Home » More & Less Hockey » Achilles Weeps

Achilles Weeps


I named him Hector because I had watched Troy too many times.  It was not a great movie but Eric Bana is always watchable.  So when we adopted a big brown dog from the pound, rough coated, notorious for fighting with other dogs, yet possessed of a charm that no human could resist, I thought of Hector.  So that was his name.  I took a strange pleasure in shouting that name over the hills when he wandered off.  If you have to shout a dog’s name for all the neighbors to hear, it had might as well be Hector.

Hector died today.  I will no longer shout that name into the darkness of night.  I still have the others, and one is named Marlowe.  He also likes to hide from me, out there in the night.  I call his name as loud as I dare so as not to wake the neighbors, heart filling fast with fear that something has happened to him.  He makes me wait always just a little too long, then comes sauntering back looking bashful.  I feel absurdly relieved, grateful that he is safe.  I feel like he did me a huge favor, rescued me from despair, by coming home.  At that moment he is a hero.

I am used to going from fear to anger to meek grovelling gratitude.  I do it every day.

2 dogs

Hector and Marl(ow)eau

Nonetheless, I feel deflated by the Sharks’ loss tonight.  I have no energy to rage at the fates anymore.  I am no Achilles shouting for a confrontation.  Perhaps I never was.  I am wounded and in retreat.  It isn’t Hector’s fault, or Marlowe’s, or Marleau’s.  If anyone says it is Nabby’s fault I might burst into tears.  When Marleau tied the game at the end of the 3rd period tonight I vowed to change the spelling of Marlowe’s name to Marleau.  Why not?  I promised.  He isn’t a papered dog or anything.  So Marleau it is.

The game was not badly played.  It just wasn’t good enough for today, not for the day my dog died.  It had to be better.  They play again Sunday.  I will watch.  Weep today, let tomorrow take care of itself.

And maybe tomorrow I will dwell more on the mystery that is Byfuglien.  In this frame of mind who knows, maybe I can pull off a good and proper hex.

I am sure this post will be added to.  I think I am sure.

-roughly thirty minutes later

Ok, back already.

My impulse to curl up under the bar at the place I watched the game, cover my head and weep… that was really just a delayed response to my dog dying.  I know that. It is important to explore your feelings, sort them through and get past them.  Sometimes someone has to sort of kick you in the behind to break you loose from the suppression thing.  I guess Byfuglien did that, so I should thank him.

Thank you Byfuglien for reminding me what a totally shit day I am having.  I had almost forgotten.  Thank you.

There.  That step taken.

But I have never heard anything about how you are supposed to feel about the person or event that helps shake you loose from the stagnation of suppressed emotions.  I know you are not supposed to get involved with your therapist.  It is recommended that you not fall in love with the person who guides you through a bad time in your life.

Therefore, it is probably perfectly fine for me to now feel a deep and expanding- possibly on its way to being all consuming- dislike for the person who topped off my crap day with a dollop of sloppy cow manure.  He did it, by way of a completely intentional act, having good reason to believe that many people would be disappointed, even emotionally distressed by the result he intended: a game winning goal.  If he did not know that one of his victims would be more fragile than usual, he is still responsible for the harm caused.  You take your victims as you find them.

Mhm.  No court in the land would hold him liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress in this case.  Nonetheless, the Court of Equity which is my brain finds him guilty as charged.  I hereby wish ill upon him, sentence length to be determined.  I am under no obligation to temper my feelings.  What does he care?  He is far far away and we would probably never cross paths even if he lived not so far away.  No, actually I don’t think I would care if he knew.   I believe that if you are in pain, it really does help to share it, pass it around so to speak.  Do I want his dog to die?  No, I would not wish ill on a dog.  Now if he had a lizard or something…  Or, if he keeps this up, I could always wish a slew of cross checks on him in the next round.  (Pronger has his virtues.)

Achilles may be weeping in the corner like a little girl but I think Hera just woke up.


  1. Diane says:

    I’m sorry you lost Hector. It’s difficult to let go of these unconditionally loving creatures! They give us so much love.

    I’m in the same state of mind when it comes to hockey as my Habs lost….again….this afternon…

    PS. I enjoy what you have to say

    • petshark says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry about your team losing today. I want the Flyers to win but I feel your pain. Why can’t we give everyone gold stars instead of sending them home early, lol?

  2. Diane says:

    Where would the fun be in that? I love the rivalry and a good old hockey scrap on ice! lol

  3. Diane says:

    It’s Sunday may 22….I’m sorry your Sharks didn’t make it…..

  4. petshark says:

    Thanks. I’m not going to freak out about it but I may be rooting with more energy against your team now. Sorry about that. My frustration must vent somewhere:)

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