Sunday, 29 September 2013

Long-johns, Garbage Mitts and Hockey Skates

I don't own a pair of sweatpants. I probably haven't for at least 20 years.

It's a crisp 3 degrees Celsius outside this morning so I have pulled out the winter Long-johns; traditional blue in colour, waffle design, and of-course, with that perplexing flap; designed for ease of bathroom use.

I can't remember a single time in my life where I have actually used that flap. Does any man out there really?

I still own a pair of garbage mitts. 

Outer-shell made of indestructible leather. Innards of some sort of matted fluff; off-colour and oddly scented. 
Years of sweat.
I pull my thumb out of it's lonely chamber to join the rest of my fingers in hidden desperation: Much needed warmth.
When garbage mitts get wet from snow or the spillage of hot-chocolate the leather quickly freezes, mutating them from their once pliable and soft state to a rock hard mannequin extension of my own arm.

The only way to get them back to their original form is to leave them overnight, positioned upright on a baseboard heater.

My old hockey skates rest on a shelf beside my toques.
I can't remember the last time they were sharpened, I can only remember the grinding metal sound the sharpener produces.
High frequency.
 I remember the hockey rink canteen; manned by a teenage volunteer who hands out 5 cent candies and frothy hot-chocolate served in a Styrofoam vessel.  Hot as hell for the first 3 minutes. 
Burnt tongue. 
Chocolate residue left on the corner of my lips.

To me, these are vital items in my survival gear for the season. 

I won't jet away to a "hot-spot" : half-assed attempt to avoid meeting Old-Man Winter. 
I know him well.
 We have met time and time again. 
37 years strong is our friendship.
I welcome his chilly embrace.

I don't own a pair of sweatpants. I probably never will.
I'll always have my Long-johns, garbage mitts and hockey skates.

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