Colonial Lanes
Joyce Daniels
Doorknobs, Winner

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman…Virginia Woolf              

No establishment could indicate place more than Colonial Lanes Bowling Alley. Loud cracks from crash of powerfull balls against pins.  Whoops of triumph and defeat.  Raucous laughter.  Clink of amber bottle against bottle.  Colonial Lanes was only one of the many places outside her bungalow where introverted Jessi Dayton felt overwhelmed.            

“You’re beautiful, Jessi. I love you, babe.” Jack patted her hand.            

“Oh, Jack!”            

“Don’t go all shy on me.  You’re a birthday angel.” He frowned.  “Hell, it’s 1940.  I’m getting old, girl. Damn. But, you?  Never.”            

Jessi adjusted the hem of her polka dot dress.  Her?  An angel?  Hardly.  Angels weren’t baby machines.  Already she’d had five kids.             

Jack winked, and in quick succession gulped down four swallows of beer. He bent forward and coughed so long and loud, Jessi pounded him on the back.            

"You okay, Jack?”            

After one more hit, he straightened and shoved her hand away.  “Damn it!  Stop!” He stood and scowled.            

Jessi sensed a person’s nearness.  She looked up.            

“Jack, honey, are you okay?”  With a gentle action, the woman touched his cheek.            

Jessi’s lips thinned.  Not again.  She stood and headed for the lavatory.  At the doorway, she tossed a glance over her shoulder.  Jack was in a heated discussion with the pretty redhead.            

Jessi closed her eyes, and as was her habit, counted to ten.

First published: February, 2009
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