By Phil Dimitriadis
Thirty-five touches. The cleanest hands at the club. Flawless disposal and three goals capped off a great afternoon. Hubris has been sitting on the bench all day, invisible, but determined to get a run when it counts…after the game.
Backslappers are aplenty. Pre-pubescent girls hang on his every expression. Desperate housewives hope for a glance, a smile, a slim possibility that their fantasies may come true.
The media sticks their microphones into his face waiting for their instruments to be pleasured by the mouth of a demi-god. He praises the coach, his teammates and the club culture. Three more votes, another new plasma and the party has only just begun.
After showering and dressing, a mate slips him a pill to celebrate. He pops it like an M&M and smiles impishly. He is in for a big night.
First he goes home for tea with mum, dad and his kid sister. He is a different lad at home. He can be himself for a couple of hours. Sis hugs him proudly, dad warns him about the hype, while mum tells him that it is his turn to do the dishes and clean up the dog poo. He smiles at sis, nods to dad and does the chores for mum.
Now he is ready, the amphetamine is about to peak and the nightclub waits. He meets three teammates and they brush past the fifty or so people in the queue, most of whom are taking photos of the four famous footy stars. No one protests at the favourable treatment, for they are gods in this town.
While Kanye West, Ludacris and Lady Ga Ga pulsate through patrons ears, he is on his fifth free Crownie. Obligatory photo poses, autographs and idle chit chat with brown-nosing management is done. It is time to get his hands dirty.
A girl approaches and gives him a smile and her phone number. He looks and hesitates. She has a pretty face but is a little too plump for this Adonis. “Not really Brownlow red carpet material,” he thinks to himself. He thanks her and then lies, telling her that he already has a girlfriend. She reluctantly disappears into the crowd.
A bouncer buddy gives him an E to wash down with the Crownie’s…on the house. Life is beautiful.
Another girl captures his attention. She is stunning. A face like Delta and a body like Beyonce. Our hero can’t resist. He introduces himself with confidence. “I know who you are,” she replies with a giggle. He has visions of her on his arm at the Brownlow. The E is kicking in and the 35 touches rapidly stimulate his manhood. He wants her; he must have her, for he is a god in this town.
They adjourn to a penthouse at the neighbouring casino. The drugs and sex provide hours of multi-sensory pleasure .
They rest, cuddle, kiss and share a joint, but the star is insatiable.
It is three o’clock and she wants to go home. Her parents have left numerous messages on her mobile phone. They tend to wait up for her. She looks twenty-one, but is only seventeen. He didn’t think about asking her for ID. He begins to fume. The drugs and the grog have sent his brain into a tailspin, like a plane in unforeseen turbulence. “Do you know who the fuck I am?” he screams, his nose an inch from hers. Damn that demon Hubris.
She screams and he slaps her twice, backhand and forehand. She calls him a “fucken fraud” and he punches her in the face like he punches the ball from an opponent…with aggression and intent. She sprays him in the eyes with her perfume and somehow escapes to call the police.
The star is apprehended at four back at the nightclub. He proclaims his innocence, but the cops are about to charge him with assault and rape of a minor. His mind begins to clear, not so his hands.
At ten the next morning club officials bail him out and assure him that they have found the girl. She has decided not to press charges for an undisclosed fee. Her parents are furious, but the cash is handy. They relent and the surly star agrees to honour the terms and conditions.
At a club function later that afternoon he is king of the kids and darling of the parents. The adult males marvel at his skills. Mums can’t believe how nice and down to earth he is and dozens of kids are kicking the footy wearing his number on their backs.
Our hero looks as if he has just come out of church. On the other side of town a 17 year old girl is on the phone to Lifeline. Her new found riches will at least pay for some of the therapy she has to endure for the rest of her life.
She will have nightmares and relive the trauma of a night with this man. Yet, as long as nobody else knows, no one will care. The Monday papers will praise him for his skills, his grace and his clean hands.
For he is a god in this town.