The following is partially based on a true story. Some of what follows is completely true, some is fictional. Certain details have been changed for the sake of creative license.
It was late in the night on a cold October evening. I was at work, delivering pizzas in South Jersey, just as I did every Saturday night. And just as I had been every Saturday night before this, I was bored. My job was endless boredom. Take a pizza, drive to someone’s house, get paid, go back to the store. Repeat for eleven hours.
To pass the time, in between deliveries I checked my Twitter feed on my phone. Usually I tweeted from the back room of the restaurant, while I was waiting for a pizza to finish cooking. Over the last two months since I started on Twitter, I had started following over two hundred people. On this particular cold Saturday night, I noticed an interesting series of tweets from one of them in particular, a certain Ksenia Anske:
I was intrigued, as I often am, by Ksenia’s unique and humorous motivation techniques. I decided to send her an ‘at reply,’ which resulted in the following exchange:
It seemed as if I had no choice. It was now a matter of pride. But don’t they say that ‘Pride comes before the fall’? I certainly didn’t want my pride to make me fall… off the chair and into the street. I might get run over.
Yet sometimes one must face such fears. Though I wanted to set a good, responsible example while doing so. It would have been foolhardy of me to perform this daring act in the middle of a busy highway.
Instead, I chose a side street. One close enough to the main roads that I could be sure my message would be heard, yet still far enough back that I would be safe from traffic and other hazards. Once the street was chosen, I had another issue to face: I needed a chair. Luckily, my restaurant has plenty of chairs, both in the dining room, and outside in our outdoor dining area. I chose the latter for two reasons: one, it would be easier to sneak the chair away without my manager seeing me (I was still on the clock, mind you); and two, those chairs were of a more stable design, and I expected I’d be less likely to fall off of one.
I waited until I had a delivery, since it gave me an excuse to go outside. The pizza was placed inside a thermal bag, and deposited on the passenger seat of my 2009 Toyota Prius. I then snuck over to the outdoor dining area, snagged a chair, and tucked it away in the Prius’s hatchback. All the pieces in place, I then proceeded to my destiny.
I drove down the block to the Chosen Place, and parked my car illegally in a fire zone, having no other immediately available options. I wasn’t concerned about any consequences; the pizza delivery sign atop my car essentially granted me immunity to parking tickets. I retrieved the chair from where it was stowed, and found a good spot to place it. A bit jittery, my heart pounding, and my skin goosepimpling in the October wind, I climbed up on the chair. My perch a bit wobbly, I spread my arms out for balance, then took a deep breath to steel my resolve. Then, at last, the culmination of my efforts was achieved as I shouted out for all the universe (or at least, a one block radius around where I stood) to hear:
“I AM A WRITER!”
The universe responded in the form of a horn blaring at me, and a passing driver shouting at me to get out of the street.
My face flushed with heat, and I climbed down from the mountain peak and returned to my car. My pride was now tempered by sheepishness, as I nervously looked around, hoping that no one I knew had actually seen me. The moment had passed, but the adrenaline rush of it was carried with me as I delivered the next pizza, collected the money, and returned to the store. It was my last delivery of the night before closing time, but it was also my most invigorating.
(Continue to: Part 2)