A few days passed uneventfully and I tried to adjust to being an out-of-work ex-hockey player. I imagine I felt the same way B-list celebrities did who all of a sudden really did fade into that realm of irrelevance. I was also, for the first time, really noticing how my age was setting me apart from the younger guys in the league. I tried getting a few of them to come over in the evenings but they were generally busy with what I considered “kids stuff,” the type of things that I don’t do anymore like going to clubs and getting fairly intoxicated to try and meet whatever girl would take them.
Now we didn’t have the game to bring us together. We didn’t have to sit on the same bus and be friends whether we wanted to or not. Now we were just two people, and as it was becoming obvious, more than just different. I was from a different generation than the rest of the team, and it wasn’t until now that I noticed. A few more days passed and I started getting a little blue. What would come of me? Will I enter that same world of irrelevance? And do so with so many years left in my life? It made me think of what would have been had that third period not happened so many years ago. What would have been if I went to the big leagues healthy? Who knows? Who cares?
BEEP BEEP BEEP!!
The phone on the bedside table roused me from the drunken slumber I had fallen into.
“What the fuck?” I glanced at the clock. 2:41 AM. I picked up the phone and looked at the screen through my early morning eye-fog.
“Jerry - what’s going on is everything OK?”
“Todd! Todd, I’m sorry to call but this is important, man, this is important! I have been on the phone for the past six hours and I did it - I did i-“
I had to cut him off. “Hold on, Jerry, slow down - what’s going on?” I was becoming more alert as the moments passed.
“I did it! I fucking did it, I am going to be the agent of the year - wait - of the millennium! Ha! Are you ready, Todd? Because this news I have for you will blow your fucking mind it really will!”
“Jerry just take a deep breath - what’s so crazy that you couldn’t wait until normal business hours?”
“I found you an opportunity that has never before happened. Let me start by asking you this: where would you be right now if your leg was never hurt? What team do you think you’ll be signing autographs for? What floor do you think your luxury condo will be on?”
“Jerry, are you high right now?”
“Yes, Todd, I basically am - that’s how awesome this news is. I, the agent of the millennium, have found a way for you to have a second chance at a career. To do it all over again. Another draft. Another scoring title. Another playoffs. Another everything.”
“Jerry, you ne-“
“You need to get out of bed, right now, and come to me. I cannot impress upon you the very real and very unbelievable opportunity that is in front of you right now. It is unfathomable. I cannot describe this to you over the phone.”
“Todd,” he snapped be back to reality after a moment of silence, “Todd, this is no bullshit. Where are we meeting?”
I flicked on the lights and got dressed. I headed out the door and began the early morning walk to the diner just down the road, my heart starting to flutter wondering what type of climax this early morning phone call would produce.