Dreams From Two Towns: This is Real

Chapter Four: Lance


I want something else other than this ever changing life.I want someone to take me outta this shithole cause it ain’t getting any better. Mom’s not home and when she is, she’s sleeping or making a fuss about something bad that happens around the house– like it’s somehow my fault. I know she’s tired; I know she works 12 hour shifts and sometimes overtime.

The graveyard shift. But… what can I do about it? It’s not my fault that dad left. It’s not my fault that our house is slowly falling into pieces. We had roof problems last week. That is fixed– for now. Today, the faucet is leaking and it may be something else sooner or later. Sooner rather than later. It’s not that I don’t help. I know she works her ass off. Yeah, I buy the groceries. I cook sometimes when she is tired. The little things. I can’t deal with everything.

Just got into an argument with mom today. The faucet. She blames me for breaking the faucet. It’s been falling apart for long time… I don’t know how to fix it. If I did, I would! After today’s argument– I can’t take it anymore. I can’t. It’s not supposed to be this way. It’s not fair. But, I guess, it’s the pain that makes it real. AND this is real.

It’s a Friday evening. I’m free Friday evenings. I can escape from this mess. It’s a time when I can dream… dream of a place where everything is okay. A fairytale. I escape from this mess the only way I know how.  My only solace– my silver S2000. I can drive for miles on end into the abyss into the night with the stars shining brightly. Top down, feeling the wind press against my face. And the only place I know where I can truly be at peace. JERRY’s. A bowling alley.

I’m a regular there. They know me, I know them. I walk in and Tommy, the bowling alley owner, greets me in his usual deep grouchy voice: hey there son.

I nod.

Tommy continues: The usual?

I nod.

The usual is a bowling ball, shoes, and a pop from the snack bar.

I say a thank you to Tommy and go about my own business. I’m good at bowling– the regulars know it. They got nothin’ on me. I beat them all the time. Per usual with the regulars cheering and sometimes jeering (when I pull a bad one)  I do extremely well.

As I take a break from a winning streak, I hear the door ding. In walks this well dressed young 20 some year old guy with dark brown hair. Tightass, thinks he owns this place– but he’s just so perfect. AND he walks over without a care in the world– to me.




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