It’s 7 minutes, two seconds to go in the third quarter of the GSHL Sunday night game and I’ve just entered Dante’s seventh ring of hell. It was to be expected, for I was blatantly breaking the Sabbath, hustling home from church in time to drop my children off in order to watch my husband in the “warm” area of the hockey rink (note- extreme sarcasm). Up until this time, it had been a relatively quite, uneventful thirty minutes or so, Rog had only one showing in the penalty box, and were we up 3-2. Then came..a man with hockey dementia.
Hockey dementia, in my humble opinion, is a form of sickness that afflicts any person who has so long in the cold, watching a black puck skid around on the ice that they mistake plays for complex strategies, checks against the boards as an insult to generations of family members and those who don’t engage in talking about every bounce, quick stop or drop of the puck to be unworthy of taking up valuable rink-side seats (that would be me).
|Ever wondered what went in Dante’s mind?
The man was one sick dude
Somehow, Mr. Crazy next to me, notices that I have visibly shrunk myself away from him, so he starts talking louder, and moves one seat closer. I’m not going to move, for he looks harmless enough. He’s at least seventy, but looks strange from the face down. At about his cheekbone, his skin color went from whiti-ish tan (for the man was Caucasian) to a strange, cadaver-grey, and it was covered with these sporadic patched of grey hair, like he’d applied facial-hair miracle grow in fits in starts. The center of his cheeks were lined like skids marks on pavement where skateboards do their flips, leaving groves in cross-patters. This was accented by some very unsightly divots near the corners of his lips that reminded me of the story of the woman (the Mexican mistress) of a white guy (a surgeon actually) who pissed her off, and she took her high heel to his head and killed the poor sap (and I’m not kidding you. Life is stranger than fiction). But I digress.
So this guy keeps talking away, giving me the play by play, asking me meaningless questions I barely understood about a game I don’t care about, and I’m staring at clock on the wall like a moose stares at a Vermont Maple Tree in the dead of winter.
“Will it ever end?” I ask myself, praying like Moses to the Almighty above, begging forgiveness for being out when I should have been in, making promises like Cat Stevens did as he was in the water, thinking he was going to drown and made the deal he’d get religion if he was saved (shout out to Moonshadow…moonshadow…).
Alas, I was rejected and the team lost, 4-3, and I listened to the man talk away in his half-jibberesh. I finally excuse myself and stay in the bathroom, washing my hands under the warm water until my top layer is gone. I come out, look around and he’s still there, and from the distance, I see his lips still moving. He’s talking to himself, and from the looks of it, having a good ol time. Rog and his friends come up and I mention the man.
“You always attracted the weird ones,” comments my husband.