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Dirty Tackle

The survivalist adventures of bearded Andrea Pirlo

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Bearded Andrea Pirlo: unofficial sky marshal.

Awake.

Bearded Pirlo's eyes burn and every part of his body not encased in dense bearding feels filthy under the blast of stale air pumping out of the airplane vent above him. Rest has escaped him since three nights before Italy's loss to Spain in the Euro 2012 final. Silva then Alba then Torres then Mata. It repeats in his head as his fingers dig into a leather satchel of mixed nuts he foraged for himself while on an excursion from his fortified bunker high in the Alps. Sebastian Giovinco asks for some, but Bearded Pirlo pretends not to hear him. He wishes his beard covered his whole body so he could better blend with the Yeti.

Bearded Pirlo has no home, only places where he waits. And sometimes dances without smiling. Davide, his only trusted friend and goat, does not ask for things like Giovinco. He just takes and gives. But he never dances. At least not in a way that would be recognizable to humans.

The World Cup seems far away, but Bearded Pirlo knows that diligent preparation is still necessary. He chases eagles and nods knowingly when they glide out of his reach. Silva then Alba then Torres then Mata. There is much work to be done and only when it is complete will there be time for merriment and teaching Davide how to high-five.

Bearded Pirlo's true enemy remains unclear. For now, scheduled opponents will suffice. The plane finally reaches its gate and while his teammates slow themselves down by fiddling with personal electronics, Bearded Pirlo thanks the flight attendent for offering him fizzy chemical sludge in a cup and water from a factory then he heads for the exit. The captain looks like a child as Bearded Pirlo takes control from here. He makes his eyes real wide and then squints.

Bulgaria.

Previously in the survivalist adventures of bearded Andrea Pirlo.

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