I pull into the parking lot of the pizza shop in the heart of a local college town. The streets are dark. The shop is almost empty. It’s nearly 11pm.
A college-age kid knocks on the window, opens the door, throws a backpack into the back seat.
“Can I go in and grab something real quick?” he asks.
“Sure,” I say, starting the clock.
He comes out five minutes later, carrying a bag of food. His destination is 45 minutes away, east, towards Philly.
“You always make this trek?” I ask him.
“Naw,” he says. “But my girl lives over this way. Now I got to go to work. Night shift. Stocking shelves. But it’s good money, man.”
“You sound exhausted,” I say, laughing. “You should probably grab a snooze.”
“Yeah, man,” he says with a wry grin. “Not a bad idea.”
In the rear view mirror, I see him lean his head against the glass. I try to avoid the bumps. He sleeps. 30 minutes later he reaches down and eats a solitary piece of pizza, slurps down a soda through the straw. The streetlights flash on both of us. The headlights of oncoming cars glide over us. The world is a strange thing. He falls back to sleep.
I pull into his place of work. He gets out. I park. I go inside and grab a box of Apple Jacks and eat most of it during the 45-minute drive home. It’s no communion bread, but, Allelujah, it’s the fifth week of Easter and it’s good.