My friend carried the pizzas in a plastic bag. I got stumped seeing it, not understanding why someone would do that, trying to hide it. There’s no shame in carrying a pizza. To proudly declare, “Hey, I’m just human, and I’ll fucking eat pizza whenever I want!” But he had requested a bag. He still needs to carry them, and very few plastic bags are devised with that certain fingertip skill so that it manages to contain, hold, nurture, and care for a pizza. Often, it becomes tilted and skewed, and there’s a risk that coveted pieces of mushroom will slowly glide down.
He also carried the pizzas vertically, standing straight up. I was hypnotized by the stupidity that had possessed my friend, the pureness of this fucktard, not even being capable of carrying pizzas within the acceptance of normalcy. I didn’t see the toppings, yet; I saw the toppings in my mind—gliding downwards. With corroded razor blades in my eyes, the twister from the 1996 movie Twister in my bowels, and spilled un-eco-friendly Exxon oil in my throat, I asked him what the fuck his deal was, as he wondered what my “deal” was. I had looked forward to eating pizza and watching Moon 44, no matter if there was a quartet of teenagers at the pizza place who unleashed giggles like gnats—too many to swat, no matter if you stood perfectly still in the dark in your boxers with a rolled up magazine—buying ourselves one pizza each with them sharing one without meat because that’s “murder.”
I almost told him that I wasn’t the failure here and that I had been provided the needed love from my parents, so I knew how a pizza should be held. But instead, I bit my tongue, and a small piece came off—shutting my mouth.
We went a little further, and he asked me about some game, and I told him my high score but upped the numbers a tad, and then I saw that he rightly carried the pizzas in his hands, but upside-down.
I wished him dead.
The wheels of a lurking bus felt alluring. Splat, goo, or whatever becomes of a human once a bus has run him over—my friend over. The pizzas were, by this point, destroyed—not fit for a dog.
And I screamed, “What the fuck are you doing to my life?!”
Without a flinch in his usually jerky voice and for some reason, all he said was that every day he thought that if he were to procure a gun or own one, or be given one, or find one, he could shoot himself in the head—painting a utopian world within his mind with whatever was inside his skull.
I told him about when I had bought a rope made from sturdy hemp, spending a weekend with it, tied like a noose, feeling it, feeling its reality, knowing I could.
But we emphasized “could.”
Because we didn’t—we were to eat some dish previously labeled as “pizza” and watch a sci-fi flick from 1990 with Malcolm McDowell.
Maybe this was just vertical pizza? And we discussed that perhaps it could be a thing. That you buy a pizza and then place it vertically, allowing—NO! GRANTING!—the toppings and cheese and whatnot to pool as ooze and stickiness, and then you could eat the whole thing with a fork or maybe rip off a piece of the bottom and use it to scoop. Of course, you didn’t have to watch Moon 44 while eating the vertical pizza.
That’s what we talked about as we walked home.