Pizza Party!

Every Monday morning, even when it is winter and there is snow on everything, I have to drag my ass out of bed very early to watch future nurses get lectured on things like cancer and they watch videos of old homeless people struggling to breathe, and then dying. It is beautiful, my Monday morning.

But this Monday morning it is terrible. It is finally winter and there is snow. But city snow. This is no village, this is a City and we need our streets too much to leave storybook white blankets. My world is already brown and gray and I am late. No later than normal, than every Monday morning, but late enough that I will have to pretend there is a reason. If anyone ever asks, I have a dozen excuses. Today, my excuse is that it is brown and gray and I am in too hateful a mood to give a shit.

The normal protocol (As if it's that formal that I call it protocol. IT nerds have a desperation when they name things. For instance? My boss's office is called Master Control, like we're piloting a star-ship.) is to head downstairs into a cove, a nook where they have hidden a magical key. When I was told about the key, I was given a code (it's sequential!) and warned the dire consequences if this key fell into the wrong hands. I am supposed to look around and see if anyone is suspiciously noticing that I'm skulking in a nook, right next to the Coke machine.

I look around this morning. I don't know why, because I'm an idiot who likes playing super-spy compute nerd too, doesn't fucking matter, because there is a woman sitting there. How odd, she sits by herself, in the one chair that can see kind of into my nook. Too bad, I think, I'm a professional. I'll never get caught. I turn into my nook and see them, stacked, four pizza boxes on top of the garbage can.

Oh the dilemma! Can she see me? Is she paying attention to me, or is she minding her own business, studying for her very important classes? I peek inside. There are four pieces in this box, I look back to make sure I am ok, fuck, she fucking looked at me. I'm going to get my backpack out and spin around and oh, look, this book inside needs to be shifted, there I fucking go, off to class with my magical key and no pieces of pizza and that girl looking at me like I'm a hobo. I even wore a goddamn tie this morning, and I'm still the garbage eating hobo.

I'm sulking in my little office. I need to find a way to get to that pizza. I shouldn't be ashamed, They were in boxes! On top of the garbage! They're fine! I'm fine! I wouldn't have thought twice if I was still 16, goddamn old man, you scared what a nursing student thinks of you? Universally, the stupidest class of people, the most sickening white-bread middle class bad-mom-haircut, pussy paunched thirty year old hags, fuck fuck fuck. It's probably delicious pizza, organic sauces and stuff. I think I saw tomatoes on it, that's such a good idea, tomatoes everywhere, I have to have it. There are water fountains out there, I'm going to get a drink.

They are too many of them. I've discovered why I must care about being seen eating garbage in the center of the major research university that I attend. It's for them. They think of me as the suave yet scruffy expert on microphone batteries, the one who with every answer to your technology questions with a casual "That's just how the machines work, unfortunately." I say it with a cool, calming edge, "There's really nothing I can do. Unless it's something you did to screw it up, which is probably true and permanent with no solution. I'm so sorry." I won't have them betrayed, their fantasy of me threatened by my growling stomach.

The class is quickly approaching. I will have to do my job in a moment, this is maybe my last chance. And the room is empty! I am free to grab as much pizza as I can carry and oh no, they'll see me bring it in! And she'll be in there, blonde and judgmental, and she'll whisper it to the girl next to her and I'll be crucified by these woman. I have nothing, no newspaper or paper towels to wrap it up in, and I won't just shove it down my throat like I always do. There's no joy in that sad pizza, that self-loathing waste, three second of gorging and emptiness, cold cheese barely wafting back over my taste buds. I need to find a way...

My backpack has pizza in it. Every time I scrape the bottom of the bag looking for a pencil, I am going to feel crumbs on my hand. In a few weeks, when the semester is over and I clean out this mess, I will see a crusted reddish glob, and try to pick it off and taste it, and then remember this pizza. The pizza itself, olive and I was right, it's tomato, the pizza is hard after spending the night in the hallway. It's hard, like tack-bread, and the little bits of crust burst in my mouth like dry clumps of sand. There are swaths of pizza where the sauce is barely a coloring on the surface and the tomatoes have pruned into craters, but in small, isolated pockets, the cheese is merely cold, and the sauce beneath it is still sort of mushy. I have to bend down, behind my computer screen in order to chew; she is still out there and danger lurks. But fuck her. I have my pizza, my breakfast, my reward for such a morning. And now I am happy.


The Grza said...

Two fucking hours and it's like Alien is crawling around in my guts. Thank god for garbage and all its earthly delights.

ETC said...

be proud