Today was Jake surgery and I know people joke that I’m his Dad but I really do try to look out for the kid. So I told the staff doctor that I wanted to drive him home after the procedure. They told me that Jake would be ready at 12, so that gave me time to see my surgeon for a follow up. Dr. McGlovin did an exam and ultrasound of my groin. I was so nervous because he never really said anything during the whole exam.
Afterwards, he told me to get dressed and head back to his office. When I walked in, Dr McGlovin was looking out the window. As I sat down, he said, “Sidney, Sidney…Sidney”, and slowly turned to look at me. OH FUCK, here it goes, he’s gonna say another 3 weeks. I was surprised when he pulled $50 dollars and a business card from his wallet. The card was from the Cricket Lounge and he wrote the name “Sienna” on it. Dr McGlovin said, “You’re ready for the ultimate test, ask for the ‘Candy Kane’”. He said he would call the Penguin staff and tell them to clear me for contact.” I awkwardly laughed, thanked him, and headed out of the office. I swung by Starbucks, picked up some muffins and cookies for Jake. I went to the post-op section and when they wheeled Jake out, he looked high as fuck. He was giggling the whole ride home. I put his mom on the car speaker and it was hilarious…
Jake lives with Reeses and Kahunie; I’ve never been to Jake’s place so I was a little surprised when I walked in. I never went to college, but it kind of reminded me of when I had to room with Johnson or Army. When you walk in, there was an empty keg leaking on the floor. Kahun and Reeses were both in their boxers eating Toaster Strudel and watching anime. They both looked like they crapped themselves when they saw me. Reeses shoved a bunch of Playboys into a empty pizza boxes, as if I wouldn’t notice. I guess I should have warned them that I was coming. I thought about busting their balls, but I just put Jake into bed.
I hung around till he woke up; Gally and Tanie came by and I played Call of Duty with the guys. I ordered lunch for everyone. Kahun kept asking questions about the Olympics and what certain players were like. ZAR kept overly laughing at everything I said. Eventually Jake came out to hang a little. Before I left, I helped Jake back to bed and told him I’d be back in the AM. On the way home, I called Geno and told him we were going to have breakfast at Jake’s tomorrow. I’d figure that Geno could help him out more, since he’s had some shoulder issues in the past.
Geno and I showed up the next day to check on Jake. He looked a little in pain, but he still had that goofy smile on his face. We all ate breakfast and then I left Geno alone to talk to Jake. They seemed to have a good conversation … I think. Geno gave me a little nod, but Jake looked … perplexed. I dropped Geno off and played with Nikita a little before heading home.
I feel great, I’m skating great, I’m close to being ready, but my stamina isn’t there yet. I’ve been practicing some new movies that are sure to destroy some careers. I just hope the staff clears me for games soon. I got to practice with the team again and afterwards we went to lunch. Everyone was still a little down about losing Jake. Geno and I did our best to keep the lunch light, but I could see that the season was waning on some of the newbies. The team really needs me, and I knew what I had to do. I dug the card out of my wallet and I called Army, who called TK. I didn’t want to take any of the team, just in case something went wrong. It was time to see if I was really ready. I swung by the bank on my way home because this is gonna require a lot of dough.
The night started out as a pretty routine visit to the strip club. Drinks, laughter, a lap dance here, a drunken bar slide there. Army re-injured his knee when he fell off the stage, after one of the dancers brought him up for a ‘chair dance’. TK injured a bouncer while we were playing tequila darts. After many rounds of liquid courage, I told Army that I would be back and then I slipped him my lawyer’s card. He winked at me and I knew he remembered our signal.
I walked to the manager and asked him if I could speak with Sienna.
“Oh Sid, I got a great girl for you, she just moved here from Cali”.
“Can I please speak to Sienna?”
“Umm, Sid, how about Janice and B.T. Shirley”?
“Can. I. please. speak. to. Sienna?”
“Are you sure about this?”
As I nodded, he gave a short sigh and led me through a hidden door. He discussed the rules and told me that my safe word was “Bylsma”. He led me into a dark room and then he left. Immediately I felt like I had made a poor decision. Oh, geez, I am not ready for this; I’m Canadian. I was about to turn around to leave, but then I heard “Old Town Road” on the speaker in the room. Jake! Jake loves that song. So many times I had to tell him to STFU as he sang it over and over on the bench. I have to do this for Jake, I have to do this for the team. In walked Sienna, in a cute little cowboy outfit, and the lights turned on.
“Give me the Candy Kane”
As I left the room, the Manager was pacing at the end of the hall. He looked at me nervously, but then gave me a nod of respect. “Good, good, you can still walk; I’ll call my bookie in the morning. LGP”.