“this place is non-smoking, right?”
“technically. but the old stuff lingers.”
i didn’t believe her when she said it, that i’d smell of years of smoke and grease after just a couple hours in the alley. but she was right. linger it did. and although i hated myself for wearing clean clothes i’d have to wash again the next day, i’m glad it did. because it wasn’t just ancient smoke wrapped around the fibers of my denim. it wasn’t only layers of fry grease weighing down my hair.
it was one friend’s five-in-a-row strike run and break-dancing back spin celebration.
it was waiting in one shoe-line for ten minutes before being mysteriously moved to the back of another line . . . and being content enough not to throw a fairness fit.
it was watching high-school kids flirt and toddlers dance, all in the same silly shoes.
under the flashing laser lights of glow bowling, no one can save face. none can enter there and leave proud. with cheap lager and poor form, we managed to humiliate ourselves just enough to let it all go.
the next morning, inhaling the remnants of town & country lanes on the last night’s clothes, i caught the faint scent of genuine good times, and i didn’t turn my nose as i tossed them in the wash.