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Poulsen's Progress

**It's a long stretch between matches this week, and there's only so much time we can spend talking about the manager before losing our minds entirely, so in an attempt to spin content out of pocket lint you get a little insight into the relationship between Christian Poulsen and his glorious golden hair. I know, thrilling stuff**

"Do you have any idea how hard it is?" I asked him. "To live up to expectations at a club like this?"

"Do you have any idea how hard it is to look this good?" he said, looking smug in his alice band and turning so the light played just so off his golden length. For all that I loathed him, I had to admit that he knew how to put himself in the best light.

"I shouldn't have accepted the transfer. You know Rapid Wien was interested? I love that city, and it wouldn't have been so stressful."

"We already had that discussion," he said. "They weren’t offering enough. So you bitch and moan when I treat you like an idiot? Maybe you should stop acting like a dumb, whiny bitch."

I looked out the kitchen window and sighed. The leaves had started to turn on trees peeking past the neighbouring apartment complex, and the sky was heavy with rain. It was always heavy with rain, but it never seemed to break. I hated England.

"Why do you always have to do that?" I asked.

"Gotta keep you in line. Got bills to pay. And it's worked pretty well so far."

"You don't even try to hide it any more, do you? That this is a purely parasitic relationship?" I picked desultorily through the mail. "Hey, look, one of yours."

"Not according to der Landgericht Köln, Chrissy. Long as I'm on your head, that one’s your responsibility. As for ‘parasitic,’ you know that without me you would have never made it in football, so shut up and do your job."

"And my job is to pay for your myriad indiscretions across Europe?"

"He's learning! And here I was telling that barista you like down at the Starbucks that you'd be a poor bet to tie your own shoes without me along for the ride. See, one bunny chases the other bunny down the fucking rabbit hole, then..."

I slumped over the counter and slid my hand down my face, looking into my reflection in the window and wondering how it had ever come to this. He just stared back and laughed.

"Hey, skippy," he said. "Get your shit together and let's get going."

"Going where?"

"The coffee shop, of course. I’ve almost got her where I want her."

"Do you have to be such a jerk?"

"No. Do you have to be such a little bitch? Never mind, don't answer that."

"How you have a half dozen kids running around the continent with the way you act is beyond me," I said.

"You're a bitch, they're ladies. At least until I'm done with 'em." He snickered. "Am I right or am I right?"

"You're an ass," I said.

"Damn, that's inches from white-hot rage coming from you. Now sign the fucking cheque and let's go--we've got a training session in the afternoon. If you hurry I might even let you write on your laptop like the fragile little artiste you like to think you are."

As I closed and locked the door to the flat, I swore that today would be the day I shaved my head. Just like every other day.

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