|photo by dbking||via PhotoRee|
The following report on the Champions League matches pitting CSKA Moskow vs Trabzonspor and Manchester United vs. FC Otelul Galati may or may not have been influenced by the narcotic I was under the influence of when I wrote it:
I was awoken,
as if from a dream into a drug-induced fog.
I saw a black man with blue hair
who was Love himself,
kicking a ball,
and heard loud steel guitars and head-bashing music.
The twin scents of fear and death hung heavy in the Russian night air.
I felt the empty seats in the stadium begging to be filled,
asking for an owner.
And through it all, a game wrote itself in red and white letters.
I saw my best friend smile and wave at me
as people drank greedily
from cups of green and orange liquid.
I limped past them,
shuffling in a circle that would never end.
As if from Hell itself, a red fire was lit,
and only a hot shower from above offered any brief bit of respite.
The scene then shifted:
I saw a verdant pasture in a distant land,
the philosopher-king riding into battle,
girded to the loins and surrounded by his best men.
The anthem played,
stirring the soul of the collective nation,
while Romanian children shivered
underneath protective arms.
I heard men speaking in tongues from Wallachia and Transylvania,
but they knew only little of Vlad Tepes,
despite the violent cut and thrust on the field of battle below.
The tribal music of another continent
beat loudly into my head.
I slowed my breathing,
as the scent of clove and malt filled my mouth and lungs.
Moving as if underwater,
I willed the men in blue and black to show some fair bit of passion.
Yet still they refused.
Then they rested, as did I.
My eyes searched for any opening
as the black shades were drawn close,
and the weight of a thousand feverish dreams crashed down around me.
I woke again
as a searing pain filled my insides,
the sharp knife twisted round.
Blood was spilled as tempers rose,
frustrations turned vocal,
and the leader exhorted his men one last time.
The ball swirled round, no one in charge,
and my vision filled with yellow flowers.
A hand sticks out,
the orb meets net,
and the pain is dulled.
The Captain is hit and bloodied,
an undeserved and ghastly red smear besmirches his uniform,
and the action is joined
by the men from Central Europe.
My fever burns like a white-hot, bitter orange blanket
and specks of saliva cake my mouth,
as the Romanians stream forward as they did in The Night Attack.
The tide is turned.
A man from England is spilled again,
and the ball is driven home one last time.
I collapse in a feverish relief, drained of every ounce of my being.
This is feverish farlieonfootie for October 19.