Virgins and Pizza

stuffing cups for the July 4th parade
stuffing cups for the July 4th parade

My manager waved to me when I walked in through the back door. I looked at the address of the next pizza to deliver, slipped the cardboard box into the blue, insulated delivery bag, and turned around to head back out. “See you soon, Virgin Pelrine,” my manager said. He called everyone by his or her last name with Driver put in the front. Until this moment I’d been Driver Pelrine.

I thought I misheard, but he’d gone back to flipping dough. I was 18 and delivering pizza was my summer job. The only other woman who there came bounding in. “Two dollar tip on that one,” she said.

“Good job, Virgin R–,” our manager said with a grin. I had a pizza to deliver and rushed out.

I ignored this new name for days, not wanting to be uptight or in trouble. One evening I walked in for my shift, and the manager said, “Hey Virgin Pelrine!”

I smiled. “Hey, Virgin B–! How’s it going?”

Several of the other male drivers laughed. I called him that every chance I got. Even at the end of the evening when I was in his office turning in my slips and getting my gas money. “Here you go, Virgin B–,” I said and handed him the right forms. “How were sales tonight, Virgin B–?” I glanced over at the Samantha Fox poster he kept on his office door. The poster had been smeared with anchovies.

“All right, all right,” he said and gave me my money. “Driver Pelrine.”

Sometimes I think it would be great to have no need to work. I could stay home and write all day! All freaking day. But then what would I have to write about?

5 thoughts on “Virgins and Pizza

  1. What Shelly said.

    I tried it once — amazing how the imagination can magically unlock when the senses are confronting more or less the same four walls, the same neighborhood, the same city, every day. Just a darned shame it’s an expensive indulgence… Where are our MacArthur grants when we need ’em?!?

  2. I agree that we need life experience to have things to write about, but ever since I left working full-time, I have written much more than I ever wrote before. Working sucked the creativity right out of me. I was so exhausted all the time.

    Though I don’t write all day, of course, and I couldn’t anyway. I have structured time around my child’s schedule. But doing what I love to do is a real energizer.

  3. that is a great story.

    Life experience does indeed add something to your writing. At the very least, reality can drop ideas on your head like Newton’s apple. And these are often the best ones.

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