Years pass and I thought I had landed safely.
But then an unscheduled flight of memory pilots me to that place I vowed never to visit again.
And there I am with the same baggage I unpacked years ago, landing at the same gate, greeted by Larry, the same limo driver.
“Welcome back,” he smirks. “Will you be staying long?”
“No, not this time, I tell him.
“That’s what you said last time,” he replies.
“ I know.” I say.
I excuse myself to use the airport restroom and immediately book a return flight.
Last time I drove with Larry he took me out of my way and then claimed it was to avoid all that inconvenient road work.
My doctor asked if my diet had changed.
I told him I have been gorging on hope.
He said, “you need to monitor that, because hope deferred will make your heart sick.”
Turns out he was right. The next day Hope decided what I really needed for a season was a diet of disappointment.
“It would be good for you” he said. You’ll thank me for it later.”
Sure enough, overnight the promises I once fed on began to taste like hospice haute cuisine —those pimento cream cheese tea sandwiches they serve as afternoon snacks to the terminally ill.
My heart went on a hunger strike.
They forced fed me with an intravenous solution of positive placebos and eventually released me.
But something happened last night last night amid the movable feast of the unforeseeable—hope showed up at my door with a three topping 16 inch pizza.
Turns out he had the wrong address.
It was for Lucille, my next door neighbor, who recently lost her husband Mike to pancreatic cancer.
I was happy the pizza was for her. She too had suffered a diet of disappointment for a season.
Five minutes later she called and asked if I would like to help her eat that pie.
Of course I said yes.
We ate. We talked.We laughed. I actually liked the pineapple topping. With every bite we both felt an appetite for hope rise up within us, like one of those self rising pizza crusts they advertise on television.
Speaking of crusts, Lucille remarked how the crust on our pizza tasted nothing at all like those awful hospice haute cuisine tea sandwiches.
And I had every reason to believe her.