Blackhumouristpress's Blog

September 21, 2019

Hockey Men And Their Softer Sides

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 11:34 pm
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Jake worked late the night before, got home to a eat a beautiful pork chop with Italian bread crumbs, walked the puppy for the night and came up to bed to find his wife and daughter asleep in bed. His daughter had one leg and an arm over her mother who lay in bed like the letter X. Jake thought about sleeping in his daughter’s bed with it’s springs about to poke through the mattress or going back down to the couch and risk the crying puppy wanting out of the cage to be with him. Instead he climbed into bed with barely enough space to accommodate him on his side. He dozed off watching polar bears chase sea lions and penguins hatch eggs and protect their young from the cold. Shit… Speaking of penguins. Jake had signed up to play at 6am with some men who rented the ice before the figure skaters and the learn to skate kids. It was nearly 2am. He would have to be up by 5am, walk the dog, feed the dog, stop for coffee and a Kind Bar, get dressed and ready to play at 6am.

Jake dozed off and woke. He looked at his Fitbit and dozed back off to the soft sawing sound of his wife’s snores and his daughter’s mouth breathing. 2:53, 3:38, 4:12, 4:38 and then the alarm at 5am. The street was empty except for a few obsessive-compulsive joggers in the dark. The dog took a shit next to a minivan packed with shit from some travelling hoarder. Think of Jack Kerouac with some mental quirks requiring medication. The man slept in the front seat of his van on the passenger side with a surgical mask and the car covered in bumper stickers.

 

Jake caged the dog, got his coffee and dressed in time to get on the ice. The cool air and coffee jump-started him. He played defense with a guy with a Michigan University Jersey. He asked if he went or played there. He said his money was going there to pay for his daughter. Jake had several assists and was a plus 3. He got home before anyone was awake and took the dog for a proper walk. At the park, he ran into his hockey buddy by the name of Corey. He was wearing a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off from his girlfriend’s Yoga studio. Jake was wearing a T-shirt from his wife’s ballet studio. Jake and Corey’s eyes met. Nothing was said at first. Corey spoke first.

“We must look like two fucking bitches wearing chick shirts and walking our lady’s fucking lap dogs…”

Jake smiled showing a chipped tooth that was nicked blocking a slap shot a while back with his face.

“Um… I’m walking a Husky… You have a Poodle with puffs on his tail.”

Corey came to his own defense.

“This is the giant Poodle kind. Not the pussy types you could field goal kick. Namaste is a bad ass actually in the dog park.”

“The dog’s name is Namaste? What the fuck?”

Corey was covered in tattoos and had a good natural tan going on the first full day of fall. He was a fighter on the ice with a heavy slap shot. Jake was the wiry, slight built defenseman who saw the ice well. Corey had a fall out with the Saturday morning guys. He boarded an older guy who hooked him and then had a fistfight with two guys at once on the ice in the first ten minutes of a pick up hockey game. Corey was banned from most men’s leagues and drop in hockey in just about every rink in the area. He spent the morning playing one on one with a guy who was too winded to keep up at a rink in the city. The goalie went home after Corey wound up and hit the goalie in the cage. He called Corey a dumb fuck and went left. Corey asked Jake to try to get him back in the good skate with 20 skaters and 2 goalies.

I’ll try, man… But you have to take it easy. You know what I mean?”

“This fucking game is getting like basketball. You can’t touch nobody anymore…”

“Well… You might be right… I’ll see what I can do but really… No more fighting. Guys can stay home and fight with their wives. They don’t wanna drop the gloves at 6am.”

Corey hit the gym and then welcomed women into his girlfriend’s yoga studio that was having an open house. He walked around handing out Dixie cups of smoothies and green tea. Across town, Jake was an usher for the twinkle toe ballet recital for four and five year old students at his wife’s dance studio. Like most men everywhere- a little of this and a little of that.

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