I had a meeting with The Professor cuz he wanted to see if I’d MeToo’d any New Realities at my job yet.
“None,” I said.
“Because I suck at the job, and no one else ever sucks at anything, so they can’t relate with that.”
Then I told him about hitting a mailbox.
“I love it!” he said. “How ass-kicking. I hope you keep crashing. More damage, more Realities upset.”
“It makes me wanna quit tho.”
“Of course it does, but you can’t until you MeToo a New Reality there. And not just some cute little MeToo like you both like pizza. You have to get a Deep MeToo, like something they’ve never told anyone before, or something you’re terrified to tell them. And remember you can’t Graduate from The Training unless you do.”
Then I hadta keep working at CFATTY’S and tried to think of who I could MeToo most easily. Most of the other workers were CFATS Students who were like a Buffalo herd that only MeToo’d with each other as they charged across The Plains. Others could only MeToo you if you could deliver a pizza really fast without crashing into something. While others were from other countries that didn’t even speak the same language as me. Then there was The Pizza Boss, who I’d at least talked to before, but he seemed nothing like me at all. He was from Downtown Colorado Military Base City and would tell stories about Downtown stuff like crime and being poor and Perception dealing. He’d also been in the Army, where he made pizzas for Realities who might destroy other Realities in actual gun and blood Wars.
One day we were kinda slow, and it was just me and The Pizzas Boss in the store folding boxes together. He was talking to me about where he grew up.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie to you,” he said. “Downtown was rough. One time this dude jumped me and took my jacket. He had an I’m-not-fuckin-lying sharp-circle pizza cutter on him. He cut a little slice of me with it. I still have the scar.”
Then he pulled down his Pizza Uniform, and you could see a little red V on his chest. I didn’t have any scar to MeToo with it, so I didn’t say anything.
“There’s a moment when all Downtown people have to ask themselves am I gonna keep putting up with this shit or am I gonna Hit the Road outta here and find something better. I chose the second one. I got outta Downtown and decided to use pizza cutters only for good for the rest of my life.”
The way he said, “Hit the Road outta here,” made me think of the Bruce Springsteen song “Thunder Road.”
“Thunder Road” is a song about The Road that leads out of Town-Full-of-Losers. There are many great things to win out there, like being a Great MusicMan Traveler, but these things can’t happen in Town-Full-of-Losers. There you can only lose, and the longer you stay,the more you become a loser. And when you finally hit the Road outta there, you feel as high and powerful as a crack of thunder.
I’d been listening to the song a lot, cuz it reminded me of how even when The Training got tough at least I was in Where-TheMountains-Meet-ThePlains and not Suburbs-Full-of-Rubber anymore. I wasn’t sure if a DowntownReality like The Pizza Boss would like songs like that, but I knew I wasn’t getting any closer to MeTooing him by being quiet, so I took a chance and brought it up.
“Hey, Pizza Boss,” I said. “Do you ever listen to The Boss?”
Springsteen is known as “The Boss”because he tells you what to do like a boss does at your job. But instead of it being what to do to get the most outta work, it’s what to do to get the most outta life.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie,” he said. “I do.”
“Yes!” I pumped my fist.
Then I told him how he reminded me of “Thunder Road,” and then Pizza Boss nodded and started singing part of it.
“Show a little faith. There’s magic in the night. You ain’t a beauty, but hey you’re alright. And that’s alright with me.”
His voice was a little crusty and cheesy, but it didn’t matter.
“Every working man loves Springsteen,” he said. “Sometimes he’s the only thing that can get you thru a shift without quitting. And sometimes he’s the only thing that can get you to quit during your shift.”
I liked what The Pizza Boss was saying, and then it made me want to add something that I knew was risky but had to anyway.
“Every Reality Traveler loves Springsteen,too,” I said.
“I ain’t gonna fucking lie to you,” he said. “I ain’t never heard of that.”
“It’s someone who goes all over the world making people feel less alone,” I said.
“Oh, so like Bruce?”
“Yeah, and me.”
Then I told him all about it, and how I came all the way from the far off and unexciting Realities of Ohio Industrial City (Rubber) just to go to The Training here.
“That’s good,” he said. “You should be a Bruce if you can. I think The World needs Bruces.”
“MeToo,” I said.
“Let me tell you something about me I never tell people. Sometimes I feel like hitting that Thunder Road again.”
“Really, to where?”
“All the way to Italy, to make pizza in the country where the pizza was invented. So far I’ve been too afraid it will be too hard to be One of The Good Ones there, but every day I wonder what I’m missing.”
“Yeah, I’m afraid of hard things, too, like delivering pizzas without crashing.”
“I ain’t gonna fucking lie tho, you keep doing something you get better at it.”
“Then you could get better at Italy, too.”
“You’re right. Maybe it’s not too late yet.”
After that day me and The Pizza Boss started MeTooing all the time at work, and I didn’t wannna quit so much anymore. I even thought about bringing him over to hang out at The Den with Wolf&Lamb. But I didn’t know if I could handle the RealityFuck.