Her first Super Bowl

Who’s playing?

Who’s playing?

I came into this world having never witnessed a football game, obviously, because reception in the womb is so awful. Scientists are looking into this. But that being as it is, I was not born a football fan. I was not even born a sports fan. Truthfully, there isn’t anything I can really say I do like besides a long nap atop a firm mattress, but who doesn’t?

My point: In my 24 years of life, I have never witnessed a single sporting event in its entirety.

But here I am at MVP’s in Midtown on 21st and L streets ordering another drink amid the Cazadores-soused Raider Nation in the church of athletic voyeurism. It was exciting at first, like a holiday I never knew existed, sponsored by caffeinated alcoholic beverage companies. It’s even a little bit like Mardi Gras, with the Budweiser girls walking around handing out beaded Budweiser schwag. And maybe I personally refrained from the pulled-pork sliders special and free shots of rotgut poisons that make your gums bleed and nose hair burn, but it’s all in the name of fun. Fun spelled D-R-U-N-K, our favorite kind.

Clearly, misfits love company. I am at the bar eating a veggie burger and drinking a cup of coffee. To my right is Arturo, a graying Mexican man with a fabulous mustache. He says that I draw well, that I should aspire to be an artist, and then falls quiet. Maybe he’s embarrassed. Maybe he’s said too much. He says nervously: “I didn’t mean anything by that, I’m just making conversation,” and I think, Does that mean I’m a bad artist?

To my left is a huge man, a kind man, a man who is worried he comes off as a homosexual. He says he often keeps a journal and asks if that’s gay. He says men hit on him when he journals, and he’s not homophobic, but he doesn’t like it. I tell him that everyone is attracted to anyone who keeps a journal, and this makes him feel better. He orders another Blue Moon.

We are watching the halftime show, which reminds me of that Michel Gondry video for Daft Punk’s “Around the World.” If anyone were in any state to recall Kiss, I think they would agree that this whole thing must be an ironic futuristic tribute to Gene Simmons. Those costumes, that stadium, these times. This is America on a Sunday afternoon.

In an alternate universe that only I can see, I turn to Arturo. “Did you hear the one about the halftime show presented by Ingmar Bergman?”

“No, how was it?” Arturo says.

“It really made me question my mortality,” I reply. And we titter. Another martini? Don’t mind if I do.

As the sun goes down and I remain in this bar, I become increasingly depressed. Damn these free drinks. Damn these nachos and mozzarella sticks. Winning, losing—none of that matters anymore. Especially as I never found out who was playing.