When I had the unassuming slice (as opposed to your typical arrogant piece of pizza) yesterday, I felt gleeful in a way only those who place immense importance on the act of eating can. “How have I never had this before?” I thought, and then said out loud.
When I sat down to write about this pizza today, the experience seemed no less wonderful, but it felt slightly vapid in light of today being yet another day filled with news of mass shootings. So I had a type of pizza I’d never tried before and it was surprisingly delicious. That’s important? That’s worthy of tapping my fingers on the keys for? That’s worth wasting precious minutes of my life on?
And you know, I decided that yes, it is. Because not everyone gets to taste this tantalizing flavor.
You probably–though I’m no expert–don’t taste much when you’re dead.
Food likely doesn’t taste very good when you’re a horribly broken person who values nothing as much as wreaking havoc and ruining lives, when you are existing in a world that doesn’t rescue you from whatever it is that is terrorizing you and causing your brain to malfunction in the worst way possible.
So to be able to ramble on about a simple lunch that made me happy, because I’m healthy and naive enough to be capable of being happy over a bite of pizza–that recognition is something worth wallowing in, I think.
To still be at the point where these horrific murders bother me because they haven’t yet become so commonplace I shrug them off, and yet not quite be at the point where I’m actively terrified to leave my apartment, that’s a luxury. To write, “I’m glad you’re alive,” in an email to someone I care about with the confidence that it’s true–to take for granted that a person I love is breathing today–is something not everyone can do, and it’s something I don’t know for certain I’ll be able to do tomorrow.
Of course, even before we started seeing the evidence of a crumbling humanity so readily in our faces, we could never have known for sure we would survive till the next morning. So even without the awful events that continue to unfold day after day to remind us, we are always balancing a fragile existence on the precipice of the unknown.
Which is why that eggplant parm pizza was so satisfying. And why I’m glad to be telling you about it.