As I made the trek home from work last Wednesday, the list of concerns that scrolled through my mind were pretty typical: how dirty is my kitchen? Is the effort of cleaning then cooking then cleaning again worth it, or should I go out for Mexican? Have I done my taxes yet? Do I need to? What’s that itch? Should l be concerned?
However, once I felt the gentle swaying of hurricane force winds against the broadside of my vintage Kia, I had an inkling that this afternoon would be a little different. And as I rounded the corner to my eerily quiet and dimly lit street, I soon realized I’d be without all the mod cons for awhile, as tree after tree and limb after limb succumbed to the forces of nature, cleaving people’s roofs in twain and making mincemeat of my roofing shingles. What I didn’t realize was that my involuntary trip to the 19th century would last several days, leaving me without electricity, heat and, as it would turn out, Roma.
It wasn’t until this forced exile that I realized how much my daily routine revolves around Roma, and by natural extension, CdT. Fortunately for me, cowering and shivering in the dark sort of drove away the itch to check Romanews, Football Italia or Twitter for my usual hit of calcio news. Rather than fretting about Leandro Paredes’ defensive capabilities or whether or not Francesco Totti would play, I was dealing with more pressing matters: do I want Taco Bell or Wendy’s for tonight’s All-my-food-has-spoiled-so-fuck-it-might-as-well-go-out meal? Are eggs safe to eat after 36 hours of no refrigeration? Can I just splice a power line myself?
While I wouldn’t necessarily say having to deal with real world issues like a lack of power or haggling with my homeowner’s insurance curtailed my Roma anxiety, I found myself oddly at ease as Roma squandered away their lead in Lyon, and blissfully detached while they were throttling Palermo. Spending five years covering every nuance of a match, and all the incessant bullshit that fills the gaps in between, sort of has a way of desensitizing you to the madness; it just becomes routine, so you, in essence, can’t see the forest for the trees. And even if you know those pangs of anxiety aren’t healthy or even normal, you become accustomed to them.
Having that stripped away was like missing the passive aggressive jabs of an old boss or the chaotic mood swings of a former lover. You know it’s not good for you, and that it’s probably best to take a break, but the serenity you receive in the interim, while probably beneficial, just doesn’t feel right. You exist, you thrive, among the madness.
Not being up in arms about Roma blowing a lead or Edin Dzeko attempting to seed clouds rather than score a goal felt wrong. Spur of the moment, irrational judgements about Roma and her players are my phantom limb—take them away and I still feel the pain, worse still, I crave it.
Roma is a sickness, and a pernicious one at that, so I’m glad to be back among you, the loyal infirmed.
But on a serious note, thank you to Jonas, ‘Canes, Remus and Kevin for pitching in.