In Which Hockey Upsets Our Heroine

10 March 2004

Among my other errands yesterday -- and there were lots -- I went to a travel agency. I'm now looking at the business card I was given and discovering that the brilliant and useful person I talked to was a branch manager. Yikes. She absolutely panicked at what I thought was a normal request. Perhaps we'll deal with someone else....

I also visited the small and crapulent town of Mendota. I thought it was an abbreviation for Mendota Heights. Nope. Turns out there's a Mendota Lows, as well, and that's where I was to get my passport done. And I hope I'll never have to go back again. I have no idea why the State Department's website sent me there. There had to be somewhere more convenient than a one-man postal station in a town of 200 people. I'm sure of it.

Ah well; errands got taken care of, at least. For the most part. There's always something more, but for now things are mostly under control.

Em had a chiropractor she was maybe going to try, so I'm maybe going to try her, too. If I can get in. So that maybe I can find some comfortable sleeping position tomorrow night. Not that I'm contrasting it to any other night in recent memory....

Well, the Wild are pretty well out of it -- I think they may be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by now. If not, it's awfully close. I thought I was just going to be a casual Leafs fan for the rest of the season. But now -- oh, my goodness. Todd Bertuzzi's name has been "that little bastard Bertuzzi" in this house for a year now. But this, this goes beyond that. For those of you who don't follow hockey, Steve Moore hit one of Bertuzzi's teammates, Naslund, too hard about a month ago and concussed him. And Bertuzzi's the bruiser for his team. So he skated up behind Moore this week and punched him in the back of the neck and then smashed his face into the ice once he was down. He broke two of Moore's vertebrae. Some of the Wild are quoted as saying they're sure Bertuzzi didn't mean for it to have this big an effect, but I'm not convinced. You don't come up behind someone and hit his neck, especially not if you're 6'3", 245#, and a professional athlete. If you don't mean to severely damage someone, you don't pound his neck repeatedly. You don't get to not "know your strength" if your job is using it. This is not allowed.

I think I'm reacting in a particularly emotional way to this because I'm not used to enjoying sports, and I enjoy hockey. So I care more than I otherwise would. The other reason I'm reacting this way is that my godfather broke two of his neck vertebrae in a diving accident. So I look at this, and I think, "That jerk made that family go through what we went through on purpose. No one should ever have to deal with that. Ever. Much less on purpose." I remember the look on my mom's face when she took the phone call about Dave; I remember how her knees wouldn't hold her up any more and she sank to the kitchen floor clutching the phone and saying, "Oh, no," in a quiet, choked voice. And that was an accident. I can imagine too well what it would be like for an aunt to be calling a cousin: "Did you see the game tonight? No? Oh, my. Umm...Steve got hit...." in that voice that means, this is not a broken finger, this is not a loose tooth, you'll want to sit down now if you can manage to ease down that slowly.

Sometimes an imagination is a terrible thing.

I've been writing about hockey. I've been thinking about hockey. I don't usually think and write about sports. But I know it's not supposed to be like this. I hope they suspend him but good, and I hope they press charges. Once I would have said, "Even the roughest sports have rules." Now I know it's, "Especially the roughest sports have rules." It's a good distinction.

I know it must be March: we've had a few spring training games on the radio (I think it's even on CCO!), and I'm sick of all my winter clothes, and it smells right. I opened the door to get the paper, and it March. It caught me right in the throat, the way it smelled out there, melty and wild and greening. Like wet things getting ready to bud. I don't know when I'm going to disengage from all this, this world around me, this home of mine. I don't know when I'm going to decide I don't like a month, that I've had enough of a season, that it's not breath-stopping any more. Maybe next week. (I doubt it, though: haven't done all this in awhile.) Maybe never. The only way to find out is to do it and see, I guess.

I haven't finished Lost Burgundy, which shows you how caught up I was in work and errands. I'm absolutely panting to know how it comes out. So that's all the journal you get.

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