A couple of summers ago I delivered pizzas. I came home from college and, rather than doing my normal camp counselor job, I drove pizzas all over town for Joe’s, in order to be there for my mom who was battling end-stage breast cancer.
Overall it was a shitty job, but someone had to do it. And it seems for as long as I’ve been in this family, on this earth, it’s fallen to me. How do I know this? Let me tell you.
I think it was my first week on the job, a dumb-fuck job that Joe the manager always acted like I should be lucky to have. I mean, yeah, it was last minute, but that’s because every other driver who’s worked for him has quit. I should have too. There were some nights when all I wanted to do was make it back alive.
At least no one tried to rob me.
So this one particular night I came in around 7 p.m. and picked up two orders. None of them to the greatest part of town. Understand: no tip.
My first delivery was to a mobile home court, not the worst, one with nicely trimmed postage stamp-size lawns and neatly groomed gravel driveways. I pulled up to a trailer with whirligigs in the yard that rotated with the passing breeze and wooden wind chimes that bonked and rattled as I got out of the car. It’s always a question of do I leave the car running? An old guy pushed the curtains aside and looked out at me. I waved. Embarrassed, after a second I lowered my hand. This wasn’t old home week. Just deliver and go.