Very rarely do I have Pizza delivered. It like doubles the cost! But like Jesus said: I'll always be poor anyway but not always have pizza. Or something like that. In other words, it's good to feel alive sometimes.
Plus I found a twenty dollar bill in the sofa.
So I call up Pizza the Hut like a big shot and start the wheels turning of our wondrous modern society that allows cooked meals to be delivered to your door in glorious laziness and convenience. Lord knows everything else in life is a fucking chore.
My mind is restless. During the day I hold it back, and at night it's even worse. It's hard for me to watch anything for long. Old Star Trek episodes, "Marathon Man", women's college gymnastics, some (godawful) hockey, "Jaws", news overload channels. I just keep cycling through in desperate distraction.
And always in the back of my mind, mourning losses remembered.
It was during this furious channel flipping the doorbell rang. It rings about as often as I have pizza delivered so I was startled as I got up from the couch. Eating is always a big deal for me. I'm stuck believing I have to devour food quickly before someone tries to take it away. Every meal I finish is a minor victory.
I see some scraggly millennial at the door holding my delicious treasure fresh from his warming bag. I can already smell the odor and am thinking of nothing else. But delivery guy has something else on his mind.
"Oh, hey man, I hate that guy."
The guy's peering in to watch my big screen. Never crossed my mind how bored he must be. Then I flashback to my own time in the pizza den of inequity. Nothing more precious than getting out of the hole! Stepping out into the fresh air on freedom's parole making a delivery where you can breathe. You want to stretch it for as long as you can. Then I look back to the TV.
"Oh, I hate him too. You caught me between channels."
The person we were referring to was Bill O'Reilly. Been years since I'd seen the guy. I laughed because, sure enough, the goofy deer's still spoon-feeding his verbal porn to his simple-minded audience with a synopsis on the right so they can know exactly what to think and repeat. See Jack run!
The scruffy kid goes on. "Those people don't care about nothin'. All they're doing is firing up their base to get ratings. He's just spouting off. I can't stand watching his kind."
So I'm thinking this guy really fits the stereotype of young people who traditionally lean left and I was silently praying he'd stick to his guns as he gets older when his heart starts to die and naturally loses interest in the truth. That's when he'll be glued to his TV watching liars and spin doctors like rat-man Bill. At least I had him among the living for now!
"Yeah, his kind will say anything, totally shameless." I'm trying to pay him but he seems especially agitated. Pizza now, philosophy later, dude!
"Those networks like Fox and MSNBC, they only exist to rile people up. I can't stand that Rachel Maddow, either. She really annoys me. They're all a bunch of phonies."
Whoa there, pardner. You got both your oars out of the water on that one, letting the current take you where it will. If you can't tell the difference between those two no wonder you look so agitated. He got me annoyed but really I was actually annoyed with myself for clinging to the idea of idealistic youth to help remind me of my own ideals. Back to having to be my own hero. Yuck.
"We definitely have to honor the truth, that's for sure." No way I wanted to get into an argument with this lost soul so confused by the world in which he lived. I'd seen his noncommittal kind before and wanted to ask him if he was for Caesar or Pompey as my personal little Shakespearian joke. But it would have to die unheard as so many of my thoughts do. I figured my noncommittal reply would be enough for him without me having to openly take a side. Turns out I struck a nerve after all!
"Truth? There are no absolute truths. You got these TV people just wanting to stir up trouble. They don't make any real stands. Nothing is true!"
So that's why he leads his agitated life! He's afraid to admit truth to himself and can't stand the thought of someone else doing it. Seeing anyone speak with conviction drives him nuts because he's cut off from that. But there was a much more horrible truth to face: my pizza was getting cold.
I'd completely lost interest in talking to the guy even as I had to suppress an urge to slap him and tell him to think for himself for once. I asked how much it was and he told me.
"Really, that much?" I was only half-feigning my hurt but he took it to heart.
"Yeah, man, it's true."
"Absolutely. Here's the receipt. See for yourself."
I appeared to be studying it. "You sure it isn't fake news?"
"Oh, no. It's real." His face didn't register I was taking shots at him. He really is a mixed up kid.
"OK, I was just messing with you. Thanks a lot."
"Have a good night, sir!"
He seemed curiously happy as he sped off. Perhaps the only absolute truth he could understand is money. Wait till he finds out that's fiction too!