It happened in a blink of an eye. More than 25 years ago. My collegiate hockey career, for what it was, was long behind me. This was a pick-up game. A lazy Saturday afternoon. I should have been watching the Michigan Wolverines on the tube. Yet, if you know a hockey player, you can’t take the game out of the player. (If one could only roll the tape back and bend the story a wee bit.)
It begins and ends with coolness – Real Men don’t wear face masks. Right.
I could hear the defender chasing me from behind – his skate blades cutting the ice. (Swoosh right. Swoosh left. Swoosh right. Swoosh left. All moving in slow motion now.) He was closing in.
I went down. Fellow player, Doc Lovell, bent over and said “Lay still Dave.” I shouted back: “WIPE THE SWEAT FROM MY EYES, DOC.”
I could hear murmuring from the others. If I had heard them, they might have said…Sweat doesn’t gush, it drips. Sweat doesn’t ooze from your right eye-ball. And, Sweat certainly doesn’t come in blood red.”
Roll forward. I’m wrestling with Zeke. It’s Dad and Zeke’s Saturday afternoon playtime. I’m yanking on his left paw. He swipes at me with his right and lands his punch. I go down. My same right eye instantly tears up and swells. My lid progressively darkens and pusses like rotting fruit. My vision is blurry for the next week.
The teen days of crashing around over. A quiet walk in the woods. A long slow run. A short swim. A bike ride.
I need my eyes.
I need to see.
I need to read.
Related Post: Losing a step?