Virginia, the hockey hater


knox5I played soccer and ice hockey in college, and later played soccer professionally in South America.

In the winter of my sophomore year in college, I started keeping company with the lovely and talented Virginia. She lived in a dorm called Fairchild Hall, and we were both 18 years old.  During winter term (a glorious time for hockey players), her roommate was off campus, so I spent most of my nights in her room at Fairchild.  Or was there a room like that one, worn with out whispers, a bare tree dancing darkly outside the window, cold wind blowing in the night?  Maybe not.  But that’s how I remember it.

hockyhaterOne night, we were lying in bed, her head pillowed against my chest.

“What are you thinking about, Knox?” she cooed.

“Hockey,” I said.


“Yeah.  Sometimes I lie in bed at night fantasizing about hockey.  I actually play games in my head, picturing the situations, rehearsing moves and passes, or just feeling the thrill of wheeling up ice, with the puck on my stick.”

I was beginning to wax rhapsodic, consumed by my desire to share my innermost feelings.  I continued:

“It’s just the greatest feeling in the world.  The cold, winter air.  The sound of the puck against the boards.  The shower of ice as you stop or turn!  The joy of skating – it’s almost like flying, gliding across the ice.  God!  Just thinking about it is giving me an adrenaline rush!  I can hardly keep still.  I wish I was out on the ice right now!”

“Fine!”  She said.  “Out you get!”


“You’re lying here in bed with me, and you wish you were playing hockey!?  Out you get!”

I was able to cajole my way back into Virginia’s bed that night.  But our relationship was doomed. We broke up a couple of months later when Virginia met a handsome golfer.  I did learn something from Virginia, though.  Something about the limits of intimacy; something about the ineffable nature of physical joys; something about the practical value of deceit.  It was all part of growing up, I suppose.

Still, to this day, lying in bed at night, I sometimes dream about hockey.  I never think about big games, or important goals.  I just think of a sheet of fresh ice, and a ragtag group of pick-up players, and showing the puck to the defenseman, before pulling it away as I skate by him.  Unfortunately, these daydreams are rare.

I don’t play hockey any more, so usually I’m reduced to daydreaming about golf.  That’s the heartbreaking part.

4 Responses to “Virginia, the hockey hater”

  1. I swear. Women and this “what are you thinking about” crap. One of the many reasons I vehemently disown my own gender. I wonder if virginia would have been happier had you said you were dreaming of a busty blonde? I mean, what exactly are women hoping for as an answer? If you said you were thinking about her, then she’d of called you a liar and asked what you were really thinking about.

    I digress.

  2. 2 AD Shirley

    I must say, I disagree with the previous commenter’s sentiments. Reading this, I thought, “Sounds like this hockey-hater knew exactly what she wanted to hear, before even asking the question,” not “Pfft. Women!”

    While I can’t speak for the author, what I gathered was that he was sharing his innermost thoughts and responding candidly to her very intimate question. The negative response on her part might have been because she didn’t have the emotional capacity to be open to a response other than what she’d come to expect from years of living in a world full of romantic comedies.

    Being a woman doesn’t have to mean being irrational, neurotic, or bitchy. Sweeping generalizations like these are what keeps us trapped in these silly roles in the first place.

  3. When I ask what are you thinking about even in moments of intimacy, I really want to know what you’re thinking about. I don’t care what the answer is…

  4. 4 Lula

    Well…you do stay up thinking about hockey. You don’t, however, stay up thinking about Virginia. :)

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