Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Margin, Whitespace, and Pineapple Pizza

Original Image
I pull into her driveway in the rain. It's been raining for just a few minutes but this is Florida so it already feels like a monsoon. I join her on the steps. She is smoking a cigarette. Often she says she doesn't need help but I'm there for mere moments before she starts crying. The yard sale that is supposed to help fund her new life, her escape, has been rained out. And not just that but the rain did a number on her meager possessions. And the girl who always has to be strong finally breaks under the pressure. It is time.

She is one of my heroes. 

A recovering alcoholic who makes her art in barber shops. A woman fighting to the top in a field dominated by men. She always has to be strong. But these past few months have been a new kind of hard and she is moving on.

That Sunday afternoon what I thought would be a thirty-minutes jaunt at most became a four-hour afternoon of memories that I'll carry with me through this life. It wasn't long until I decided to order lunch and she wanted pineapple pizza. I added ham. Had I not stopped that day and lingered, I would never have known that pineapple pizza was her comfort food. I would never have known that when she was a teenager if her mom came home and found remnants of Domino's pineapple pizza it was a signal that her daughter was in a rough spot.

In those four hours we talked, and wiped rain drops from furniture and plates. We gave change to those who would brave the weather for a yard sale and we dreamed about the future. About how she looks forward to taking a break from cutting hair to make art as a homemaker.

Why I Give Myself Margin:

And had I not orchestrated my life in such a way as to have whitespace, I would have never had that afternoon with her. I would have never talked for hours on her stoop or helped her bring in everything she owned when it was clear no more customers were coming. Also? I'm not sure how it happened but the two of us finished an entire pineapple pizza. Something I haven't done since I was a teenager...


  1. This is great, Joy! And now I want some pizza... Thanks for that. :-)

  2. If life isn't for eating whole pizzas and supporting friends on rainy afternoons, what else is it for? Beautiful!

  3. As always, wise words from you, my friend. Thank you.