“You hate New Realities, don’t you?” The Professor said.
“I’m doing alright now,” I said, “Me and Wolf just aced the New Reality Assignment.”
“But you would’ve got your ass kicked without Wolf.”
“Maybe, maybe not.”
“Don’t bullshit me. Wolf isn’t going to be around every time you Travel, ya know. Or any other Reality Traveler for that matter. Most of the time you’re going to be all alone.”
“I know. I did meet Wolf when I was alone tho.”
“But you already knew Wolf was a safe Reality Traveler. How many times have you Traveled alone to a Reality that you knew nothing about? How many times did you initiate it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Is it zero?”
“Then I have a new assignment for you. You have to get a job.”
“But I thought Reality Traveler weren’t supposta have jobs cuz they’re only for Adults.”
“No, I said a Reality Traveler isn’t supposed to have a job which interferes with Reality Travel. But jobs are Reality Travel, and a Traveler should work as many varieties of them as possible. After all, the best way to MeToo a coal miner is to actually be a coal miner.”
“Do you want me to become a coal miner?”
“Or whatever would kick your ass the most. I know driving doesn’t come very naturally to you. Maybe you should be a truck driver or a delivery guy.”
I couldn’t help but think of pizza at that moment. I thought about having to deliver a one to some impossible to find address somewhere like in The Mountains, and it made me shiver.
“Oh, I see you just got really uncomfortable,” The Professor said. “Whatever you just thought of, you have to get a job doing that, and MeToo all the New Realities you come across, and I won’t let you pass New Realities Class unless you do.”
“Alright,” I said.
And then I hadta get a job at CFATTY’S, the pizza place at the Colorado Future Adult Training School, even tho I didn’t want to at all.
The first New Reality I met there was The Pizza Boss. He smelled like pizza, and he was fat like he only ate pizza, and his face was round like a pizza, and he had two big red pepperonis for eyes.
“I’ve been working in fuckin pizza all my life,” he said and shook my hand, which was greasy like a pizza.
Usually a boss has to ask you a bunch of questions first to see if they want you to work for them, but the Pizza Boss hired me right away.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie to you,” he said, “this is a busy ass store cuz of this fucking college here, and we need a lot of manpower to keep shit running. Half of my guys are fucking college kids who don’t givvashit about work yet like you and me, so I’m expecting you to be One of The Good Ones.”
“Alright,” I said, “I will be.”
Then I went to work. The job was hard cuz I’d never driven on The CFATS Roads before, and I didn’t know which of them led to which other Roads. I’d hit the wrong Road a lot, and even when I hit the right Road I couldn’t see the address number I was supposta go to. I’d call up the customer to find out where it was, but they wouldn’t answer the phone. Then I hadta squint your eyes and go real slow, and a car behind me would honk. And then I’d hafta get out on foot and search around outside in the lawn and bushes and stuff, and sometimes I still couldn’t find it and would hafta surrender and take the pizza back to the store. Sometimes the whole thing took a long time, and The Pizza Boss would notice.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie to you,” he said to me, “you’re not One of The Good Ones yet. Pretty far from it actually. I’m not saying you won’t be one day, but you’re not one yet.”
I wanted to be One of The Good Ones as soon as I could tho. I’d watch how The Pizza Boss MeToo’d them. He’d do things like pat them on the back and tell them pizza delivery war stories, and sometimes he’d even buy them all McDonald’s.
One night we were really busy and undermanned, and all the pizzas were getting delivered late, and The Pizza Boss told everyone we hadta ‘dig down fuckin deep’ and go as fast as we could.
I hadta deliver one on a Road where you couldn’t see any addresses anywhere. I tried to go fast anyway, looking hard out the window and flashing my flashlight into the darkness. Then suddenly there was a big BANG that came from the side of the car. I stopped and got out and saw a mailbox on the ground.
“Dammit,” I said.
It didn’t seem like there were any Realities around who saw me tho, so I just got back into the car and kept driving. I still couldn’t find the address, so I was just gonna surrender and go back to the store and tell CFATS they hadta make a law to make addresses more visible. But when I turned around, there was a huge CFATS Buffalo standing in the middle of the Road.
“Hit and run! Hit and run!” he said and charged.
Thankfully I was protected in my car, but I couldn’t get past them without running them over and hadta stop.
“I saw everything, you Mailbox hitter,” the Buffalo said. “And I’ve already called the police.”
“Sorry,” I hadta keep saying a lot.
When the police came they gave me a ticket for Bad Driving, and I also hadta agree to replace the Buffalo’s mailbox.
I wasn’t going to say anything about it at work, but when I got back the Pizza Boss asked to see me in his office.
“Some guy just called and said you hit his mailbox,” he said.
Then I hadta admit that did happen.
“He said he wants me to fire you or he’ll never order CFATTY’s again,” Pizza Boss said.
“Oh,” I said.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie to you,” he said. “You’ve embarrassed the company, and I have to consider you One of The Bad Ones now.”
“Am I fired?”
“No… but only cuz we need the fucking manpower.”