A Dose of Big Mike – Part Four

Argument Story

Serial Story

It was two o’clock in the morning. I was with Mike. We were drunk, very drunk, in the parking lot leaving the bar. I’d been buying the beers for months, and I was getting tired of it. It’s one thing to be down on your luck, but he had been unemployed for a year and I don’t think he was trying to change that. I doubt I was motivating his job search by buying all the drinks. He said he was sending out resumes but I didn’t believe him. I think he was happy to keep things just the way they were, pouring from pitchers he hadn’t paid for, sleeping all day, not doing shit. I decided to cut him off, thinking maybe that would inspire him to start working again. My hope was that if his free liquor supply dried up, his alcoholism would rush him back into the workforce. It’s not like he was going to quit drinking. We were walking towards our vehicles when I broke the news.

“Hey, man. I can’t afford to keep paying for your beers. I have too much debt. You should go back to delivering or something.”

“Yeah, I get it. I’m trying. I’ve been sending out resumes, but I’m not going back to pizza.”

“There’s nothing wrong with delivering pizza.”

“Dude. Look. I’m not going back to pizza. That’s taking a step in the wrong direction.”

“In the past year, you had no income. Zero dollars. If you get a job, any job, that’s a step up.”

“I know, but I can’t go back to pizza now. That’s going backwards. I won’t do it.”

“You haven’t earned a penny in a year. If you earn one penny in the next year it would be an improvement. The pizza will get you that penny.”

“Dude! Fuck that! Pizza’s a dead-end gig. I don’t want to get stuck there for another year. I need to make a good move for my future. Find something I like that I can make a career out of.”

“I don’t give a shit about your aspirations to fulfill your nonexistent dreams. You’re wasting time. You just need to do something. And that something is pizza.”

“Dude! FUCK! You’re not hearing me! Listen. I’m not gonna take a step backwards. No pizza!”

“I hate to repeat myself, but like I said, you didn’t make any money last year. Not one dollar. If you’d been delivering pizza during that time, I’m almost positive you’d have made at least a dollar. Deep down you know I’m right. You need the pizza. You are the pizza. You’re nothing without it.”

Mike told me to fuck off, got in his truck, and drove off. I don’t think he applied for any delivery positions the next day.

previous: A Dose of Big Mike – Part Three

first chapter: A Dose of Big Mike – Part One

more by S. P. REILLY

photograph by Krzysztof Puszczyński

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S. P. Reilly

A drunk stationed in Houston, Texas. I write short stories and make tasteless rap music. https://soundcloud.com/sketch-the-bottom-feeder

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