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Bowling alley

Using the prompt to practice setting description…

Outside the night was still and quiet, all the cars parked neatly into rows, waiting patiently for their drivers to emerge from the cement gray building lit up by a flashing neon sign that called out “Senior Citizens play for 1/2 price every Monday!” Inside the cinderblock, the Norse gods roared, pounding hammers against the wooden floors. Weighted balls rolled mightily, boasting to nonchalant pins, “Heed my call!” as they ominously barreled toward the end of the road, aiming for the impact of a crash us mortals would try to avoid in our everyday lives. But not here. Not where we eagerly anticipated the smack of dense weight against innocent pins that catapulted into the air and fell stoically on their side when they struck the wooden earth. A medical arm reached down and swept them to the back lair, a dark cavernous space masked by black, where the gods and mortals alike did not bother to go because there was nothing behind the curtain that was important enough to see. Instead, patrons stood at the giant conveyor belts, waiting for colorful balls to pop out like Pez while small numbers popped onto computer screens. Maybe this one would be a strike. These bowlers were an interesting lot – balding men with paunchy or bulging bellies – depending on the number of beer pitchers perched at their tables, where slabs of greasy pizza and stone cold french fries were left until the second go-round; aging women who battled against their years, masking the deepening wrinkles under layers of oily foundation and bright blushes and red lips, their dyed hairs molded firmly into place with gels and sprays; middle-aged couples with glazed eyes and few words left to say to one another when they finally escaped the house of screaming kids for a night and ended up here, lulled by the heavy crashes that weren’t followed with whiny cries. A night at the movies would have put them to sleep, which is why they ended up here, slumped tiredly in the haze of neon light and trails of cigarette smoke that crept across the vast room, barely overpowering the pungent odors from sweaty feet and stale beers. Ah yes, this was a Friday night at the Bowling Alley – the place to come when you had nothing better to do – which happens a lot in a small town. And that’s what kept this place alive.

– Written on March 4, 2012


About 365 Things to Write About

I'm inspired by almost anything and everything creative - nature, architecture, art, words, music...I like to roam along streets, through foreign countries, and within my mind where the world is full of endless possibilities. I dream of being an idealist, but I've experienced too many harsh realities for that wish to ever be true. Therefore, I look for the hope and the good in small nuances, and I express my thoughts and feelings about the world around me on pages and canvases whenever I can.

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