"You have a group invitation."
That's what it said on the top right corner of my facebook info page yesterday. I'd joined other interest groups for schools, sports, etc. But this one wasn't like any other group, it was a memoir group for a friend passed on, "Dave Currie."
I clicked to go to the group, and confirmed that my friend had died. Unfortunately, there weren't many details. From the pictures posted, I figured he died of some sort of brain cancer or tumor as some of the photos showed a large scar from his forehead, around his ear and to his chin. The last pictures showed him bald.
As kids, I remember Dave's curly pate of bright blond hair. I first knew him as a hockey teammate.
When I was ten, Dave moved down the street from us and started attending the same school. We formed an instant friendship. Dave was charismatic. Girls loved him. He was also mischievous and a trouble maker. On more than one Halloween, we could be found running from house to house smashing pumpkins left high on the walls of split level houses. We fished illegally in the Credit River during salmon spawning season.
Around the same age where Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn had there adventures, Dave expanded my horizons from my neighbourhood to the entire region of Meadowvale. There wasn't a place we didn't bike off to just for the fun.
He taught me to catch a football better than anyone else in our pickup games, calling me a wuss every time I dropped it until I didn't drop it any more, even his hardest throws.
There was always an electric feeling when I knew I was going to hang with my buddy Dave. I still remember the excitement because I never knew what adventure we would have. Running/trespassing through people's backyards; Skateboarding down steep hills; playing road hockey on his street; spray-painting goalie pads to look like the Maple Leafs; picking up girls (unsuccessfully) at the mall; telling his sister scary stories and seeing her jump a foot in the air when I grabbed her leg and yelled, "AAAHHHH."
Come highschool, Dave moved to the opposite side of Meadowvale. I suppose we became more interested in girls and other activities and grew apart; though we still played hockey on the same team. As with most of my friends, after Highschool we completely went our separate ways. I moved onto University, then to Africa where I've spent most of the last six years and haven't been in touch.
One of my last vivid memories of Dave was at a hockey game. We were about seventeen years old. The referees were terrible! Half of our team was in the penalty box at any given time of the game. During one particularly bad call, the coach was shouting, the players were fuming on the bench, the fans (Parents, buddies, and girlfiends) were pounding the glass in protest. Out of nowhere Dave builds up speed and starts figure skating. He began with a couple pirouettes, followed by a (not so graceful) swan glide with his back foot stretched behind him higher than his ass. There were a couple more pirouttes and a jump twist in the air before he fell down and raised his hands in the air.
The refs and other team stared at him in confusion. Our team went from fuming to cheering and banging on the boards and the fans started clapping and cheering him.
That was Dave. He took a bad situation and gave everyone a great memory. He was always a team player, had a booming slapshot that scared the shit out of goalies, and was full of surprises and jokes.
In another game, we were winning by a huge score - 10-1 or something. I'd set Dave up for a hat trick already (I was a hog so it was rare for me to pass). In the last minute, I spun around with a blind pass and missed Dave by about ten feet behind him. I put my hand up in apology at the terrible pass.
After the game, he came up to me, pretending to be pissed. "Damn Dan, we would have won if you hit me with that pass."