Someone threatened my life repeatedly tonight on the bus ride home.
It wasn't nearly as dramatic as it sounds; this was clearly a very angry, very drunk, very crazy fellow in the seat behind me. For the duration of the ride he talked loudly to no one in particular, at first in a benign and even vaguely entertaining fashion, but as the ride carried on his ranting became increasingly louder, angrier and more prejudiced.
According to Crazy Bus Dude, the Asian gentleman sitting to my left and the African couple sitting in the rear were guilty of conspiring to keep him out of work and on the streets. They deboarded and suddenly the man in the wheelchair sitting up front was the guilty party, stealing the tax dollars that were so rightfully his. This continued until there were four of us left on the bus; Crazy Bus Dude, a man wearing headphones and so of no interest to the evening's antagonist, my fiancée and myself. His ramblings quickly shifted to an impending race war, he began hurling homophobic insults in my general direction*, and at a certain point flatly began to state, repeatedly, that he could kill me, he would like to kill me, he was planning to kill me, and that I should go about informing my daddy, and everyone else's daddy that yes, he would in fact be killing me.
*It's always at least moderately amusing when people attempt to get a rise out of me by insinuating that I am gay. For all I care, it's akin to attempting to insult me by claiming I was born in March or something of that nature. I mean sure, it's inaccurate, but why the hell would I give anything approaching a shit if it were true?
I was not at any point scared by any of this; these things happen on the bus from time to time, and as of yet I have not seen anyone follow through on their threats. Still, hearing someone threaten to take your life, no matter how toothless and inane their ramblings, is at least a bit jarring. The thought "What if he's serious?" certainly flashes through your mind (or at least my mind, but I'm nothing if not a pessimist,) and you begin to take stock.
And I'll be Goddamned if one of the first things I thought was "I'll never get to see Villa win the Cup." Now, in my defense, it wasn't the first thing that occurred to me; that would be missing my wedding. Next came concern over who would take care of my cat. But missing the Cup Final was right up there. And as we sat in silence, listening to this sad disaster of a human being ramble on about my lack of concern for him as a human being and God knows what else, I thought about how preposterous my thoughts of missing the Cup had been, and how it was almost shameful that it matters so much to me at such an early stage in my fandom.
I didn't pick Villa because they are a Cup contender. I didn't pick Villa. I tried very hard to resist falling for Villa, in fact (which is a subject for another post.) But I fell hard, and I fell fast, and it's far too late to go back. I knew very little about the Premier League at the outset, in terms of what the expectations would be, what non-Big 4 teams were to be feared, and what Villa's actual level of true talent was. I just knew that I loved them. And it just so turns out that I fell for a pretty damned good team coming into their best form in many years. And I can't help but feel like something of a fraud because of that.
I feel fairly certain that I will earn my wings at some point, that I will feel entitled to my fandom, but until I do it will be awkward; I feel like dying when we do poorly, but I feel like an ass when we do well. I'd rather feel like an ass than wish death upon myself, certainly, but there's something missing when we do well that I want so desperately to feel. The feeling of having earned it just isn't there quite yet.
But with all of that being said, please Villa, make me feel like an ass today.