Today, for the first time ever, a scheduled ball hockey game at SJC was cancelled due to the lack of players. Since I sent out the very first e-mail in November of 2003, we’ve played a game every Saturday not including holidays and special occasions. Until today, if an e-mail was sent out, we played on Saturday.

When I showed up this afternoon, it was only myself, Joel, and Darryl. Not enough for a game. Part of the reason was that one guy had his out of town girlfriend come visit and another guy decided to go play golf. The main reason though? Too many of the guys that supported hockey week in and week out have moved away. I’m talking about guys like Phil, Pat, Jamil, and Aseem. They, like me, looked forward to hockey every week. They all knew it was for fun, but they also knew if you weren’t serious about showing up, it would be less fun for others.

Sure they are some holdovers from last year and there are some new residents who seem to be keen on playing, but it’s the old crew that I knew I could depend on. I understand that people are busy, but it was good to know that at every Saturday at 3pm, I could knew I could have some fun with my friends.

As I was walking home, I was disappointed, but I realized that I missed more than just their presence at hockey today, I missed them as friends. That we had to cancel hockey today just highlighted that fact. When you apply to SJC, read through the promo material, you get a sense of the community that exists there. You’re encouraged to make friends. But what no one prepares you for is when all these friends move away. There’s no pamphlet for that.

So, I came home early today, put away my sweat-free equipment and my unopened water bottle. I guess at least I have some extra time to do work.

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