Autumn Dreams Version 2

By Asa Montreaux

This time of year I mourned the loss of summer, but our lives said they would go on. For playing  a sport we chose a place that was pretty damned far away. It was never easy to talk about the environment with these hockey players, but I put together a carpool anyways. It is weird because when you are young and you are together you cannot just not have fun and I probably didn’t seem as serious as in past years. Whatever. I was still the same person.
Quitting hockey was against people’s wishes and I seemed to need to slag through one last year before I could make myself heard;  I didn’t want to quit, I just didn’t want to be in a stretcher one day. People decided I was lazy or I dressed as if I was in some theatre or I drank too much. It is just funny that anyone thought I could handle anything like that when it had already gotten to the point when  everyone’s got so riled up that my nice father thinks it might be okay if he decides to hit me. Anyways.
The fall bled from above us and I felt cold and reserved with it. The nights were longer. The streets were quieter and eerier. Cameron was coming over soon. We were having another party. They were all okay. The stuff away from the rink was still fun. They actually tried to treat us like rookies and make us drink and strip and throw up the first one. I made it through, didn’t do anything too embarrassing, and I had never felt less close to these other guys I still had now not wanted to play one season with.
It was just the two of us driving. Sometimes Evan went with me. For whatever reason I loved cd’s and used to burn bundles of them and I always gave as much attention to playing a song as this drive thing. But my music taste was peculiar, or maybe just freaking whiny and sometimes I just let Cameron blare things.
Cameron. Say we are going to be there in twenty minutes.
The road was woozy. It was eight now and it was dark. The street was not lit, the light inside wasn’t very visible. The house newer, smaller than my house, some people would call it big, I’m sure they did.
Yo Jared.
They said they’ll be here in a half hour.
There was no alcohol for us but of course there was what I brought. It would have been nice if there was some beer, because we were in the kitchen which was open though it wasn’t really a great space and we had to get drunk on the hard liquor. It just burned and I didn’t feel much for at least a half hour.
Elle and Sophie were there. Suddenly I was actually having fun. Elle was strangely perfect in my eyes. It was funny to me how pale some of these Canadian girls were. The sun destroys things. Every time she looked at me I thought about google, and she would always shift her feet and have to look up some. She wasn’t very tall. Sophie was very talkative. She had gotten very drunk. Cameron had been on the phone with Elle telling them what we were doing, what I was doing, and I think they had wanted to be there earlier, with us, or just earlier than us perhaps. She could quantify the amount she had drunken for me. I was able to account for all the motions she went through this way. Surely you know I am interested in such things. Not that I don’t like all of her but her face would haunt me.
I lost her some and went talking to people. No one had anything insightful to say. It was funny that just because I was drunk doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to talk twice as much. There were a lot of people that weren’t on the team here this time. It was a lot more relaxed really. I didn’t like most of the women or the guys here. Then again my affections are reserved for just so many.
I remember when Cameron separated his shoulder and had surgery. We were very young and he came back and he was much bigger. It was scary how big he was getting. I saw a kid but the body was nothing but a big man. He fancied himself a fighter some. Elle was a little funny. She was strangely interested in people, and I couldn’t help but think her life was just some constant display. More than other people.
Some burly hockey feller was speaking with Sophie about doing some coke in the garage or whatever the fuck and I paid attention to her then. Sometimes they are more swayed by threats than sweet talk but I brought her back to the kitchen. I poured her some water and she was fine.
Anyways. Her and Elle were talking about something secret. It was to do with us but with other people too. I didn’t like how much our teammates were interested in them. I was in love with both of them. I was sure it would be fine. I stopped drinking for the night and we made things quieter.
The night grew darker, and more people left. It was Chris’ party and he arranged for us to have the lounge together. Before we went to bed, Sophie got sick some. When I went to the bathroom with her, Cameron and Elle were in there together sitting on the floor, there hands together. There weren’t making out but from the looks on their faces, someone wanted to make out with someone.
We sat up together and soon she felt better. She had a confused, strangely pleased look about her. In the night we could hear Elle and Cameron trying to get close.
When the morning came I didn’t feel as well, but eventually I seemed to revitalize. I said goodbye to Sophie, and soon she left. Elle stayed with us for the day. We went over to my place and she came in for a while. To me they seemed to be nice and new couply together. I was a little surprised at how long it took them to get around to it, all the same.

At practice I didn’t feel the same. I remember in the summer when I was feeling burnt from the gym, skating with Cameron, and having him working so hard, while I was trying to do a little cardio at most. Now I was working hard.
It was fun to know Sophie. It made hockey easier. It didn’t seem as important because of her. I didn’t see her for a few weeks, and my desire for her wasn’t frustrated, sometimes things weren’t so difficult.
It was nice to spend time alone in my place. I thought about what it would be like next time I saw her. I said things to her in my head and I wondered how she would respond. Sometimes I worried I’d spend too much time alone. I was sure that could create loneliness. I didn’t feel very alone right then, all the same.
It was later in the evening and I was waiting for them at the carnival. They had been around but not really here. Why Cameron wanted to go to this I’m still not really sure. There were such better ways to show them some fun. I felt like we had stepped into something to do with some distant homecoming like party. There were young people there and there were old people to with their little kids.
I have never been on so many rides, and consequently never felt so nauseous. I held myself away from ordering too much food. Sophie liked to poke fun and she laughed that I need to eat and I’m going to get too skinny and that was all.
Flying in circles in the rides the sky was dark and little coloured lights blurred together throughout the carnival. We felt silhouetted against the night like we were in a novel. Sometimes I felt so high on myself, like when I was looking at the world when it was beautiful, and I couldn’t communicate it with anyone.
Walking home later, I felt close to her and not only her beauty for the first time. I knew I felt this way because I wasn’t interested in Elle anymore. She used to glow in my mind, but now she existed for me just ever so caricatured. Life is so tentative because we only seemed to exist with each other, we are only perceived in another’s conscious.
I thought about having them come in, but I wasn’t up for some kind of romp like the other night. We sat outside for a little while, and our voices chimed through the streets like when we were younger still.
Eventually, they got a ride, and I went inside. Sometimes other people drinking can make me feel a little drunk, and all the moving things, people walking, carousels turning, music ceaselessly playing, spun around in me. Some moments I’d be full in my mind and I couldn’t really think. I went to lie down, and I eventually I came to in a quiet space. Sometimes lately I had been feeling so sad and perturbed, and I used to think maybe I couldn’t really feel like this, because this place I really do think is so gorgeous. But it is always about people. The city can’t really fulfill me. Some people think the beauty is a perversion or just an abnormality and maybe that is what hurts.
A few weeks passed. Our season wasn’t something I was very invested in. Cameron didn’t know, but I’d already asked for a trade, and as far as I knew, everything was arranged already. I always trained very hard, and I’m not sure if most people can appreciate this. Elle had been to a couple of games, and her and Sophie came to one of our games this week. I really wanted to play well for them. I felt silly about the fact hockey isn’t really very entertaining. I wanted to look tough, not look like I was weak on the ice, most of the time I didn’t really think about that. It was different, not that different. It was more enjoyable. Hockey isn’t as much fun anymore.
We won by two goals and the ending of the game was anti-climatic if you will. I only scored one of those. Cameron wasn’t on my line, though he’d gotten the chance a couple of games. I wasn’t feeling great. I had taken a bit of a big hit. I could never come to terms with getting hit like this. I got undressed and changed into my suit. It was nice to see the two of them afterwards, as well as the parents and everyone else, even if I didn’t feel my tip top best. Sometimes you can’t make life stop. It had been a long day, all things considered.
We looked over the rink, and there was nothing much happening. We were above things like executives. If the concession was open I would have gotten something warm to drink. For a while I held Sophie in my eyes. In her physical shape she was perfect. But in her head, in her body, she was so much to take care of, so much to worry about, so much that she had to figure out, and at the party I though I might need to communicate that I couldn’t be a father or I couldn’t be the one to tell her how to live her life. We were so young. And I felt for her if a parent wasn’t around, if one wasn’t reliable. I felt for her if people wanted their lives to be interesting but no one asks this of us. I felt that she would never understand just how special I wanted to be.
Getting home from the rink seemed to take forever, and it was after one when I got home. It was a weekend, but all the same, I would be so tired tomorrow. It made me feel sad to see myself look tired. My youth is supposed to be about shining vitality, and I don’t feel it is slipping from me, it is just being misused. To fight for one own’s youth, to use the flame in defence of the flame. Life is so tiring.
In a few days, Cameron came over, and we talked about things in a light way. They always say friends are the things that make your life and sometimes it felt like the only things I really do were just things to share with my friends. When I feel lonely I so don’t have anything to do. I thought about Sophie a lot though I didn’t have some deep emotions about her all the time. I liked to think of the way she looked and it was like a quiet music that made me feel a little better.  I was worried. I seemed to be starting to have a lot of things to do, and it was hard to find more time to recuperate. Crashing was just such a horrible feeling. It was funny that I kept making myself tired all the time. Sometimes we think that sports careers are over fast and then we moonlight as what we were but they are not they are long and I think some people feel very free afterwards.
He was texting Elle and I hated being the one to give people things to say. I did ask what she was saying though. It was funny that looking back I almost think he tried to convince me he was into her. I never thought anyone would need help with that. I was never anyone unreliable but I guess  I could have kept them together, but then again that wasn’t something I was trying to do. Sometimes I observe too much, I worry about myself, and more about not screwing up peoples lives, and I’m sorry about this.
The next time I saw Sophie, Cameron wasn’t there. I felt much different about things. This time it was much different and the part was much bigger. Some things were the same because whole teams of guys hit on her. It was weird that feel how she felt more or less. I was scared about this but I wasn’t paralyzed. She was different now too. She was more open, and she wasn’t just trying to make an impression anymore. I think she trusted me enough and yet we weren’t entirely on each others sides. I’m so bloody selfish and I want so many things that it is no surprise I might try and find someone that is the same way. I was scared of losing her. I was scared of giving my heart out. Some of the people we’d known were so rough they didn’t even think that was possible.
I was feeling quite stressed out, but I really fought it. I felt quite drunk, much drunker than before, and I felt much stranger than the last time. I was getting a little stronger, but I think I knew I hadn’t become any tank… I would talk to so many people, and then all of the sudden I would realize she was going around talking to so many people. I had made some friend, and then she had made some friend. If I had picked someone up, I worry she might have picked someone else up.
That was something she expected of me, was to get to know people all the time. It was challenging not having the same conversation with people. And it was tough to get people to take me seriously as a writer. One day it wouldn’t be so tough.
Later on, I was ever drunker. The place was big and it wasn’t as crowded now. We talked later on, and for the first time I really felt in love with her. I kept myself together, I imagined myself becoming more sober as the minutes went by. It was like that, paying attention to what I was doing only a little. In the morning  I had the same feeling, and we were with each other still, and we still hadn’t slept. We left, and went off, but we weren’t hungry. I felt so sick, maybe with love. We didn’t want to go home, but eventually we had to, and the next day I was only a kid again, still sick from alcohol and yearning.


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