I always wondered what went through the minds of my neighbour’s kids whenever I drove past them in the evenings. Coming home from a long tiring downtown commute, I always glared at them from the seat in my car as I passed, their disapproving, rebellious eyes cast back at me without a single fuck given about the inconveniences they’ve caused myself and possibly everyone else who lived on Lisgar Drive. They, like all other street hockey brats, owned the road at precisely 6:14 every evening, and revelled in their superiority over the returning motorists, myself included.
One particular evening, I had passed by one of their games, and having stopped right in front of them, I simply sat there and waited for them to notice me. Perhaps, I thought, they would realize how much time they’ve taken away from myself and the woman behind me in the yellow Mazda. They simply continued on with their game. They slapped away at that orange puck, and it flew in all directions except the net, and somehow it just kept going like that.
I fumed, but I kept watching. With every horn that honked behind me, it was as if myself and the other motorists had disappeared completely from their existence. It was as if we were ghosts skulking around on wheels, observing, watching. They kept playing, and yet the puck never went in.
The streetlights that lined up and down Lisgar, as spread out as they were, lit up, and the darkness that had almost set out to blanket their game had retreated once more. I had no idea how it happened, but I had gotten out of my car, and I carried a stick, just like them.
“Next goal, right?” I asked, standing there before them, still confused at my sudden appearance. No response came from them, but the puck stumbled onto my feet, several angry kids following it. In the last available free moment, I closed my eyes and exhaled, I took the puck, and darted towards the net.
I didn’t go far. I stumbled halfway towards the goalie, a stubby little blonde boy who lived a few houses away from me. He shrieked out a horrifying laugh. I felt the roughness of the asphalt dig into my face as the clapping of sticks shot through the ground into my ears. Horns blared not too far away, but I suppose I was the only one who heard them.
I moved to a downtown condo the week after.