It’s As Cold As Ice and I had just gotten home from work, after parking my car next to a snow pile, which seemed to be the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. I entered my house and called out “hello, anybody home?”
“I’m in the kitchen dear,” said my wife. I hung my overcoat on the hook in the vestibule and slipped my rubbers off. I grabbed the mail that was lying on the floor as I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table.
“How was your day at the office dear?”
“Alright I guess, Tom asked me if I wanted to go to the hockey game tomorrow night and I told him that I might, but I wasn’t sure. By the way, where is Peter?”
“What a coincidence that you say that, it reminds me that I need to talk to you about hockey.”
“Really!” My wife continued speaking, but I heard nothing. Some women would say it’s a man thing, I don’t know. All I know is that I always seem to lack the ability to pay attention to my wife. It’s funny because I love my wife. She’s the love of my life, but when she starts talking about all that woman-stuff, I seem to tune her out.
As I went through all the mail, I could hear her still rattling on, it seemed like she was speaking a million words a minute. “I’m sorry dear, did you say something?”
“Were you not paying attention to what I was saying?”
“I was, honestly and I was just wondering where Peter was.”
I glanced at my wife’s face as she gave me that stare. You know the kind of stare that a woman gives a man, that rattles the spirit of all men – big or small. “What dear, is something wrong?” I desperately attempted to divert a catastrophe, as I quickly changed the subject, hoping that the fire
shooting out my wife’s eyes would slowly extinguish itself. , leaving me with a chance for survival.
“When is supper going to be ready, I’m famished?” My wife started to set the table when my son Peter came in the room. “How was school today son?”
“Just find dad, I got one hundred percent on my math test today.”
“Great, I am so proud of you.”
“Hey dad, tomorrow night I’m having a hockey game, you promised me that you would come to my next game.”
“Oh wow son, that’s too bad, I’m going to the hockey game with your uncle Tom tomorrow night, maybe the next one, okay?”
“Yeah, sure dad, maybe the next game.”
I purposely didn’t look at my son; I didn’t want to see the disappointment on his face. My eyes moved to my wife, that was a mistake. I could see fire shooting out of her eyes again and this time I saw no hope of surviving. “What, what’s wrong?”
‘You are going to Peter’s hockey game to see your son play like you promised, because if you don’t….” I’ve heard that tone of voice and the threats from my darling wife before. Without total obedience on my part, the good life as it now exists for me would dissipate into thin air. Not to mention, that it would get very cold in here. I could already feel the shivers racing up my spine. Therefore, I cowered, as I spoke to my wife
and I told her that I changed my mind, I would love to go to Peter’s game — lies, all lies.
The next night I was standing beside my son’s coach, it was cold as hell waiting for the game to start. Man, it was cold! Why couldn’t the teams play in an inside arena, where it is warmer and where they had seats to sit on. I can’t wait for this game to finish.
“Hey coach, I’m Peter’s father, nice to meet you?”
“Pleased to meet you.”
“So, my son’s a good goaltender?”
“I said no he’s not.”
“Let me get this straight. My son is not a good goaltender.”
“Then why is he …?”
“Because no one else wanted to be the goaltender.”
I stood there confused, trying to figure out the of the coach’s logic. It was too cold for me to think. The hockey game started. I turned and looked at Peter, as he stood steadfast in front of the goal, giving the impression of being as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. As I looked at him, I noticed that his goaltender equipment seemed a little large for him. His shin pads were so big that they covered half of his chest pad. I asked the coach about the pads seeming too big for Peter.
“They’re the only ones the park has; they have to fit all the teams. From the Mosquito league up to the Juniors. Listen can you help me?”
“Yeah, I guess. What do you want me to do?’
“Well when your son falls down, can you go and pick him up.”
“Huh! What do you mean?”
Turning suddenly towards the play as I heard the crowd standing on the other side of the rink yelling loudly as their team headed towards my our goal. I wasn’t sure if they were really supportive or trying to keep alive from the cold? Without thinking twice about it I also started to yell encouragement to my son as the other team’s player reached the front of our net and shot the puck. It hit Peter squarely on his chest as he fell on top of it.
A huge ovation and applause came from the crowd on this side of the rink. As I screamed and cheered at my son’s great job of stopping the opposite team from scoring.
The whistle blew and the game stopped.
“Okay dad, go pick up your son.”
“What, what do you mean?”
“You need to go pick up your son off the ice.”
I quickly looked at my son. He was still lying on his back on the ice. “His he hurt?”
“No, he’s alright. He just can’t get up. You need to go help him get up.”
I stared at the Coach with a look of confusion. I looked back at my son and saw him still lying on the ice on his back with his legs and arms moving from side to side as he desperately tried to get back on his feet. He looked like a turtle that had the misfortune to find itself on its back, unable to right itself with its short legs It was tragic, but I couldn‘t help but laugh. I quickly jumped onto the ice and tried to run to his side without
falling down and making a fool of myself.
“You okay son?” My son nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.
“You okay son?” He nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.
“Thanks, dad, I’m okay now.”
I stood there and smiled and asked if he would be alright, he nodded yes. Then the referee blew his whistle and signaled me to get off the ice. I told Peter that he made a great save and ran back to my position beside the rink.
It seemed that both goalies had the same problem. Once they made the initial save they were down for the count, and unable to move, laying on their backs resembling an armadillo when they’ve become road kill. So if they hadn’t the luck to fall onto the puck, they were unable to stop the next shot.
As Cold As Ice, But Home At Last
It was a great game, My son’s team won, 15 to 14. Looking at the score, you would think that this was a football game, not a hockey game.
It was late when we finally got home. My wife was in the living room waiting patiently for us to return. My son ran to her.
“Mom, Mom we won, we won.”
‘That’s great, I’m so proud of you. But it‘s late, you have school tomorrow. So you need to get ready for bed, okay.” My son said okay as he gave her a big hug.
“Thanks dad for coming to my game, it was great.”
“Yes, son it was great, I’m very proud of you.” He came over and gave me a big hug, tighter than I could ever remember. For a fleeting moment, I looked at my son as he walked away to his room and then my stare moved to my wife’s face. It was absolutely beautiful as always, and this time it had a large smile on it.
“What do you say we go to bed?”
I nodded yes, as I followed her into the bedroom with a smile on my face.