A Sad Story by Ian Willey

Last time I saw him was just after our wedding when after ten years he’d dropped out of college for the nth and final time and was doing the same thing he did back in high school: delivering pizzas. He was even working at the same place. In fact, the manager was one of the kids who drove pizza with him back in the day. But that is not the story. The story he told was about a guy we both knew who graduated in the class below us who ordered a pizza which he, my friend, delivered. Him being a natural storyteller, whom everyone was sure would someday work for the New York Times, there’s no way I can tell it as well as he did. But here goes. The story is this. He had to deliver a couple of pizzas to the house of this guy we both knew back in high school but not all that well. He was just someone we saw at parties and football games. Anyway, the guy was then in his late twenties and had a job and a house and a family, unlike my friend who was still single and sleeping in his parent’s basement where he kept all his pot and illicit animé. My friend showed up at his house with the pizzas and recognized the guy immediately and he had this look on his face like hey, it’s me, and stood there waiting for the guy to look at him as the guy rummaged through his wallet for the money and then handed it over and took the pizzas and said thanks and shut the door on my friend’s face without looking at him once. My friend just stood there going huh? He was like hey the whole time with this big smile on his face but the guy didn’t even look up and see him as though he wasn’t even there. Isn’t that sad? I had to agree.

Ian Willey is a communications specialist residing in the inland sea area of Japan. He has published hundreds of short-form poems and his somewhat longer work has appeared in Dime Show Review, One Sentence Poems, and Mobius.

Photo by Kai Pilger