The team I wanted to win The World Cup lost in the finals. But somewhere watching the finals I realized I didn't really love Argentina. I just wanted Messi to win. I don't think I even liked Argentina that much.
For those of you who don't care about soccer and know little to nothing about Messi I will give you a brief outline.
Messi is the greatest soccer player in the world. Approximately 70 percent of the Football firmament are agreed on this. A notable portion of them feel he is the greatest football player ever.
And it is always a joy to watch people who are so miraculously great at something.
Another 30 percent of the soccer firmament think Messi is not that great. Sadly this 30 percent naysayers seems to have included the entire Argentina World Cup team, Messi's own team! I walked away from their sad last game thinking they needed to push the ball to him, hoping he would make it happen. But they liked the idea that they could do it on their own, all together. They couldn't. They were not that good.
When I become very interested in something I write a kind of story about it in my head. The story says it is the real truth. A few weeks ago I knew almost nothing about the state of world football. I suppose that after my information binge I still don't know much. But I wrote a story about it in my head. This story. I wrote Messi's story.
Once I write the story in my head I think maybe I believe it all a little too much.
It pains me to say that. I have to pull it out of me, wrench it out of me because once I write the story I am convinced. I hardly even know it is a story.
But now that I have found a way to confess this I suppose I'd better go all the way.
Sometimes here I think that I am writing the shimmering truth. Brave truth, angry truth, hidden truth. But no, I am writing stories. Stories wiggle in their slots. They creek in their gears. They overflow their banks. They whir and clank and smell faintly of blood. They are like the truth, sometimes they are truer than the truth, but they are stories.
Sometimes I come up with just the thing I want to tell you here. It will blow your mind. It will change everything in the world. You will be convinced.
But it never comes out that way.
The truth is like a crow in your arms. You can hold it for a few minutes if you're feeling brave and wild enough and don't mind a little blood. Then you can set it down and tell it where to go.
Ever so reliably, it won't go there.
It will scramble off cawing and seeking its small destiny. And all the truth you dreamed of will become something you barely knew, screaming hoarsely in a tree. But if you are lucky you will still recognize some tiny hint of what you thought you knew in its harsh call.