Jeremy Johnson

Pizza Vs. Destiny: A Love Story

The pizza slice cooked in Ian's hands. Steamed sweat condensed on its plastic exoskeleton. Ian briefly considered the nutritional value of Reynolds Wrap as his hunger began consuming his logic. Two lanes beckoned him forth; One lane danced with summer and life and freedom. A girl whose label read Lacey Team Member for 2 Years! shook platinum bangs from eternal eyelashes. She scanned and smiled and was unimaginably perfect. The other lane secreted dismal misery and death. The lane's cashier was Dick Store Manager. Coffee stained his mustache and made his face stupid and worthless. Ian chose Lacey's Lane. A hag on wheels obstructed his destiny.

"Just hit credit and ok," Lacey chortled perfectly.

"Ohhh just forget it, I'll just write a check," squawked the hag, "What's the date?"

"Twelve-Twenty-four, Christmas Eve," the beautiful angel celestial fantas-

"SIR," Dick Store Manager from Lane Dismal called to Ian, "Sir, we can get you taken care of over here… Sir?"

"Oh this pen is out of ink, would you believe that?" Gurgled the awful hag.

"Maybe you'll get a new one for Christmas. Let me find one for you…" Lacey delivered a soul-damaging glance to Ian before disappearing behind her register. Ian resentfully sacrificed destiny for pizza and moved to Dick's Dismal Lane of Death.

BEEP went the scanner that broke Ian's heart.

SPLAT went his eyelashes as he slammed the lids over his piddling eyes.

"One-fifty," went Dick.

Ian wiped his eyes and counted out 145 soaking cents from his pocket. …25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 135, 145… …25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 135, 145… 25, 50-

"Do you have five cents, sir?" Ian looked back at his destiny. Lacey healed everything broken with a smile and a lash-y blink from the universe across the way.

Ian's fingers uncoiled from around the pizza. He wiped the coins back into their sweaty pocket where they were suffocated and lonely and unhappy. And sad. He couldn't be to the door fast enough. The doors couldn't open fast enough. He couldn't run home hungry to his condemned shack with no heating or water or electricity fast enough. But before he could run face-first into the doors (that couldn't open fast enough) something tapped his heal and took a nap on the tile. Ian caught a shimmer through his tears. He picked up the nickel.

An angel from a far-away universe sang out a victory hymn that went, "I can take care of you over here." Lacey held Ian's pizza and edified his existence. With a refurbished, fair conditioned heart and a hopeful stride, Ian approached Lacey's Lane (of Truth and Wonder and Justice). With every step, however, he became conscience of a flaw. His rank smell, his small clothes, the tree-bark hair under his tattered hat, his dry lips, his disproportionate right index knuckle, but under no earthy or supernatural circumstances was he going to stop! By the time Ian had reached the other universe (of Joy.. and nausea.. and terror) fear shook him tremendously.

"Find everything ok tonight?" Magical birth of a new dawn manif-
"I found you." … did I just say that??? Ian thought to himself, because he indeed had.
"What?" Bowel emptying blood steaming-

"I said I found you. And you're everything to me. So yeah, I did find everything ok tonight."
The pizza had been scanned. The hag had wheeled off into the night. Dick was sweeping the pharmacy. This was it. It was Lacey. And it was Ian. No obstructions. No obstructions save for the silence, burning like a fuse.

"Did you throw a nickel at me?" Ian defused.
"Maybe. It might have been the old woman or Dick..."
"Well I'd like to spend Christmas with whomever it was. Something tells me Ethel is long gone and Dick doesn't celebrate a thing. So I hope to God it's you. But listen ok. I don't have any money. My house is lit by whatever I can burn. I don't have any friends or a phone or a social security card. But, I'm not crazy. I don't want to assault you, I'm afraid to even touch you. I'm self-conscience and needy and scared. And I'm hot all of the time. …Ok?"
Lacey reached over the counter and touched Ian's hand. This transcended Ian's realty. Ian became universe.

"You know what? I'm cold most of the time. I just want someone to keep me warm."
The counter in front of Lacey and Ian melted. The pizza caught ablaze briefly then exploded. The tile beneath them separated and gave way to an energy not unlike sunlight, but more kinetic. Gravity lost itself in the limitlessness. The shelves of the store evaporated into a magenta vapor/glitter hybrid, which was then breathed in by Dick Store Manager causing him to smile his stupid, worthless face inside out. The roof twirled away in a bright vortex, taking the winter cold and the night sky with it. It was Ian. And it was Lacy.

This is it.

No obstructions.

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Jeremy Johnson.
Published on e-Stories.org on 30.03.2011.

 

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