Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{April 19, 2011}   The Bowling Ball Incident
This was a college creative writing paper. A mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
My first lead

My first lead

It’s one of the first really nice days of spring, I can’t believe I got it off of work. I can usually get the things I want because I am a hard worker, and generally, people like me. So today we are having a garage sale; out with the old crap, so we can get some new crap. My brother is helping me today, how he got the day off from work I can only guess, and my guess, he just didn’t show up; no phone call, no warning, nothing. You see that is the kind of person he is, the kind who does as he pleases when he pleases. I don’t think he’s ever held a job for over three months, and he’s nearly thirty years old, but that’s another story. As we sit here bargaining with the early birds, who’ve scoped out the nickel ads for true treasures; a group of youngsters scurry by kicking a soccer ball. There is a rather large boy in the bunch, and he is kind of bullying the other kids, then he kicks the soccer ball away from the smaller ones, it goes lofting high and long, as far away from the little kids as possible. I kind of giggle to myself, I know it was wrong, but it was amusing. Surprisingly, more amusing was my brother’s reaction to the “ball be gone” incident. He was irritated with the older boy, standing up commenting on how he would never do anything like that. With a huge gasp, I immediately voiced, “What do you mean you would never do anything like that?” I was so aghast at that moment I could hardly contain myself. You see, back in our early days, the good old days, school days; my brother was known for inexplicable “incidences.” I ‘ll never forget this one occurrence, it will go down in history as the “Bowling Ball” incident.

It was opening night of the first play I had a leading role in. I was a sophomore in high school and it was really a big deal to have the lead; instant popularity. My brother also had one of the leads in the play. He’d had leads before, no biggie to him, but this was my night, overture, curtain, lights. I was in my dressing room, star on the door, big, bright lights surrounding the mirror, my personal makeup artist powdering my face as my assistant was arranging my fruit basket when… okay so I was in my bedroom putting on “Wet and Wild” lipstick, eating a Kit Kat, with the dog licking my leg, when my brother entered the doorway, or should I say practically fell through the doorway. He was on crutches! His right foot completely bandaged, eyes glazed over like a lemon filled donut, from the effects of codeine. I looked up, startled and blurted out, “What happened to you?” He casually replied, “I kicked a bowling ball.” Stunned, at that moment I must have looked like a wide mouth frog, I repeated, “What?” “I kicked a bowling ball.” Shaking my head in astonishment, I just stood there, my hands held out in disbelief. Finally I stuttered, “Why…why…why would you kick a bowling ball?” And then his monologue began.

 “My friend and I were walking home from school today, and we saw some kids playing in the middle of the street with a ball. It looked like one of those pink-plastic balls with the little blue speckles that you can get in the supermarket bins for ninety-nine cents. We both looked at each other, and simultaneously exclaimed, ‘I’m going to kick that ball away from those kids.’ My friend said ‘Only if you get there first buddy’ and we took off running, top speed…. Well… I got there first.”

It took me a moment for the realization to set in, and I burst out laughing, nearly peeing my pants. “What went through your mind when your foot connected with the ball?” I was choking with laughter, doubling over with a side cramp, tears in my eyes.“Bowling ball.” he stated, his chin dropping with embarrassment. Well, as they say, “The show must go on.” And on it went, my brother adding an extreme limp to his character and slurring his dialogue like a drunken sailor.

So, today I remind him of the “Bowling Ball” incident, and he sits back down quietly as the clam diggers chuckle at the story, and the little kids retrieve their soccer ball. “Hey, I think we have a bowling ball on special today.” I rush into the house to search for my dad’s old relic, probably covered with dust. My brother just smiles. The “Bowling Ball” incident being only one of the many fracases in my brother’s life that have shaped his existence of today. My point being, if I can find one, don’t kick bowling balls, you may never hold down a job, and you’ll have to help your sister out with a garage sale.


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