Part of me suspects that today's walk up Wembley Way towards the League Cup final against Bradford City will be cut off by the sound of an alarm clock imposing a return to reality, another example of a false dawn and expectations unfulfilled.
Take for instance the Saturday exactly a decade ago. The reward for my 500-mile return journey was a 4-0 hammering at Hartlepool in a league play-off. We were as bad as that score implies. Days like that have you wondering about the fates which landed you with your team – not that there is much choice when you are the third-generation carrier of the Swansea-supporting genetic defect, traceable probably to when your grandfather moved from Pembrokeshire in the 1920s, but possibly even to the decade before when your grandmother was educated at a school so close to the ground that it shared its Vetch Field name.
That season 10 years ago was a desperate struggle for league status, with survival only secured by a final- day win over Hull City. Leon Britton, the diminutive midfielder who personifies Swansea's style and self-image, is a survivor of that match.
"Never mind Wembley," said a TV presenter, talking up the Hull match's significance. Never mind indeed. To play Rochdale rather than Woking the following season was the full extent of dreams that day. Swansea had been to Wembley before, for a hugely enjoyable Autoglass Trophy final against Huddersfield and a profoundly miserable play-off, lost with the final kick, against Northampton. We've been back since, beating Reading in the Championship play-off final in 2011.
None of those matches, frankly, remotely compares to today's. Maybe the play-off win was worth £90 million, given how the club have ascended the leagues since, while a League Cup victory over Bradford City this afternoon would bring in only pocket money. But it did not matter nearly as much.
Which is not to say that money does not matter. Swansea's board are acutely aware of its importance and have proved exceptionally good at making the most of it, but ultimately a football club's balance sheet is a means to a greater end. Status is temporary, but a major trophy – as eternal rivals Cardiff City's cherishing of their 1927 FA Cup win shows – is forever.
It is typical of Swansea's idiosyncratic existence that our first major final – nearest things previously were FA Cup semis in 1926 and 1964 – should cast us in the role of party poopers, prospective spoilers of the joyously romantic lower-league narrative represented by Bradford City.
Some Swans fans will doubtless chant that "We are Premier League". This is strictly true, but it feels wrong to be upholding the wounded dignity of English football's overblown, overweening and overrated top division and seeking revenge for Bradford's defeats of Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa. The Swansea model – financial restraint, local ownership including a 20% Supporters Trust holding and Spanish-inflected football – is a standing reproach to the Premier League norm.
There is far more in common with Bradford. Both count among football's "squeezed middle", historically underachieving clubs from weathered provincial cities where rugby is a serious competitor. Against Swansea's three-league edge in status are Bradford's major trophies – not only the 1911 FA Cup but, in their previous incarnation as Manningham, the first championship of the Rugby League in 1896.
There is mutual respect. This Swansea fan, along with many others, reciprocates the thoughts of Bradford fan Jason McKeown on the When Saturday Comes website: "I'd be supporting them on Sunday, if they weren't playing my team."
Should Bradford win, it would be hard to begrudge them their triumph. It would be losing to a club that wants it as much as we do. Much better to see ex-Swan Gary Jones parading the trophy than some representative of jaded oligarchs for whom domestic cups are a second-order aspiration.
But to lose would be a shattering disappointment, and not just because playing opponents from three leagues lower unavoidably raises expectation. These opportunities, as our 100 years without a final show, don't come along very often.
If it doesn't happen today, those of us who assumed we would never see our club win a major trophy could be right after all. So we'll go to Wembley carrying memories – of the days of Ivor Allchurch and Cliff Jones for the elderly, of the brief explosion of upward mobility under John Toshack for the middle-aged, but most of all remembering what the Australian Rules fan Brian Matthews has defined as the meaning of life for most fans: "Struggle, defeat and hope springing eternal."
To follow Swansea has always been to travel hopefully. Today, perhaps, is when we finally arrive.