The following is an original fiction piece, written by Holly A. Phillips in 2007, with great inspiration form her favorite hockey player, Sean Avery.
I had 30 seconds left in the penalty box. From my bench, I could see the rows of puck fucks in the lower sections. “Once we go Black…” one sign read; a blonde was waving it above her head. I squinted my eyes. She didn’t know shit about going Black. The clock timed out and I jumped back onto the ice. Only two minutes left in the game; the game we were going to win.
“Number 27, Wade Black, back in the game.”
I flew past 65, hoping to get another snarl in before the end of the period. He was easy to piss off.
“Look who’s back for more,” he said. “It’s box boy. You want another penalty, fucker?”
I laughed and spit in his direction. My teammate, 45, was already ahead of the blue line with the puck, about to spin it toward me for one more goal, one more slap in the face for the Flyers. I tapped my stick on the ice, waiting.
The puck skidded my way and I slapped it into the goal, fast, yelling as it coasted into the net. The goalie feel to his knees, trying to block it, but had failed. Sweet victory. The sirens roared and so did the fans. I held my stick in the air and scanned the other team for more possible takers — fucking Flyers. Nice try, boys.
Winning was glorious in Madison Square Garden. Fireworks popped and the crowd was loud; decked out in jerseys to match us. The reporters hobbled onto the ice in heels, only to get rejected.
“Black. Just a few questions from WCBS News.”
“Outside the locker room,” I held my hand up in her direction.
I took of my mask, skated off the ice and onto the rubber tiles near the locker room. I was sweaty and my shoulders burned. I walked to my locker, loosening my pads as I neared the benches.
“Hey fuckers, we’re all my clean towels?” I asked.
“Chill out, dick lick,” 23 said. “Check the shelves.”
I glanced in the other direction. Clean towels.
“Hey Black. Saw some ladies out there screamin’ at ya tonight,” 12 said.
“Did ya? Who?” I asked.
“‘Once we go Black…'” he said, laughing. “That was a hot bitch, bro.”
“Well, you can have her,” I said.
“Oh really? She didn’t do it for you?”
“Who the fuck knows. Never seen her. You know I’m over that shit.”
“I swear you’re gay, man, I know it.”
Outside the locker room, the reporter was waiting. She had taken a seat on the wooden benches amongst the 6-year-old boys, their fathers, and the puck fucks.
“Black. Questions?” she asked.
“What’d you say to 65 to start the fight?”
“Oh, I keep that to myself.”
“Okay… What’d you think about tonight’s win?”
“It was expected. Even though we’re full of new players this season, we still come in to win and that’s what we did tonight.”
“What will you do when you face your old team?”
“The Kings are any other team. This is my job, my business.”
“That’s all I need. Thank you.”
I walked past the blonde and saw a boy wearing a tiny Black jersey.”
“Hey buddy,” I knelt down. “You have fun tonight?”
He was silent.
“He’s a little shy,” said an older man with him.
“That’s alright,” I said. I patted him on the head and moved to the driveway, hoping to catch the team driver before the night was over. It was too cold to walk back to my apartment in Chelsea.
By the time I got home, it was past midnight. I made it to my floor, empty as usual. There were only two other doors on the floor; one belonged to an older man, a writer who never emerged. The other to Kate; she styled clothes for a teen magazine. I walked past her door, 9, and tried to see if there was any light coming from under the door. No luck.
My apartment was dark and quiet. It still smelled like paint. I flipped on the TV and sat on the couch. Sports Center.
“Rangers score second win over the Flyers this season. Black gets into his 98th brawl. We’ve got highlights here on Sports Center tonight.”
“Who keeps track of this shit?” I asked the TV.
I coasted through the channels, drifting in and out of sleep. I tried to coax myself into the bedroom. I had practice in the morning. I rolled off the couch and moved to my bedroom. There was no beautiful woman by my bed that night. I slid between the coolsheets and tucked a pillow under my neck; it smelled of Icy/Hot. Back in L.A., when I first signed for the Kings, I never went home alone. My L.A, sheets didn’t smell like me, they were scented with Dior and Armani. Their perfumes lasted, but those women were states away, probably still at the Kings’ games. I drifted off to sleep and tried to remember the name of the last girl I slept with; it was after the Kings played Colorado…
* * *
Wanna know what happens to Black? Check out part II next Friday, October 2!
In the meantime, I’m heading to Baton Rouge this weekend to say a final goodbye to my apartment, and well, I suppose I’ll drink to the Tigers kicking some ass! Check it out on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7
Happy Friday, y’all!