Wednesday February 22, 2012 - 10:12 PM

I sat on the bus beside Harley today. He’s one of the guys in my group of pals. Well, actually, Harley is one of the guys who is on the edge of the group. I mean, within our group of pals, there have been times when I’ve been closer buds with Neil or closer buds with Jagdish. But I’ve never felt particularly close with Harley.
Not that I feel close with any of them lately. I’ve been sticking by myself a lot lately. It’s been so long since I’ve actually made any effort to hang out with my group of buddies it makes sense that any attempt to get re-acquainted with them would be through Harley, the guy on the periphery. So on the bus ride home today, I sat near Harley. I knew he would start up a conversation almost immediately.
Anyways, Harley was talking about hockey. It’s funny to see him all enthusiastic about hockey this year, because a few years ago, during the NHL hockey strike, he was really pissed about the whole thing. He quit hockey that year and for several years after he refused to even put on a pair of skates or even play a quick pick-up game of street hockey. He sort of followed Team Canada in the Olympics, and now he seems a bit more pumped about hockey in general.
Harley said that it’s time to have another one of our challenge games with the Sudbury guys and that he’s been organizing an outdoor game on Windy Lake - it’s to take place this coming weekend on the ice near the old Elk’s Club hall.
The Levack guys are challenging the Sudbury guys. See, from our town -- actually it’s not just Levack, but it’s Levack, Onaping and Dowling. Well, that’s not really true after all, because several years ago we amalgamated into the Greater City of Sudbury; but we still think of ourselves as a unique town -- there’s quite a large group of us that take the bus in to school. Anyways, whenever we participate in after school types of events, they always take place in Sudbury, the veritable centre of the universe around here. It’s always tough to get any of the students who live in Sudbury to actually show up to anything that takes place out here, even though it’s only a 45 minute drive.
One of the only exceptions, of course is the occasional Levack vs Sudbury Hockey challenge. Levack no longer has its own high school, or hockey team, but the team used to be called the Huskies. So that’s what we’ve named the Levack team. The Sudbury guys call themselves the Wolverines -- partly named after the Sudbury Wolves junior A hockey team and partly an ode to the X-Men comic book character.
Harley asked me if I was interested in playing, and he showed me the sheet of names of players, said that the Huskies could use a couple of more players. “Whaddya say, Pete?” he asked. “Tired of moping around like a big cry baby and sobbing in your milk over Sarah? Ready to play a man’s sport again?”
Harley has this way of saying things in a blunt fashion, not really holding back or worrying about perceptions. This had a tendency to piss people off, but at least you always knew exactly where you stood with him.
But my mind was already too busy to take issue with the way he’d said that, because I’d been looking at the list when he was talking, and spotted Chad’s name on the list of the Sudbury team.
I smiled.
Man, it would be a good chance to take my frustrations out on him, maybe a nice cross-check across the forehead, or a body slam right onto the ice.
“Yeah, Harley,” I said, a huge grin on my face. “You can count on me. I’ll be there.”

Frank said...
I guess letting jock boy have it, is as good a reason as any for playing. Good luck Peter
Kim said...
oh crap...chad better grow eyes in the back of his head!
good luck with the game...kick some ass!
Trish said... 
*LOL* Good for you, Peter! Kick Chad's ass!