na foine ting

Monday, May 10, 2004
H's leaving for Iraq.

I mean, he still has to pass his physical and he claims he's an old man and passing it isn't a sure thing, but that's bullshit. He's in better shape than I am, and he can kick anyone's ass with a rapier and main gauche in about ten seconds flat. He'll pass, and he's going.

I had comforted myself with the thought that he'd be flying helicopters--that's what he does for the DEA, or so I'd been told--but it turns out that that's not at all all he does, and he'll be an officer right away and will be commanding ground troops.

HG had a barbecue to see him off on Sunday. Turkey and beer and cake. I found a million reasons to put off going, until HG finally called me and said "enough stalling, get your ass over here," or the HG more motherly equivalent. So I went.

H volunteered. I know the reasons why; I know him well enough to get it, you know, despite all my ambivalence about the war I can respect H and admire him all the more for those reasons. I still skulked around and avoided talking to H, to anyone except HG. We sat in dour silence under a patio umbrella and finally I said "this sucks; I don't want him to go," and HG said emphatically, "yes it does; me neither."

That was it.

I watched H and Karl go after each other with the new sabres like it would be the last time for a while, and wondered why it is I'm usually so emotionally overbearing except in times like these. When I get silent and reticent and say nothing I mean to say about how important a person is to me, or how highly I think of them or how much they've taught me.

Instead I said "come back soon," except somehow the last word dropped off as I hugged H and I wound up saying only "come back."

H nodded seriously. "I will," he said.


We played the A Team last night, and it was a good game for us in terms of being a win and our strongest play to date.

A bad game in that Carrie got leveled in a collision and went to the hospital. Mild concussion and whiplash symptoms, but the most ironic part is that now we're being accused of playing rough.

I admit we played really rough against the Re-Habs. We had a score to settle, and they play rough. It's mostly guys on that team, the women they do have play hard and heavy and smart (remember the "wanna go?" incident?).

I consciously backed off this game, avoided heavy duty contact except to give Heather a bad time in front of their goalie. But we were both grinning, even as we pushed and shoved.

I backed off because I *knew* this would happen. If we didn't let them skate all over us, if we put up anything resembling a fight, if we did *anything* that could be construed as aggressive, we'd be accused of being assholes and bad players and told we didn't deserve the win.

So I backed off, tried to baby a team that shouldn't need the insult of being babied.

Because it is an insult. Hard play means real competition, it means both teams are fighting hard to win. It means, for the sixty minutes you're on the ice, that each team considers the other a real rival, a real threat. It means there's real fear of losing, real fear of being hit first.

It's about respect.

So next time, I'll tell the Hounds that they should back off, and pamper the other team. Don't push them, don't fight for the puck. Give them lots of space and room and don't hurt or scare them.

One of my teammates went to the hospital, but we're going to coddle the team that sent her there.

Because apparently, that's the way they want to play this game.


Comments: Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger