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For Carole

by Chris Sorrenti

Carole, I miss those crazy days with you.
Our Friday night excursions downtown
to pick up the weekend ‘candy’ at Frank n’ Fries,
but I’m sure you’d agree we’re better off
without that gorilla on our backs,
though it wasn’t quite so easy back then...
as knocking over a few pins at the McArthur lanes.

Yeah, remember the bowling alley?
Where you blew me away with your unconventional
moves on the pinball machines.
You were wild, but that’s how I liked my girls,
unafraid to tell a guy where to go if he crossed you
or the gang we hung out with, idling away the days
between high school and responsibility.

The summer of ’76 seemed like it would last forever.
Life was just one big comic book with no clear plot;
the stars on those hot nights playing perfect ‘companyment
to the office towers looming ominously in the distance;
we paying little heed, puffing one joint after another
in an effort not to lose that high.

I can still hear the sound of those ten pins crashing.
I’d be working, if you could really call it that.
Just had to keep the place clean, babysit the bowling machines,
confident that next party was just around the corner.

Then everybody changed.
That summer turned out to be not so endless afterall.
One by one, the old gang slowly stopped coming ‘round.
You met someone new; told me it was serious.
He couldn’t see what all the fuss was over a bowling alley.
I soon lost interest in the place too, quit my job there,
and not long after, met that special someone,
got a good starting position in the government.

Funny how I should bring this up after so many years,
but today I just happened to be driving down McArthur Avenue,
and there on the right was that old bowling alley.
Couldn’t help myself from pulling in.
The office towers still looming in the distance,
not so ominous now.

Walking inside, I hardly recognized the place;
a classy bar and restaurant having been put in
where the billiard tables used to be.
Although nobody looked familiar,
it was good to hear those pins crashing again.
Closing my eyes for a moment,
not far off, I could hear the sound of youthful laughter.
Walking over to get a better look, there stood a guy and girl,
about nineteen years old...playing on a video game.

© 1983

860 hits as of June 2020


Posted on 07/14/2015
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ken Harnisch on 07/16/15 at 07:23 PM

Well-described nostalgia, Chris...beautifully rendered!

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