I have a hockey game in a couple of hours.
Before then I have to do a few things: I have to find my socks and put them on (hopefully that will be pretty much routine but you never know — socks can be tricky), I have to not shave (I like to keep the bar low whenever I can), I have to remember where I put my glasses (usually that’s easy but sometimes I forget), pack my equipment bag (ditto), find my passport (don’t ask) and mix up a (pink, although that’s not especially important) bottle of a caffeinated beverage for a modest post-game pick-me-up (easy if the pink bottle is where it’s supposed to be). Oh, and I have to do a little reminiscing (Sorry, the hazards of age. It’ll happen to you one day.) about habits, obsession, compulsion and absent-minded professors.
Nine months ago (not) I clicked ‘Publish’ on some self-indulgent noodling (again, not) about — among other things — chairs, back hair and shoes. In particular, the story (if there was one, something I’m not entirely sure about) sort of flowed from the fact that people are creatures of habit. This has many consequences but in the context of the-story-that-may-not-even-be-a-story it means that in locker rooms a lot of people tend to sit in the same place and there can be Consequences (really not, although it is worth a listen if you’re at all partial to late 1970s prog-rock) if they don’t.
This is where my little inside voice piped up. “Hey!” it said “You tend to obsess about the strangest things. Are you sure this isn’t something that you’re imagining?”
That’s a decent question, Voice. I’ll have to think about that.
I was doing exactly that when I arrived at the arena last week. I sat in my usual seat (of course) and looked around — everyone else was too.
Everyone? No, not everyone. M— came in and, quite deliberately, sat in D—‘s seat. From around the room came a chorus of comments, complaints and abuse:
Hey! That’s not your seat!
and, most telling
Somebody’s gonna get hurt today.
H’m. Does that answer your question, Voice?