You search through your closet, digging through piles and piles of purses, shoes, and clothes you’ve only ever worn once (some with the price tag still on). You ask yourself where you put it, how you could have let it fall underneath all this stuff. Your heart races, your frustration rises. You begin to panic.
Where is it!? Where is it!? You scream.
Your cats look at you as if you are the craziest person on the planet. And maybe you are.
You just vowed to yourself that you would not cave. That you would not give in to the passion that courses through your blood. The passion – it is a fabric of your life, a part of your being. It lay dormant when it should not have. In a fit of madness, you cursed the gods for taking away the only thing that brought light to an otherwise dark winter.
Greedy turds, you repeated like a mantra for months. You promised you would never follow your passion again, that you would punish it for becoming so elusive.
You stare at your closet, your nostrils flaring, and your breath rapid. You tear through a leftover piece of Christmas wrapping paper. The holidays could have been so much better, had you had your passion. And then you see it.
Hiding in the far corner of that haphazard closet, covered in dust bunnies, cat hair, and spider webs: the bleu, blanc, et rouge. Your hand brushes over it; the feeling of 100% polyester brings tears to your eyes. Gently, you pull it out from the dark abyss. Into the light it comes, gleaming, shining like a beacon of hope. That “c”, that “h” – its love at first sight, all over again.
The hockey gods have answered your prayers (the ones you made after apologizing profusely for the curses).
You hug the jersey to your chest, embracing it like a long lost love, breaking away only to spit out a hunk of dust bunnies. You realize you have been waiting for this moment for too long. Far too long.
You trace your fingers over the name stitched onto the back. Price. And the number. 31. Your heart continues to race, no longer out of anger, but out of excitement. Could this be the year? Could Lord Stanley’s Cup finally return to where it belongs?
But you are getting ahead of yourself. You promised you would boycott the season. After all, what’s half a season worth to you? Just more of your hard earned money wasted on a team that did not even make the playoffs last season. Just more heartbreak.
Yet, the passion; it stirs within you. It fights to break free. You yearn to feel the cold, biting winds outside of the Bell Centre, to sit with twenty one thousand others consumed by the same passion, and chant that simple chant: Go, habs, go!
You sigh. It has been far too long. You place the jersey over your head and wear it; like a second skin it moulds to your body. You want to be proud again. You want to root for something again. You remember your Classics. A worthy man is not mindful of past injuries. Euripides. You can forgive.
The passion burns too brightly within you.
You begin a chant. Go habs go; go habs go; go habs go…
Leafs @ Habs, February 12, 2011 (personal collection)
Glory to all, the passion has returned!