We play a quick game, which I win, ten goals to seven. Then when it’s too dark for playing, I teach her how to dive for penalties, how to kick her own heel and roll to the ground with an agonizing yell.
“Always seek contact,” I say, “but if there is none, kick yourself to the ground. Make this a rule: you must dive for a penalty at least once every game.”
She listens and, like a great sport, runs, kicks her heel and rolls in the grass.
“It hurts,” she says and rubs her knee.
“What can you do?” I tell her. “Life.”
THE PICADOR BOOK ROOM is a group publishing blog maintained by the employees of Picador Books. Any views expressed in these posts are those of the authors listed below.