Long Ago Is Far Away

Danny placed his hand in O’Hara’s and left it to O’Hara to shake it. What kind of handshake was that? No sense of joy, no enthusiasm for an old friend. It almost made O’Hara step back to re-evaluate the person in front of him. They had double-dated the McCormick twins, and smoked pot huddled in the nearby woods on winter nights so cold the trees made cracking sounds. Didn’t this mean anything to Danny?

The Machine

I sprinkle shuffle wax on the shiny deck of the bowling machine. I concentrate — my hand on the cool metal puck, testing the friction before the push and then the folding of the pins and the whir of spinning numbers. I’m careful to stay behind the foul line, even when dad’s not giving me his side-eyed look to make sure I’m still there, playing by the rules.