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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2011 71 Their moTher wanTed To have a few hours to herself, so i left the little rat’s nest i was subletting in new York and drove three hours to take our two boys to a bowling alley, one of the few things open the afternoon before Xmas. But the sign on the door said CLoSed. we charged through the two sets of unlocked glass doors any- way. This was in east Providence, rhode island, and the three na- tives who ran the place, lounging around the shoe rental counter with tall glasses of beer, seemed accosted by our entrance. most of the lights were off, they were beginning to relax in the half- light of a long Xmas weekend, and the last thing they expected was to have three blurry figures barge in through the CLoSed sign. a robber with two midget sidekicks, maybe? instinctively they reached for something with which to arm themselves, be- fore the man in the blue shirt rallied. “how you gents doing?” he called. “right now not so good,” i said with mounting irritation. “i called from the highway a couple of hours ago and was told you were staying open till 4:30.” The two cronies piped up on either side of the man in the blue shirt. “we had to close early—no business.” “also we just steam-cleaned the carpet.” They were overruled by the man in the blue shirt who said, with masterful calm, “we can open up the last lane for you. what size shoes do you take?” “You sure?” i asked, my anger evaporating. “Sure thing. Just avoid the center of the carpet where it’s still wet.” “Thank you, guys. i appreciate it—almost nothing’s open the afternoon before Xmas.” Sad, angry, lonely—Daniel Asa Rose and his sons are reeling from the recent family breakup. But in a closed bowling alley on Christmas Eve, they open their hearts and find seasonal cheer. Xmas Spirit iLLuSTraTionBYkimroSen