Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Arsenal 1 - 0 Roma

By some careless oversight, history's great tragic poets have neglected to speak of the anguish and tension occasioned by one's two football teams playing against one another. Unless I have somehow missed Edgar Allan Poe's A Dream of a Heart Divided or perhaps a series of Shakesperean Odes on the theme. On the other hand, many poets have written about exes, and love betray'd, and suchlike. Perchance some more literary chap can point me in the right direction.

Only, the anguish lies perhaps precisely in not feeling torn or confused. My mind was clear, my desires and ambitions precise. My chief problem was cognitive: the men in red and white shirts are not, cannot be, the enemy. The heart should, must, beat faster when they get the ball in the box, launch another run down the wing... and not with alarm, surely? But no. My feelings turned out to be clear if uncomfortable and hard to describe. 'We' and 'they' became muddled, my sentences grammatically involved. Of course, the fact that I barely recognised any of the red & white babies was helpful. More, I left the country around the time Arsenal left Highbury. The Emirates looks alien, cold. Perhaps I am innately faithless, a melancholy reflection, but I prefer to think that I was biding my time til I found the place where I belong. Inglese di nascita, romana di adozione, romanista di cuore.

Shortly my mother will pop up to shout "apostate" at me a lot. How much sharper than a serpent's tooth is a mother who only follows football thanks to you, yet who somehow remains in possession of the moral high ground. I can only say... wait til you come to our place.

5 comments:

Albert Herring said...

For the record, your mother expressed almost precisely the same sentiments, albeit with the colours reversed.

Aussie Romanista said...

When your head doesn't want to choose, the first whistle of the match solves the dilemma for the heart.

Terry said...

the men in red and white shirts are not, cannot be, the enemy

They are always the enemy. Always.

ginkers said...

This is a joyous anguish but one over which you really have no control. Al cuor non si comanda...

Anonymous said...

I have to own that I was also aware of this happening.....you've got to me with this bloody football!
I'm happy you are through this awful time. xxx
Philly