These are troubling times.
But, after four articles in a row dedicated to talking about the presidential election in one way or another, it's time to shut up.
There are more important things.
In the dining room of my house, my roommates and I are in the process of creating something extraordinary.
The center of the south wall is clear; just the beige stucco we inherited when we moved into the house at the beginning of July. But, the center is the only part of the wall where the paint is still visible. Our goal, like with a jigsaw puzzle, is to finish the border first.
And it's almost complete. Sporting a jetpack and smiling a toothy grin that wears a curly, black mustache as a hat, lifting a supreme pizza high, the Jet's Pizza mascot occupies the wall's bottom right corner.
The Hungry Howies guy smiles above him. Cottage Inn and Pizza Hut party boxes dominate the upper left. More than a dozen other lids fill out the rest of the border.
This is The Pizza Wall.
Every time we eat a new pizza, we cut off the lid and tack it to the wall. This has turned my cheat meals into a quest. It's forced us to search out new pizza joints, like Mancino's in Jackson, 112 Pizzeria Bistro in Rochester Hills (voted the number one pizza in Michigan by Buzzfeed) and S.A. Xpress, the new gas station which has assumed the mantle of best pizza in Spring Arbor now that Amy's has abandoned us.
And just like any good quest, The Pizza Wall has it's pilgrimage. Our Mecca is Chicago.
I work full-time, write freelance, and create content for the Odyssey. My best friend Josiah is still in school, studying to be a surgical technologist, and paying the bills by working part-time at CVS. Our roommate and friend from high school Chase works and is going to school as well. His brother Clay moves furniture part-time.
So finding a weekend where our schedules cooperate is difficult. But we dream.
We dream of a day that we eat deep dish from the three best pizza joints in the Windy City in one 48 hour period. We dream of the wrist-thick tomato and sausage of Lou Malnati's, the crispy crust and pepperoni of Giordano's and the sauce that only Gino's can provide.
If our schedules stay the course, we won't be able to go until after November 8th. Who knows what the country will be like after the election; there may be riots and shootings.
But, there is hope.
There is pizza.