I am the re-setting machine in a one-lane bowling alley. You only have to get one pin, way over in the corner, and before I can think about it I'm sweeping the whole array back into the depths of my throat with a big mechanical arm and starting over from scratch, simultaneously sliding the ball back to whoever is next in line. The whole process is slick, perfect, rubber, composite wood floors reflected in every waxy surface, and the ball spins airily, pushing the pins over with a softness that betrays the sound of the contact, cracking and popping like a big ceramic wildfire. I might be a single-function machine, but you're wearing someone else's shoes.
I'm hoping that when somebody buys up this old bowling alley -- It hasn't turned a profit in years -- they'll have the guts to recontextualize me instead of just throwing me out or putting me on the wall, a showpiece that has outlived its utility. If you turn the place into a diner, you can suspend me from the rafters, and when someone finishes their eggs and coffee, I'll swoop down with the mechanisms I know so well, everything into the soapy bucket and then new settings lowered down, silverware and glasses and jam and butter and a napkin at each place. It wouldn't be one of those corny themed places, "Come on down to Dine & Bowl" and signed memorabilia on the walls. Just your homemade buttermilk waffles and a good friend helping you bus tables.