Photo of the Week

Laurie says:

This image of Guy Gayle is from Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes, with my photographs and text by me, Richard F. Dutcher, and Debbie Notkin.  Guy’s words below are from the texts on masculinity that frame the photos.

I remember the cracking sound as his shinguard shattered underneath his sock.  The blow knocking his foot into the ball, and the ball sailing over the touchline.  The whistle blew for the foul, and I hopped up smiling at my accomplishment.  I’d never shattered a shinguard before. I trotted back to prepare for the free kick.  I expected to turn around and find him rolling down his sock shaking the pieces of his newly altered protection out.  However when I turned, I realized he hadn’t gotten up.  He let loose with a string of profanity that brought everyone silent.  I realized that it wasn’t his shinguard that had produced that satisfying crunch.  I stood there stunned, beginning to absorb what I had done.  A few seconds later a teammate approached. “Nice job,” he whispered and he smacked my hand approvingly.   I returned the gesture, still processing the incident.  Teammate upon teammate came by, and with hand gestures and nods each one showed their respect and approval.  Each one giving me a growing sense of pride and achievement as I looked over at the screaming 12-year old boy with the shattered leg.

I never saw that boy again after the ambulance came.  I hope and pray that time has healed his wounds.  As for me, I’ve never been able to repeat the pure power of that moment.  I’ve played many games; played them just as hard, but I’ve never achieved the bloodlust I got then.  The taste of power and pride.  It frightens me sometimes.  With all I’ve been told is moral and good, to have that primal side, it chills me at times.  It’s a part of me though, one piece of the whole, and without it I would feel incomplete.