JCC Floor Hockey


Juranka's Corner

May 9, 2005

for me its like culture shock
when i enter the gym
for the first time in the fall

suddenly there you all are
as though nothing has changed

maybe a few new haircuts
maybe a couple of pounds
gave or take

the same smiles
the same routines

some of you stretching
some picking out sticks
some slipping back in from
a smoke in the alley

each year the teams change
and the new brews
develop new flavours

you start taking shots on goal
and it really dawns on you
that summer is over

the sun still lingers outside

not like the winter evenings
when its already dark
as you enter the building

you've even forgotten some names
and your joints creak a bit
but the spark of joyous anticipation
is already warming your blood

you find its easy to forgive tom
for not writing his blog and you
don't even hear his lame excuse...
something about a fear of completion
and wanting last year to stretch out
over the summer until
this blog announces a new season

totally lame
perhaps drug induced laziness
would be easier to accept
and understand

you are happy that most of your friends
have made it back into the fray and
you start to think about who
you want to play with...
or not play with

okay its time for a new set of shoes
or maybe this year i take their advice
and wear a jock

am i fit enough to go to a shorter stick ?
what will the stiff shaft do for my wrist shot ?

in the profound privacy of your inner world
these are the questions which
begin to consume you

you are keenly aware that your personal
"hoser's dream"™ is only as rich
as you make it

some of you are absolute obsessive-compulsives
and you already see yourself
in your favourite shirt colour
putting a perfect snap shot
over jesse's shoulder

its in the net
its already there
it belongs there

you feel the exhiliaration
until someone taps you on the back
because you're blocking the way
to the stick closet

your fantasy world
may even be more important
than the so-called real world

personally i score much more often
in my fantasy world but
i digress

as a shamanistic ball hockey player
i love the space
in between the two worlds

the dream that is reality
is full of real goals, friends,
and drinks afterwards

the fantasy dream has a huge
ACC sized audience, TV cameras,
limos and drinks afterwards

in between the two worlds
there is the glue of consciousness
where fantasy and real-life
imprint each other
and there are drinks afterwards

if we all took acid this would be
so much easier to explain

the moments before waking
when dream is still vivid

the stillness and serenity of chi

i think this is the zone that
ghosts get locked into when
they don't follow the white light
that their fantasy world has
given them

it unsafe and only recommended
for shamanistic ball hockey players

its unsafe to be stuck anywhere
even in the past

if all i could do was relive the finals
last year over and over
then there would be no present
in which to create

in a coma, i sit up and announce that
"mitch twisted his ankle in game one
and the ronnellys are up by three goals"

the nurse starts taking notes

"we are chipping away at it and
with steve's goal we're within one..."
and i drift off

the nurse takes my pulse

"alright they score twice and
took that game 10-7 but
who knew that
lev had a dream
the night before
that he would
get that hat-trick"

the nurse has called for assistance

now i am looking in her eyes
searching for validation
"don't you remember game two ?
we were up 4-3 at the half"

she nodded, i swear she did
because my reflection in her glasses
moved up and down

how could she not remember
"the zeps even had a 6 to 3 lead
before adam got that
damn short-handed goal"

an orderly just pulled up beside my bed
and was obviously enjoying
our trip down memory lane

"that short-handed goal sparked
a five goal ronnelly run that
was so demoralizing i was
ready to retire"

they didn't think that was funny

"don't worry though" i added reassuringly
"the season was far from over"

the orderly smiled but
it was a half smile
like i was talking out my ass

"no, they might have been up 8-6
but it was not time to say bye-bye to
the red zeppelins, no way...
we tied them up and
aron put away the OT winner"

i didn't get it
the orderly was getting annoyed

maybe that 5 goal ronnelly run
was getting him down too
but really, if he knew who was on that team
then he understand

"its cool man, you'll get over it,
the zeps did" and
i put my hand on his shoulder

"there was always a game three,
no one ever won the finals in two
and you know what ?"

"what?" snapped the nurse
looking up from her notepad

"the underdog always won"

she put her head down and
started writing again

for a second i imagined that
she would be writing the newsletter
but with her crazy schedule
she just hardly had the time

"so in a way the underdogs
were overdogs when i came
to game three"

the orderly smiled again

"jesse set the tone for this one
because he would not let in a goal
all night"

the nurse went over to the meds cabinet

"they scored three in the first half
and we scored three in the second
and you know what that means?"

"overtime?" said the orderly
and my respect for him grew three-fold

"you bet, and i'd never seen
such a large and excited crowd
yelling and cheering from the track above"

i guess we could feel the excitement too
because he reached over
and pushed my shoulders
back onto the bed

"the nachos and chicken fingers
were already getting prepared
for the banquet,
the trophy has been carried
into the gym,
it was going to be over
and really soon"

then the nurse said
"this won't hurt" and
jabbed me with something

the room started to swim
with the walls doing a wavy motion
like a stingray taking off
for the first time in the day
sprinkling sand off the edges
of its wings or fins or
whatever they're called

the walls picked up that familiar
mustard yellow hue and...
i was back in the gym,
sweaty and freaking from excitement
and vinnie was wrestling with ron
for possession
at the side of the ronnelly's goal

the confusion around the net
blocked my view from the bench
but after falling to the ground
vinnie puts his stick in the air
the room explodes and
that magic chi is using my spine

its bouncing around and speeding up and down
its a freeway to nirvana

i can't believe it
wasn't i just sitting in a hospital bed

everybody jumps off the bench
and we have a massive group hug

i want more of what that nurse just gave me

Juranka's Corner Archive

The complete archive of anecdotes, game recaps, rants and ramblings.