Bowling allows me to concentrate on something "meaningless." It's like meditating. I think I like darts for the same reason. (I cannot shoot pool, due to a bad arm, but I do try.) I like escaping... focusing on something that isn't career based. There's no horrible result if I miss a pin.
What about the noise? I know I hate bowling alleys when they are crowded and noisy. But the student center is quiet. It's me, a TV with CNN or ESPN, and the alley. In fact, not one of the other seven alleys was being used. It's great.
I'd like my own shoes and bowling ball. It's amazing that I can use something so public. I admit to scrubbing my hands after bowling. I convince myself to worry only about the actual bowling and nothing else.
Curiously, it reminds me of watching the waves of the St. Croix river last weekend. I love to sit and focus on the motion of the waves. I need these moments without deep thought.