The Fear II: Maple Leaf Gardens

The second time that The Fear struck was on my birthday. I think my eleventh. My father gave me two tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs. A Leaf hockey game for me then was the ultimate experience. I took a friend as my father didn’t really like hockey and thought that I might be happier on my own. The seats were great – center-ice reds – and we were up on the visiting team early. And then it hit me again. It wasn’t as strong as the first time. I seemed almost to have control over it. I could rationalize it.

The Fear II: Maple Leaf Gardens

Why was I sitting here watching this nonsense? Who gave a damn who scored what and when? The whole thing was a farce designed to brainwash and control. Nobody cared about winning. It was the popcorn, furs and dinners, the money, being part of the scenery that people cared about. The blue leaf could just as well be a red wing. I especially hated the silence between play, the organ occasionally filling that with carnival tunes. Eventually, it passed, but the evening had been depressing. We had won, but I didn’t give a damn. I just wanted to go home and get into bed.

Quiet No More

There was a day, many years ago, when arenas allowed for silence.Quiet No MoreA moment to consider existence, our utter meaninglessness in the vastness of this universe, interrupted occasionally by a polka played on the organ or a lone plastic horn.Quiet No MoreThere were no big screens, no video replays, no music, just you and your thoughts.

Quiet No MoreThose intermittent moments are no longer. Quiet No MoreTrivia games are played at every turn, music blared, T-shirts shot into the crowd.Quiet No MoreAnd I no longer have the time to think about which might be better.Quiet No More