Friday, September 19, 2008


The last 20 hours have been terrible. Thursday nights I've been bowling in a league at Black River Lanes with Bryan, Bukie and James. The first week of the league went fine. My scores were about on average, though I was low man for the evening. The following week I was having some trouble, but I just chalked it up to being tired -- it was the first week of the semester and I was swamped at work.

Last week was a major stumbling block. I couldn't get any of my equipment to do anything and by the third game I was fed up. 8-year-olds having a temper tantrum is annoying. If you are 25 it is really unforgivable. I instantly regretted it, but there's really nothing you can do at that point.

Last night I went in with the mindset that no matter how bad things might get, I will not behave the same way. By the middle of the second game, it was taking every ounce of will to keep myself in check. The frustration is attacking from several different angles. First, I am the only person on my team struggling. The other guys are averaging 200+, James even bowled his first 700 last night. It has nothing to do with the left side as our opponent's had a lefty on their team who was doing just fine. Also, this is the third week in a row I have been struggling on three different pairs of lanes, which means that the center isn't the variable. The only common denominator is me.

It was during the third game that I realized what my problem is. For whatever reason, I feel like I have to prove myself, which is causing me to try way too hard, which is causing me to do all sorts of weird shit in my shot making and is clouding my judgment when I need to make adjustments. The thought that occurred to me was a suggestion my therapist presented at my last meeting with her: that I am not comfortable in my own skin. Sure, my defensiveness, my inability to allow people to get close to me (intimately or even physically), and a host of other issues play into that theory, but for whatever reason I am demanding more proof.

When I came to this realization, I started to panic. Whenever I visualize this concept, I picture a boss from a game like Metroid or Zelda where you have to wait for the scales on their body or some protective covering moves away for a second so you can strike their weak point. When you hit that spot, the boss cries out in pain. I could see my vulnerability being exposed and an ice-cold blade getting ready to poke it. My focus shifted from shot making to holding it together. After the third game was done and I limped over the 400 line (I think? I didn't bother adding the scores) I threw my equipment in my bag, congratulated James and told Bryan I was going to wait in the car.

As we were driving back to Oberlin, my rear window was fogged up, so I turned on the rear defrost. About 2 minutes later, I heard a POP. At first I thought a tire blew out, but then someone said my window was cracking. Was it a gunshot? A meteorite? Whatever it was, it caused me to not hold it together anymore as I listened to the crystallized crackling sound of my rear window. As I approached 511, I hit a bump which caused the entire window to collapse. I won't bore you with the transcript of what I said, but rest assured it was not rated G.

I'm now waiting for my replacement window to get installed. This whole window thing is far too metaphorical for my taste. And expensive. Future metaphors take note: you need to cost less than $50.

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