Sunday, May 03, 2009

Go Canucks Go

P-man's office gets the hockey seasons' tickets. I tried to go to a number of games this year with him but mostly stuff came up; sick kids or no babysitters. Too much disruption already in a week or some other mother-woman voodoo meant I would remain unaware of the true beauty of a Kyle Wellwood pass. But I went to the game last Thursday and it was really a good score (made even more so by the deplorable Vancouver loss yesterday). It was a great game.

But it was not for its greatness that I fought back tears. I have a tough time at playoff time because of John. John was my co-worker, fellow Library Clerk at a smallish City library branch 15 years ago. He was amazing. Well-read, kind to a FAULT, a gifted pianist who could knit beautifully. Boyish and dear, always a beautiful girlfriend not far off. John was my friend and an exceptionally special guy. Likely a baseline in my ongoing expectation that my work include lots of lovable aspects. We worked for a year and a half closely and remained friends after that. A happy time for sure those very early twenties of ours something embodied in our plastering the branch in Canucks paraphernalia in their race to the cup 1994. The whole city was as one at that time didn't matter a jot the little piece of this boy from small town New Brunswick and me in the scheme of it all. But I remember the fellowship in general and this demonstrable mischief of ours that made us more the pair we carried on as 35 hours a week, each week.

Made. And was. And after that. For after that year we had another and a few but within 5 years the cancer came. I looked into my nurse mother's eyes hoping for glimmer of hope when I reported its location and my dear friend's overall strength and remarkableness. Hoping in my self-absorbed way that my image of him would hold back a tide of fate and fact and outcome when cancer gets into your heart. Six weeks before the October would come when we would both turn thirty he was gone.

I always resented that loss. The loss of thirty. Why do I do that? I always felt it was something that would have made him a bit 'old enough' to have died. A bit 'old enough' to have counted as lived? Shame. What a nightmare of mistake that part of me inhabits. His was a life full and well-lived ten times over in less than thirty. I remember so much so what am I to say of years. A limerick contest he ran for the whole library system, paying for prizes himself just to do it while he lived in that little basement suite. The time he ran out of that basement suite to report the fire and free all the inhabitants from death or injury. The fact he began contributing to foster parents plan when he was about 19 long before globalization had cachet. Every kindness he showed me. The camaraderie of 25 back pages of the Vancouver Sun with Player of Day from the Vancouver Canucks stuck high in the windows, walls and on the book stacks of the library sticks me with his oddly over-sized head and bushy -- near Lorne Elliott -- curly hair til I cannot help but tear.

We have of late discussed with our kids the plan that we will do all we can to preserve our bodies and live as long as we are able. We promise to die a due and timely death once our dear ones are older themselves. I only wish as much had been so for John's folks.

In related news I ate popcorn at the game. I got quite a lot of it stuck in my teeth. Is it ok to pick your teeth at a hockey game? What about elsewhere? And, how do you pick your teeth?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice tribute.

Teeth picking at the hockey game? Yes. In fact it's mandatory. Along with kissin' your cousin.

12:55 p.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

If you can't scratch your balls, you might as well pick your teeth.

This was a moving post, btw.

11:49 a.m.  

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