I woke up this morning in probably the best mood in weeks. Partially this was a result of the evening I'd had the night before -- getting to see your friends drunk can be fun, especially when they excitedly run around talking to everyone in the bar and dancing to music that can't really be heard -- but mostly my mood was brought on by a dream I'd had.
I dreamt that aliens came to Earth and this somehow resulted in a huge interplanetary soccer match being set up. The match was held in Mexico, because the country had expressed a willingness to ignore all kinds of health and safety issues for the sake of knocking up a stadium that would hold 300,000 spectators. The northern and eastern sides of the stadium were built into a hill, so thousands more gathered outside. From my vantage point, looking up into the smoggy Mexican late afternoon, there were acres and acres of people and banners extending forever into the haze.
My vantage point was from the field. I was on the team that had been selected to take on the aliens.
The aliens were large black creatures. Ebony black, about 7 feet tall and with heads (or possibly helmets) that looked a bit like the big water cooler bottles, they were particularly adept at defence. On offence they tended to be a bit slow and unwilling to put too many players forward.
Things went back and forth and the waves and waves of humanity that extended on all sides were going mad. Above the pitch hovered a massive spaceship that was beaming coverage of the match to its home planet and I could somehow feel the billions of earthlings who were watching in homes and pubs worldwide.
Before the match, Earth had been tipped to lose horribly, so we were in a good mood moving into the 90th minute, having held things to a 0-0 draw. We were given two minutes of extra time, in which the aliens suddenly decided to mount a major attack -- moving forward all but two defenders.
The crowd (and myself) were shitting bricks, but then suddenly I came up on one of the aliens and took the ball from him, popping it with my left foot behind me and to my right, to Wayne Rooney. The two of us broke up field, Rooney drawing one of the defenders, and sending the ball back to me. I stepped around my defender and took a poorly-judged long-distance shot at goal. Instantly I regretted not carrying the ball further. What the hell was wrong with me that I would have only a goalie to deal with but choose to kick from 30 yards out?
I watched the kick roll toward goal, clearly going wide of the net, and the goalie confidently walking to pick it up. But at the last second, the ball hit a divot in the pitch and jumped right, catching the goalie totally off guard and sailing into the centre of the net.
The whistle blew and suddenly I was being carried around the pitch. I looked up into the brown smoggy sky and it was alive with people and banners and flares.
"Point to the people in the shit seats," Rooney advised. "They love that."