by Nic Olson

I will not be able to explain to you how super these ‘stitions have become.

Wallpaper on my computer, wallpaper on my iPod. Shirt, sock, underwear combinations. Lucky loonies.  Where my hands are placed in comparison to when the goal was scored. Which way my legs were crossed. How far closed my eyes were. The amount of urine in my bladder. Although I may have strayed away from the idea that such slight movements in the universe can cause such drastic failures in the outcome of life’s occasions and sports events, I do believe that every piece can help, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

In severely nervous situations I plug my ears. Many people plug their ears by sticking their fingers inside of the actual ear socket, but I have always done so by folding the ‘tragus’ back to cover canal altogether. If the ‘tragus’ is what I think it is, my ‘tragus’ seems to be enlarged, as does most of my outer ear.  I remembered all of this last night in the last one minute and twenty-seven seconds of game six after Bill Guerin scored to make it a one goal game. I slipped my hand into the pocket of my worn jeans, the one pocket without the holes, and caressed every groove and every wrinkle of the bronze plated gold coloured coin, while my index fingers bent back my ‘tragus” to block out the tempest of French curses swirling behind me.

How did such peculiarities become part of me? My parents may be strange, and my siblings are all fairly peculiar too, but I feel that I somehow the mental oddities and stress traits were funnelled to my personality while skipping those of my family. I remember playing NHL ’98 on the PC with my dad, and he had to fold because it was too intense for him. Or it was another parental excuse of weariness. My mother might be one of the most calm people I’ve met, but can get pretty rowdy when the right sporting moment arises.

My parents are a few of the only people I can watch sports with comfortably. They know my foibles, the different colours of my face based on stress level of the game.  They know not to tell me who won and who lost if I hadn’t seen the game. They know to record important events even if we are already watching them live. They just know. So there’s a more subtle reason I miss my parents. (Happy Mothers Day!)

Wednesday will be one of the most Super of the superstitious days of my life. I will do no wrong, I will sport the Lucky Reds as they support me, and I will watch in awe as my legs stay crossed properly, my trembling hands pass over my face in agony. As my hockey soul reaches ecstasy.