” I grinned slyly. “Amigos de la prensa, eh?”
Just then Xabi Alonso — Xabi Ali, I call him, Ol’ Shabby Al — elbowed me out of the way from behind. The trio set off coolly down the hall, leaving me to stare after them.
I got to the cafeteria late. Malena Costa was there, her mascara all runny. She shivered as I slid my tray next to hers. “He doesn’t even know her,” she sighed.
“Who?” I said, standing up and craning my neck to spot Carles Puyol nuzzling another brunette bikini babe in the corner. I felt sharply painted nails dig into my forearm and slam me down into my folding chair.
“Don’t even pretend like you don’t know,” Malena hissed. “God, she’s like … Colombian. So what if she’s a model, too? I’m freakin’ sample-size, byotch.”
I realized she was talking to me and decided to gulp the rest of my milk Chug on the run. I stood up and slammed right into the prommest-queen ever. Dean’s 2% drizzled down her tweed skirt-suit.
“Oh, gosh, Mrs. Sofía, I am so sorry,” I blubbered. She waved off my attempt to dab her silk blouse with my sleeve.
“Please don’t,” she said with a charming accent.
I slurped the rest of my Chug. “How do you do it, Your Majesty?” She glanced at me, puzzled. “You know. Scandal. Gossip. Shame.” She tilted her coiffure, just. I pressed her. “Your kid is in hot water for embezzlement. Your husband’s got a señorita in every Spanish port. How do you stay so, so … possessed?”
Then I remembered the World Cup semifinals. Her surprise appearance in the lockerroom. Those dumbfounded dummies with their mouths hanging open. Ramos kicking beer bottles away from her pumps. Puyi wrapping himself in a soggy towel before her tailored poise. And her hearty applause, and their immediate crush on her — look at Piqué and tell me Shakira didn’t feel a pang somewhere above them truth-tellin’ hips.
I saw that, when you are fortunate enough to breathe the air of the upper escheleon, it behooves you to remain above it all.
I wish I were more like Queen Sofía. But … whaht-ever!
¡Visca &^%$#@ Barça!