Bowling dream

February 17, 2011


This isn’t about a dream of achievement such as becoming a professional bowler, traveling around the country, and earning gobs of money with all of my tournament wins. This is about the other kind of dream—the recurring one in which I am an utter bowling failure. Yes, I have a very specific bowling nightmare.

The setting at my weekly league is innocent enough. I am bowling along without incident. Sometimes, but not often, I have a perfect game going and it’s the 10th frame. But usually, I’m just workaday league bowling. Then, the wheels come off. Or rather, the ball won’t.

I stand on the approach and prepare for my shot. Sometimes in my dream, I can feel that things aren’t quite right with my grip of the ball and so I step back and regroup. Other times, I just plow ahead. Either way, when I get to the foul line and it’s time to release the ball, I can’t. This takes a couple forms.

In one, I stop at the foul line in relative control and re-swing my arm. Again the ball won’t release. I swing again. The ball stays firmly attached.

In another, I am unable to stop at the foul line because the momentum of my arm swing and the weight of the ball (which in reality is only fifteen pounds) just keep carrying me forward down the lane.

I keep swinging and I try flicking my hand to release the ball. It’s like my fingers are superglued in the holes. Then, all of a sudden the ball lets loose. Because I’ve stopped paying attention to my own alley and pins the ball’s trajectory takes it to the side, where it skips down the neighboring alleys like a pebble on a pond.

That’s when I wake up in a cold sweat of horror at my embarrassment. 

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