#Superaggressivefb is rather obviously one of the best things to happen in my life in the last year, and one of the best people I ever could have come across. He takes a lot of interest in me, the things that matter to me, the things that drive and motivate me, and the things that bring me down.
Months ago, he asked me about hockey. In that way that everyone inevitably does when they first start wondering why the hell all this stuff about ice hockey is constantly in my twitter and Facebook feeds. And then he did something unexpected. He said he'd like to go to a game with me. He said it very earnestly, it wasn't just a throwaway "if it makes you happy i'll join in" comment, he'd realised, very quickly, that hockey is supremely important to me and he wanted to find out why, to get involved and see what this thing was that I get so passionate about.
For the last year, hockey was pretty much my anchor, it was the thing that gave me a sense of self when I was certain of little else about the world. I stayed up late watching hockey several nights a week and sometimes it was the sound of hockey on the radio that got me to sleep without terrifying dreams. Hockey season ending shortly after I ended up in hospital feeling suicidal for the 3rd time in 7 months filled me with dread. And it's probably not an accident my friendship with #superaggressivefb picked up around that time and filled in the gaps.
Hockey is something I'm proud of, that I obsess over, that I'm passionate about and that drives me
Today, #superaggressivefb is taking me to a hockey game. It's the first time a boy has ever taken me to a hockey game. It's only the 4th game I'll have seen live. It's my first ever non-NHL game. He bought the tickets. He's determined to take me, not just go with me. My friends are pretty good, and indulge me plenty on my hockey fandom. But it's something that confuses them and means nothing to them in the long run, I accept that. Chris got dragged to an NHL premier game years ago by me. And he used to sit and watch the more exciting games with me online when we lived together. I love him for doing that. I was supposed to go see a game back in March with Terence for my birthday (tickets for Rangers games have to be booked a year in advance). I went with my friend Patrick instead for obvious reasons. No-one's ever turned around to me before and said "can I go to a game with you?" With the exception of twitter, I've never really had someone I can sit there and talk to about hockey. It's an accepted price I pay for loving a sport that just isn't popular and covered in this country.
I don't know much about British hockey - it's a pretty minor sport in the UK and unless you live next to a rink or are somehow involved in the sport yourself, you probably wouldn't follow it. The premier Ice Hockey league in the UK pretty much doesn't exist south of Coventry. But I'm excited. Really really excited. I'm doing a pretty good job of looking calm, but on the inside I can barely focus. You're probably all going to hate me when my incessant hockey tweeting switches from at nice ignorable late night times to UK evening times.
Hockey is happening. Hockey is life. Someone else noticed what it means to me, and is taking me to a game. He's excited too. Not just for me, it's new to him and he's genuinely open to it.
I get to go to a hockey game.