17 Seconds

I wonder if Tuukka Rask hears “17 seconds” in his head every time he loses a game. 

For those of you not Bruins fans, in 2013 Rask gave up 2 goals to the Chicago Blackhawks in 17 seconds costing the Boston Bruins the Stanley Cup Championship. I moved to Chicago 3 days after it happened, and it’s all I hear from Chicago fans whenever I wear my gear.

I bet Rask hears it louder though.

I spent a lot of last night thinking about that. I had an emotional week for sure. I am attributing this to estrogen and an impending shark week. At home I can deal. I spent two nights of the week shutting myself in my room, drinking and crying. No harm, no foul right?

At work it was a different story. It’s hard to effectively express random emotional uneasiness to ateam of all dudes-especially when you’re management and the solution really is as simple as hugging me and telling me how wonderful I am and that everything is fine. You can’t ask that from your team. Not sure why, but I assume professional leniency insurance does not cover the goings on of ovaries.

So last week was my 17 seconds, and I couldn’t get out of it. I am still stuck in it for some strange reason. I don’t feel like myself at all.

So what do you do? You can’t just not exist until you feel back to normal. The Bruins can’t miss a few games if they lose. 

They have to play. They have to show up, and they have to play, and for redemption, they have to win. They owe it to themselves and to the fans.

And that’s what I have to do to, even on the days when I am the equivalent of gum stuck to my shoe. 

Show up.
Play. 
Win.

Make 17 seconds mean the amount of time it took me to put out a fire, not the amount of time it took after I began talking to start crying.

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I Am Not Going to Coddle You

I am not going to coddle you.
I am not going to coddle you because you’re strong, and don’t need it.
Sure, I know you’re crying and that you might need someone to listen.
You lost your cat, your lover, you failed at something.
I know it it sucks, but you don’t need me to tell you that.
And you don’t need me to put my arms around you and tell you that things will get better, because you know that yourself.
No.
You need me to pick apart your brain and guide you to a way, while you wipe your nose on your sleeve and try to control your shakes, where you find the solution.
Your rape was awful. Have you thought of a therapist. If there is anyone who can handle someone forcing their dick inside you, it’s you.
It is the worst that your parent died, but if there is anyone that can regenerate their emotional attachment to half their genetic identity and still come back swinging, it’s you!
You really should not put your feelings so much into your job, that way when you fail it won’t hurt you so much.
You’re tougher than that.
You’re tougher than that.
Don’t you realize, you are better than that?

I am not going to coddle you, because there are women with simpler brains, and prettier hair that cry when they see babies and they need my hands more than you do.

I am not going to coddle you because I did not raise you to be the woman that you are, I raised you to be the man I thought you would have grown into by now.

I am not going to coddle you because i do not know how to handle seeing my hero fall.

Instead I am going to tell you how strong you are, and hope that you are too beside yourself to express your disappointment in me.

Because while I tell you that you are strong, I hope you are not strong enough to realize that you are better spending time with someone who doesn’t disregard your feelings like I do, by providing some half willed back handed compliment that will only make you feel worse when you don’t live up to that expectation.

For Boston, You Asshole

The past couple of months have mostly been devoted to really settling down in my new city. I hardly regard the goings on back east. I didn’t know the Marathon was today. As my friend, Andrea pointed out, most of what still ties me to my old city is its hockey team. Still, I’m feeling like I have a lot to say. I feel like there is more going on here other than the basic home-sickness that has been the topic of much of my blog.

All that aside, it was hard for me not to get defensive when a friend from Colorado said he could never live on the east coast.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know, ” he said, “People there are too stressed. They’re too busy.I need someplace chill.”

I think he has mistaken stress for grit.

When you have the ocean simultaneously paying your bills and taking away your coast line, it can leave you a little salty. Boston is 1700’s old school. No one picked to that specific location. Those that arrived didn’t have a map. Having been subjected to the elements for weeks, after finally seeing land they decided the state now known as Massachusetts would just have to do. These are people who drank beer because the water wasn’t sanitary. Generations later, these people would level out three islands to build an airport because they just wanted to put it there. These are people who generations after that, shut down a whole city to find a kid who terrorized the biggest thing we look forward to every year outside of Truck Day. These are people who’s government shuts down roads during a blizzard for safety sake and still go to Dunkin Donuts because it is STILL open.

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(I didn’t take this.)

I recon there is a fine line between badass and stupid. Having been removed for almost a year, I’d be lying if didn’t say that in many cases, Bostonians hover dangerously close to idiocy in their love for their town. One of the small reasons that I left is one of the big reasons why Boston is so great-

Its people are relentless in EVERYTHING.

From their behavior in traffic, to their need to reference where they’re form everywhere they go, Bostonians need everyone to feel what it’s like to be them, and for you to love them because of it.

Damn right Red Sox because Boston.

Damn right nor easters because Boston.

You’re drinking a Sam Adam’s in Arizona? Bitch please, Boston.

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(John Krasinski, because Boston-DUH!) (Also not my picture.)

If you don’t like it, you’re an asshole. If you like it but not from here, you’re still an asshole. Your parents are from here but you were raised in New Jersey? Well they’re assholes for leaving and that makes you by default-you guessed it, an asshole.

Boston pride is endearingly insufferable in the same way that finding out your papa who you love dearly and have so much respect for is the most racist human being you’ve ever met and didn’t know until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year.

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(This isn’t mine either.)

I smile with clenched teeth every time someone on my Facebook feed mentions “Boston Strong.” No one cares still outside of us, you guys.

Speaking of, “Boston Strong,” I deeply loathe the term. I think if you are it, you shouldn’t have to prove it-least not with a slogan that is almost as overdone as, “PAHK THE CAH IN HAHVAHD YAHD.” (I will seriously PARK my fist on the face of the next asshole that asks me to say that. “If you’re from Boston, where is your accent?” “The same place as your fucking manners, bro!”)

But the things I love about it are the things that make Boston unique to any other place in this country, never mind the world.

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(This one is mine! February 2013. Carson Beach, Dorchester, MA.)

We packed arenas of losing teams with locals watching the actual game, not tourists or college kids looking to get drunk. We put consonants in places where we know they don’t belong. Yeah, maybe we get a little surly a little easier than most other people, but we didn’t ask your opinion. We sure as hell don’t need your permission.

Being born in a hospital that no longer has a maternity ward, from a mother who is no longer alive, in a city I no longer live in, what makes me Bostonian isn’t coordinates or memories. It’s hardly my love for the Bruins or my addiction to salty air. What makes me Bostonian is the idea that knowing, and feeling, and understanding, and believing in the tread of me moving across the earth is what makes me human and what makes me who I am.  It is not being afraid of my rough hands or calloused heart. It is not lying myself into thinking that everything is always California sun and Colorado chill.

 

It is fully accepting with every beat of my pulse, and a smile on my face,  that the world is a crazy and I don’t give a fuck.