The first time Benji thought about the future was in the late winter of the year 1978, in the bleachers of a football stadium. Andy Johnson had just made a spectacular goal against Austria. It was the first time Benji attended a FIFA World Cup, and luckily, he was right there amidst all the action. He found it to be a feast for the eyes, all those people from different corners of the world and all those colors and flags. Benji turned to ask Roberto how often this spectacular football celebration took place, cause he could not wait until the next one. Roberto said that it was once every four years, and so from that moment on Benji started measuring his life in terms of World Cups.
Now, looking back on it, Benji figures that it took him the entire second half to run his mental calculations (because math was never his strongest suit) but he finally reached the conclusion that during the following World Cup, in 1982, he would be 11 years old. “Damn, I will be a grown up by then” thought Benji to himself, from the mere 4.6 height of his 7 years of age. The second time Benji asked Roberto when the next World Cup would take place was in the kitchen of his house, in June 1982, during the opening match of the World Cup in Spain. Roberto answered that it would be in Mexico, in the year 1986.
So Benji rushed to count with his fingers and figured that, by then, he would be 15 years old. “I think this time, for sure, I will be a grown up.” In those years, being 11, the fine line between being a child and a young man were drawn at 14. “At 13, you are still a kid”, thought Benji.