Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pizza Parlay

i got pizza today, and i was the only one in the place. my own solitude seems to stalk me relentlessly. but then a man walked in. after receiving his pizza he walked up to me and asked if he could sit with me. there were at least 10 other empty tables and i had my back to him the entire time so i was kind of surprised. i barely lifted my head, but mumbled back "yeah, sure". after he sat down he wasted no time and asked me "what's the matter". i told him i didn't know. he said that was a lie because everyone knows, then i started to cry. consumed by my own grief, i would soon find myself enveloped in his.

he looked guilty and worried but stared into my eyes and told me he was sorry and that he didn't mean to upset me. i told him it wasn't his fault. he did a half-grunt type of laugh and told me that his wife said that when she left him several years ago, he seemed to have lost track of them all. he told me that he hadn't seen his daughter since she was 11 years old, and that he didn't know why but i reminded him of her, or at least what he remembered. i wondered to myself why his wife had left him. he was in his late forties and he seemed to be sharing a lot with a total stranger. i thought he shouldn't mind me since i'm such a wreck, but at the risk of sounding anti-social i held back. as i was finishing up he asked if he could give me his number, i told him that would be fine but that i'd never call. he said that's okay by him. and i had only taken one or two steps away from him and towards the door when it occurred to me what i was doing. so i turned around and asked him "this won't add to your misery will it?". then he answered me looking out the window at the passing strangers, their lives so intangible just feet away, with "what misery?", finally his eyes were back locked in with mine when he winked. i walked out.

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