Saturday, April 02, 2005

Lynn is her name. I spied her there several times, on days I bowled, or tried to bowl. When she wasn't watching me my eyes followed her pleasant curves and the straight lines she walked. In my imagination I equated her dimensions with the perfect shape of a bowling pin. She never bowled, yet she was always there, bee lining back and forth in a patient, ambling gait, eyeing the bowlers, but never smiling at them. There was something odd about her presence there.

One day I was ready to bowl my first strike. My form was perfect. My grip immaculate. I concentrated like a Buddha at the gate of Nirvana. I threw. Ten feet later the ball rolled into the gutter, just as I had wanted to roll onto Lynn. That's when she smiled at me. Girls make me nervous when they smile, especially when it's at me. I didn't hit a pin that entire evening. And the strange thing is, the worse I bowled, the more she glowed with lips upturning and eyes welling with love, as if to tell me, "It doesn't matter. I believe in you. You'll get your strike." But the more she warmed to me, the worse I bowled.

We've been together now for several years. Sure, she told me about her past, but I didn't mind. And it did serve to explain the attraction she felt towards me that night. For years she had been the lead pin in her lane, bearing the blunt blows of those horrid orbs bringing her down dozens of times a night, knocking her comrades against her. One day she willed herself not to fall. As the ball concussed a magic spark electrified her, transforming her into real flesh. She haunted the venue as a live girl until discovering my mercy for the pins.

Story #186


The Mushroom said...

Now I remember why I gave up league bowling when I was not yet in my teens... She wasn't there. I might have retained interest in the sport had there been someone like here at the lanes. As it was, the only folks I dealt with were other guys, who I didn't talk to at school in the first place, and the alley crew, who you didn't want to turn your back on because they were worse than Gypsies. My mother had strange ideas about how to socialize me to other people, and happily just like with piano lessons (eventually) she realized this wasn't it after I spent my pin money at the C&R supermarket next door and walked back before she arrived to pick me up. Now I play with computers all night, pretend to be a bisexual female on the Internet Relay Chat if I really need female companionship (or something resembling that), and watched the bowling alley in my town get torn down to expand the health clinic next door. But had this girl been there, my life would have been very different.

M.P. said...

And.. were you happy ever after??? I hope the dream hasn't ended! :)**

The Mushroom said...

Certainly there were other dreams. This wasn't the only one or the last one. I do however consider not having to struggle through piano lessons (eventually) and dull bowling a source of happiness. Summer baseball I stuck with even though I always had to play right field but never got to bat... that was more an object lesson about life.

Cori said...