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Day 16: Strange Sights

My Friday evening started off on a great foot. I loaded up two medium, delicious smelling pizzas and noted the address. It was an even-number home, so north side of the street. There was a note.

1/2. The light is on.

When people specify 1/2 addresses, you can bet it is either a ground level apartment or an added room on the back. I arrived near the destination. This was an easy one. A light was indeed on. It was a basement apartment in a over-under duplex. A wide gate stood open in the customer’s chain-link fence. A rough retaining wall crept along the path to her door on my left. Succulents and dormant phlox covered most of it. It was beautiful! To top it off, cactus, with it’s small red fruit, ran along the cinderblock wall of the foundation along the left side of the door.

The inside door was wide open. I knocked on the outside one and counted. One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand.

At ten, I glanced inside. I saw a little old lady sitting on a couch watching TV. She was oblivious to my presence.

I rang the doorbell. That got her moving. Kind of. It took her a while.

I stepped away from the door and waited. In my minds eye, I saw her moving with purpose and resolve to her delicious cheese gluten. But what was taking her so long? Maybe her purpose and resolve had hardened up a little over the years.

Must be all the pizza.

She opened the door some time later and invited me in. Slowly. Her speech was slow and happy. She had plump cheeks that moved into a slow smile. Age had given her modest jowl lines. She had crow’s feet around her eyes. She had glasses and white hair.

What I’m trying to say is, I was delivering pizza to the female version of Mitch McConnell.

“Go ahead and fill out this one, ma’am. Don’t mind the hairclip. That’s just my daughters following me to work,” said I with a smile. I handed her the clipboard, hoping I hadn’t moved too fast.

She told me about how she needed a hairclip. In fact, she was thinking of getting a hair cut.

I complemented her on her plants. She told me how she loves it when her phlox is in bloom. I told her we had a few of our own.

“What color?” she asked.

“Uh, blue and purple,” I said.

“I have lavender,” she said.

As she bent to sign the receipt, I looked at her home. It was well decorated with nick-knacks and different pictures on different tables.  Someone was washing dishes in the kitchen at the back of the apartment.

I looked at the walls. A picture hung here and there. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw antlers. The mount was obscured by a small corner. I leaned forward and caught a gasp before it escaped. I chuckled to myself. I knew this one was getting recorded.

I saw something not unlike this:

jackalope This lady was NOT fast as fast can be, but she must have been a long time ago.

Some time later, I was hooking a U-turn in someone’s driveway when I saw this license plate:


You may know this person. You may be this person. My congratulations. This is a personal favorite. Loved it. I hope you like it, too!

Then later that night as the darkness got deeper and the streetlights shined brighter, I was asked to do a “one off.”

Thus it is written in the pizza heavens: 

Thou shalt not take orders from those outside your area.

Thou shalt not worship other areas.

Thou shalt not deliver outside of your area. Except if thy manager require it on a one-off.

This particular one-off went pretty far out of range. It was up by Lake Street. It was easy to find. I parked my car and got out. I had to park across Lake and up a side street due to traffic.

I came across these:


Do you recognize what those are?

I didn’t get a very close look. I stopped long enough to snap the picture. It was about forty feet of forgotten train tracks. Or were they trolley tracks?

It was poetic. Look at the brick. They tried to pave it. The paving has since peeled off. The metal has been rubbed to a shine by years of oblivious traffic. Our normal road continues on at both ends of this lost track. The steel beams were like memories just touching the surface of time, the rest swallowed up and forgotten.

I wracked my brain on the way back. Why were these tracks so interesting? What did they say to me?

I landed on a few phrases. The one that stuck the hardest was ‘work no longer needed’.

These tracks were retired ages ago. Does that mean they weren’t useful? No! It means they fulfilled the measure of their make. Done. Game over. No harm in that. And here they were, a monument to years of work I doubt anyone could remember without effort.

Someday I’ll do the same thing with my pizza hat. I’ll retire it. I’ll lay it up in remembrance. I’ll let it poke out of the top of the roads paved by the Lord and my own diligence. I’ll polish it up and keep it bright by traveling down those roads with my kids.

Somebody might find it in my closet after Amazewife and I are gone Home. They might open the box, dust off the hat and say, “Wow… I wonder what this hat could say if it could tell a story?”

Dry scalp aside, I think it would describe our journey together in at least two words:




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