Alley Alright

July through September were a breeze. But, since October came and left, I’ve been knocked down. I’ve been knocked down like 10 red and white bowling pins.
It is sensory overload walking into a bowling alley. The sounds of the tumbling pins as bowling balls crash into them. The smell of fresh spray masking whatever is inside over worn bowling shoes lingers in the air. The sight of reflections in the waxy surface of the lanes. Laughter and proclamations of joy after getting a strike fills your ears. All of those senses went to waste when I walked into a bowling alley with you. My focus was shifted to you. Maybe that’s why my bowling skills were non existent. I didn’t care if I got a lucky strike or and unfortunate gutter ball. I was too busy focusing on you. On the way you conducted yourself. The way you hugged the ball with one arm. Watching your precise steps leading up to the release of the ball. Your reaction to knocking down the pins. I was lost in this night with you. We weren’t alone though. But, looking back on that night, I mostly remember you being there. The words you said come flooding back to me. Your khaki pants and navy shirt forever imprinted in my memory. That’s all that I have left from that night. Days later, you left. Gone with a short goodbye.

What you do not realize is what you left behind. You knocked me down just like you knocked down those red and white bowling pins. Like with one toss of a bowling ball under your control, I was down. With every strike or 7-10 split, you changed me. One hit after another, in a course of 4 months, I was a different person. You may have knocked me down, but not in a detrimental way. A way I am mostly grateful for. I would build myself back up, just to tumble down again. Tumble down an alley of unknown, that turned into a lane leading to you. You taught me something. Yet, in another way, I hate that you knocked me down. Mostly because I let it happen. You left behind a girl desperate for your attention. A girl I promised myself I’d never be. That’s the thing though, that’s what happens when you fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. At the same time, you showed me the beauty of life. The beauty of seeing a person for who they truly are.

There is a sense of irony in bowling. Knocking things down, just to put them back into place and continuing to knock them down over and over again. It’s a never ending circle. That’s what it was like to be around you.

The timing of our circles are in different time zones. Right now, mine has hit pause knocked of course like bowling pins. Beat up by you. Well, yours, yours is fully intact, untouched by me. Since October came and left, I’ve had hope our circles will one day enter into the same time zone. Together we’d be twenty pins ready to be knocked down and built back up taking on life. Timing was not on my side once. What is not to say it won’t be in the future? Creating a lane for us to bowl together.

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