Where do you get your ideas?
This one is entirely true. Shortly after graduating college, I went hitchhiking with my friend Jon across the United States, starting in California where we live and ending (at our farthest point east) in Delaware. One ocean to the other. It took us four months, and we brought exactly $1.25 with us.
“Pizza Night” is a confessional letter to Jon. When I told him about it, and that I was going to perform it at a reading, he was briefly worried that his obliviousness to my imagined danger would make him seem stupid, but I assured him that all the ridiculousness rested squarely on me.
That hitchhiking trip happened (quick math) nine years ago, and we were lucky to make enough friends and meet up with old friends along the way that he and I both survived, despite our utter cluelessness. I still have my journal from those four months, but this is the only story from it that I’ve ever sent off. As with “Just Imagine”, I found a home for this story through Kyrsten Bean, who told me about Lip Service West, a local (Bay Area) reading series.
By the time I wrote up the story and sent it out, it had been five years since the trip, and even longer since I’d done a reading of my work. But Lip Service picked it for their reading at Pegasus Books in Berkeley.
Here’s a picture of Jon, being poured on by a storm as we hitched out of Louisiana and up through Mississippi, easily the most miserable day of the entire trip.
Those were good times.