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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

hockey night in canada

"he shoots, he scores..."

has there ever been a more quintessentially canadian phrase?

whether or not a canuck plays the game of hockey, it exists deeply within every canadian's subconcious.
so when my friend, s, called and suggested k and i hit "canada night" at staples, it was a no-brainer.

you can't really call yourself a canadian if you've never taped up a stick, lay down gloves to mark off the net's boundaries, and yelled "car" every time an intrusive vehicle passed down your residential road rink.

i played goalie in grade 4 and 5. truthfully, by default. i was a crap skater. i had never enjoyed the privilege of the skating lessons my private school mates jammed into their busy schedules. but, i was game. to this day, 34 years later, one of my proudest moments remains catching mr. hagerman's slamming slapshot. i couldn't feel my fingers for a week, but for a brief time, i was the coolest girl in school.
[maybe i was no crosby, but i f-ing saved the day]

so we hit staples with the anticipation of a compulsive gambler checking his lottery ticket numbers or the bingo whore praying for "B-9" to complete her row.

[bring it, toronto.]

"hockey night in canada". a part of me withered away when i heard the CBC obliterated the theme song. with the opening notes i'm transported back to age 7. holed up with daddy in his man cave, desperately trying to keep my eyes open past the second period. anything, to be with him. a delicious honor to share in your parent's passion.

his energy infectious. howls and hoots. embracing his adopted country's home team with the enthusiasm of a child on christmas morning.

a reborn canadian forever.

and so last night, i held the requisite brew (or two) in hand, mowed down on over- salted popcorn and cheered for the leafs from the bowels of my throat and the depths of my heart.

and suddenly, i was 7 years old.
the smell of the ice. 2 minutes for hooking (always funny). the constant chant of "leafs suck"...and the fights. oh, the fights.

totally awesome, dude.

hey, our tv has probably been on ESPN less nights than lindsay lohan has been sober;  but live nostalgia is one of the great equalizers.

ah, but, i knew i would pay for it. alcohol, salt, unbridled energy. not friends of the failing kidney.

so. was it worth it?

"quality time" is one of those cringe -inducing statements that was introduced in the hyper-politically correct early 90's. to me, it always smacked of divorced parents desperately justifying their failures. casually tossing "quality time" around like a penny into a fountain. good intentions, but no true commitment.

"one day a week is fine. as long as it's quality time...".

really? really.

take it from someone who's lived it. it's a load of crap.

no kid wants to see their parent one day a week, no matter what they say.

today, i roused myself after 3 pm. not unusual for this kidney-less woman. 10-12 hours minimum sleep required. it was all i could do to peel open my eyelids by 4 pm.

[the devil went down to l.a....never mind, georgia]

as my mind replayed the explosive night, an amused smile tickled my lips, promptly wiped clean by a body most sluggish and weak.

so. quality time. is it legitimate?

i don't see my family that often. i don't see my friends that often. i don't visit denmark, toronto, tennessee, winnipeg, boston, israel, or vancouver that often. 'cause i don't feel good that often.

[but when i do, i exhilarate in those briefest of moments.]

moments interesting and mundane. challenging and breezy. exciting and boring. bittersweet, yet loving.
for when you lie in bed, hour after hour; day after day, those briefest of moments become qualitative gems.

and so, with lowered head i concede.

for in two hours, i had more fun than i had had in weeks. only to be followed by a damaged and drained tuesday afternoon...sigh.

so. was it worth it?
i recently watched an HBO movie entitled "you don't know jack", detailing the life and trials of jack kevorkian. played by al pacino, who has definitively left his "whoo-ah" days of acting behind. in fact, i could do nothing but empatisize with these individuals so desperate to die. lou gehrig's disease at 30. alzheimer's at 50.

[is there a new word for unfair?]

i don't want to talk god or politics or state or church. all i know is that i identified with their suffering and thanked god that i still have, even the briefest of moments of happiness.

i don't want to die. but, i don't want to suffer the rest of my life. i want to live. and live well.

"living well is the best revenge..."
[is that code for "quality time?"]

so. was it worth it?

well. the leafs brought it home, 3-2.

what do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you got to go to the game. :o) It looks like you had a wonderful time and there are some great memories now. III is in love with hockey. Wait till you here him tell the guys to fight. Oh Man!