Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm in real pain.

I woke up this morning with that ache in my bones. That need, that addiction, calling to me in the unrefusable way it does. I have a real problem. And the whole North American continent is currently dry.
It started for me a few years ago. I had heard the warnings and disregarded them in my search for a life on the edge. That fringe element in the back corner of the bar. The cool guys with that jerseys drinking beer and talking about "The game". I dabbled at first watching a few games on TV. I could quit whenever I wanted to. But I didn't. I kept pushing it. I wanted more. I was mainlining two play off games at once, flipping between channels at play stoppages. But it got worse.
I couldn't just be a voyeur anymore. I made an impulse buy at the local sports store. Just a cheap wood stick and a hockey ball, my heart racing the whole time. But that wasn't enough. I had to enhance the experience. I bought tape. I had to make the stick better, because the plastic on wood wasn't doing it for me anymore.
Then one late night with a head full of beer, I got on the Internet and ordered some rollerblades off of a website. I was an excited mess the day they showed up. I spent all of my free time at the outdoor rink talking to people just as bad off as me, maybe even worse.
That was 5 years ago. I have the shakes when it goes too long without a game on TV to alleviate my nights alone. I only feel the release when I'm watching the game on TV or at the rink out there on the ice. Yeah, I went full blown a few years ago. Playing late nights in a tucked away little rink where the rest of the addicts hide out together.
This is the worst part of the year. Nothing is really going on. The draft is over. Rookie camps are over. The Free Agent bonanza is done and gone. There's just little trades at the minor league levels going on like so much ineffectual methadone.The withdrawals are almost too much for one man to take. I know I'm not alone. Why there aren't support groups I'm not really sure.
If you're with me let me know. Together we can beat this thing. If not, can I sniff your equipment? I'm really jonesing here.

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