Dangerous Compassions



“Who am I?  Who am I, to criticize your pizza ways?” I asked Ming.

“You’re a pizza master!” Ming said.

“What?  No!” I said.  “How ironic.  A pizza master who can’t eat pizza.”  I touched my belly.  When I had the stomach ulcer three years ago that almost killed me, pizza was one of the first foods to go.

“It’s like a composer / director who can’t hear,” I added.  “I’m the Beethoven of pizza.”


Then I imagined if I really was a pizza master.  If I sat in a special director’s chair and advised other pie makers.  If I was consulted for $3000 an hour to help people with their pizza problems.  I could have my own website.  People would fly me on private jets to tell the workers at new restaurants what to do.

“How dare you use this much oregano!  The sauce is ruined!” etc.

In this fantasy, I’m a cranky white guy with a mustache.  No way could I be a pizza master in my current form.  I can’t think of much my culture would allow me to be master of, in my current form.


Ming had been craving pizza for a long time.  Our favorite place in town is Rosati’s.  It’s got the Chicago style, which is so decadent and good.  It reminds me of Zelda’s in Sacramento, which is my favorite pizza in the world.

Of course, I have never been to Chicago.  It might be the California / Nevada version of Chicago style–I don’t really care.  What tastes good is my main concern.  It’s normal to change things, like Soto Zen as practiced in Japan vs as practiced in the United States.  Things change–so be it.

“I don’t want to pick it up,” Ming said.

“They delivered it before,” I said.  “Remember?  It got transported poorly, like it wasn’t level, and all the cheese oozed to one corner of the box.”

“Oh yeah,” Ming said.  But he checked online, and we’re out of their delivery range.  He said they must have changed their service.


He got mushroom as his topping.  “How much did it cost?” I asked.

“Twenty four dollars,” Ming said.

“With tip?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t tip,” he said.  [Longstanding relationship conflict here.]

I used to be the kind of guy who ate other people’s unwanted crusts.  The crusts were nice.  I was like a baby who gnaws on crusts like teething biscuits.  Now I eschew the entire thing.

In this pic you can note the time on the oven–Ming was eating leftover pizza at 4:11 am.  It was a hard day’s night.  We both slept like crap.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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