We all like a little space for ourselves. A place or an activity we can enjoy to unwind and disconnect for a while. Sometimes, though, we feel the pull of the outside world and find it difficult to make that space happen.
Most of us didn’t have much money. Ordering a pizza, possibly after a long study session and just before an eagerly anticipated movie or new chapter in a thriller novel was something reserved only for special occasions.
Our residence wasn’t as bad as some, where you could ask somebody what toppings they wanted without raising your voice. The thing is, the people you were asking were two or three dorms down from yours and all the doors were closed. (Amazing but true. I was a direct witness to just that occurrence in a residence just down the road.)
You could hear your neighbours in our building too, but it took a bit more effort. Still, that loud clear knock on somebody’s door down at the other end of the hall could only be made by a pizza delivery boy. Everyone living on that floor would immediately get their antennae up and the odd curious one may even poke his head out to see who in fact was indulging.
One day there was such a knock and a number of the guys on that floor quickly got together to pay the hungry fellow a visit. In all likelihood the pizza would be just enough for him and he discreetly ordered it when there wasn’t much action in the hallway. The guys put on their friendliest, most charming faces and happily knocked on the door. They could hear music and movement inside and good-naturedly let him know, obliging him to answer their calls. He opened the door slightly and was about to tell them he was a little busy at the moment, but they interpreted the open door and his hesitation as an invitation and entered.
It was a single room but now five guys were making polite conversation, three on the bed, one on the chair and another comfortably perched on the desk. If you directed your attention to the object of desire, it wouldn’t take long to discern that it had been rapidly hidden under the bed. A very distinct aroma of pizza permeated the atmosphere of the room. Perhaps the box had just been opened when there was that unexpected knock on the door.
So it sat, patiently awaiting its master for when the appropriate moment would arise. In the meantime the guys were already getting their best stories out, some a little long, but what is time when you’re in good company? Recent events were covered which sparked other good stories and comments. Often people spoke at the same time, ensuring no silences could enter the room, allowing one particular individual the opportunity to point out that maybe it was time for the enjoyable visit to come to an end. To all but one, the time passed quickly and soon it was closer to the hour mark than halfway. But all good things must come to an end, and gradually, ever so slowly and even more reluctantly, four of the five gentlemen came to admit that it was indeed time to move on.
Some more back-slapping and promises to reunite soon rang through the air as they swayed back and forth through the open door, mentioning a few last thoughts. A good bunch of friends they were, jovially walking down the hall, leaving the young man alone to reconsider his abandoned pizza. It had long grown cold but still having some of its initial appeal, he took a lonely bite, contemplating just what the hell had happened over the last hour or more. An occasional burst of laughter erupted from down the hall, distracting him for a moment.
I like this story. Nothing wrong with a few people having a bit of light fun. Sometimes we need to look at that lighter side of life and take a break from its seriousness. To smile and even laugh at those confusing or trying moments. We won’t always be able to figure it out or explain our or others’ actions. Maybe the best thing to do is just to shake our head and move on.