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Requiem For A Beard -- A Story For The Playoffs

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"Requiem for a Beard"

After the game, everybody was going to ask questions, and so many among them would be fast to lay blame. We put those thoughts aside as the razor blade scrapes our skin, slicing into us like an explorer’s machete hacks through untamed jungle.

It was time to bid farewell to our playoffs beards.

Every scrape of the razor is like a skate on the ice, every hair falling like a fan’s tears.

Somewhere, a trumpeter stands alone on a mountain top in western Canada, and plays a mournful rendition of the old "Hockey Night in Canada" theme while the flag of our team – printed on a beach towel purchased at Zellers – flies at half mast.

I shaved without Barbasol, ignoring the razor burn pain.

I shaved into an old shoebox plastered with bumper stickers proclaiming my love of the team, like an urn filled with the ashes of the departed.

In litany I recited the players’ names like saints and, face clean, closed the shoe box and draped a Save On Foods playoffs towel over it like a burial shroud.

I carried the shoebox into the backyard and lowered it gently into the ground alongside the others, to join the parade of previously composted dreams of the Stanley Cup.

But we'll rise again. We did before, we will again.

And our beards will be waiting.

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